Moving from middle to perusing a high school diploma is a big transition. It can be a time full of excitement and new experiences, but it can also be challenging or worrying for many teenagers. You can assist by ensuring your child is prepared to join high school and feels supported.

Going to High school: What to Expect

Challenges High School Students Face

You might worry about the problems that students face in high school, and about whether your child will have the confidence and skills to handle them.

Children often have mixed feelings about starting high school. They might be:

  • Excited about new friends, subjects and educators
  • Nervous about studying new routines, making new friends or wearing a new uniform
  • Worried about handling the assignment or not fitting in.

You might also worry about these problems that students face in high school, and about whether your child will have the confidence and skills to handle them.

These uncertainties are all normal. High school also means a move from the familiar to the unknown, and a whole new way of doing things.


Your child will be required to meet new peers, make new friends, and establish or reestablish her position within a peer group.


Your child will need to adapt to new teaching and assessment techniques, cope with a wide range of subjects, adjust to having various teachers in different classrooms, become more responsible for his learning, manage a more cumbersome and more difficult study and homework load, and learn a new and more complex timetable.

Getting Around

Your kid will have to change to a new school campus, find her way around, get to class on time with the correct books and materials, and possibly cope with new transport arrangements.

All these problems that students face in high school might be specifically challenging for some young persons living in rural or remote communities. For instance, they might need to manage lengthy travel times or move away from their families, friends, and local communities to go to boarding school.

When kids are making a move to high school, you have the most significant impact on how smooth the transition is. Your child’s friends do influence how your child feels about the move, but your assistance has stronger and longer-lasting implications.

Preparing to Begin High School

You can assist in easing any worries your child has about starting high school by preparing your kid in the months and weeks before the term begins.

Practical Problems

Problems High School Students Face

Take your kid to and high school transition and orientation programs in the last term of middle school to deal with practical problems that students face in high school.

Here are some ideas for dealing with practical problems that students face in high school:

  • Ensure your kid goes to some high school transition and orientation programs in the last term of primary school.
  • If your primary school doesn’t run a transition program, find out what transition services and supports your kid’s new high school offers.
  • Involve your kid in decision-making where possible. For instance, you could try talking together about transport options to and from school, and subject electives.


Here are some thoughts to deal with mixed feelings and worries as problems that students face in high school:

  • Talk with your kid about what he’s most looking forward to and what he’s worried about. Really listen when your kid shares his feelings and worries about high school. Reassure him or her that it’s normal to worry about going to high school.
  • Inspire your child to look at the positive side of the move to high school. For instance, you could highlight the new chances your child will have by talking about extracurricular activities your child could select at the new school.
  • Talk with your child concerning friendships. For instance, you could ask what your child’s friends are saying about high school. You could also talk about how your kid might keep in touch with old friends and make new friends at high school.

During the transition to high school

Practical issues

Here are some ideas to assist with the practical side of the transition to high school:

  • Try to arrange for a parent, grandparent or other close adult to be home before and after school for the first few weeks after your kid joins high school.
  • Find out the name of the instructor responsible for your kid’s general care, attendance and social and academic progress. This individual might be called a home-room teacher, year advisor or pastoral care teacher. Attempt to introduce yourself as early as possible.
  • Try to make your household as comfortable for study time as possible. For instance, ensure your kid has a quiet place to study, away from distractions such as the TV or a mobile phone.


These ideas might assist with worries about getting to know persons and making new friends at high school:

  • Reassure your teenage child that it’s usual to worry about making new friends.
  • Establish whether there’s a buddy system at your child’s new school and encourage your child to be involved in it.
  • Let your kid know that new friends are welcome in your home. Encourage your child to invite new friends over, or be ready to transport your child to their households.
  • Assist your child in exploring new opportunities. Learning a musical instrument, trying a new sport or joining a drama class are great ways for your kid to meet new individuals and get engaged in school activities.

References and Resources