You must be ecstatic to be starting secondary school. You are no longer a child, but neither are you an adult. You are a young person. Most people will be apprehensive about such a significant change in their lives. Your professors and parents assured you that everything would be OK, but is it? Here’s some sound advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
I had a hard time navigating secondary school when I first started. Because we all went to various classes at different times, I couldn’t just follow my classmates. The school was enormous, far larger than any in Hong Kong. Because it was so old and had so many additions, the floors didn’t always connect. (The original structure was demolished, but there remained old missing elements such as army rooms, coal bins, dumb waiters, and so on.) As a result, it was tough to locate everything. I took a trip around the area and observed it. Yours won’t be as difficult, but don’t expect it to be easy. Make a mental map of the entire school by walking around it, through every floor and stairs.
Will you stay in the same room?
Many secondary schools have you stay in one classroom and the teachers come to you; this is similar to what you experienced in primary school, so it’s not an issue. Others need you to move from one classroom to the next. So don’t forget to leave anything behind. It’s possible that you won’t have the same peers in different classes. You must schedule your day. Make a duplicate of your schedule, keep it with you, and make comments on it. Make a schedule for each day and know what books you’ll need. You don’t want to be the first-year student who gets lost in the hallways after recess, unsure of which room to go to or where it is.
What is your homework?
Your teacher will have no idea what homework you have in other classes. You’ll need to keep track of what homework each teacher has assigned in your notebook or school handbook. It’s all too easy to forget what you were told if you don’t write it down. There will be no one to remind you. You are not a child, but rather a teenager. If your teacher or mother failed to remind you of your assignment, it is not her fault. It’s entirely up to you.
You need to be more self-disciplined.
Suddenly, you are a teenager, responsible for getting to school on time, showering, trimming your nails, and finishing your schoolwork and assignments. It is not your parents’ responsibility to ensure that you complete the task. Secondary schools are far more likely to fail a student and require them to repeat a year than primary schools. They will not treat you like a kid; it is up to you to either learn or flunk the topic. Students who are frequently late may be asked to leave and attend a substandard school instead.
How do you make new friends?
Do not strive to be someone or something you are not. Don’t brag about yourself. Participate in things you enjoy and meet people who share your interests. Be friendly and smile. You may be sitting with a variety of children in various disciplines. This is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and form new friendships. There are plenty more names to memorize. It’s possible that you’ll need to take notes. It will take time to get to know your new classmates, much less become friends with them. So take your time.
Many people lose the friends that they had in primary school.
I’m not in touch with any of my friends. (I’ve kept in touch with university pals even though they live in Canada and I live in Hong Kong.) If you want to stay friends, use modern technology and send each other emails, TikTok videos, or phone messages on a regular basis.
Talk to other people who’ve already been to the same secondary school, such as neighbors or older brothers and sisters to get their opinion. Make a point of asking a lot of questions. Keep in mind that many secondary schools in Hong Kong are highly different, therefore not everything is about yours. Examine the school’s website, as well as its handbooks and booklets. (Keep in mind that they want to appear to be the best, therefore they will only tell you positive things.) If you learn more about the area, it will not appear as ominous.
Prepare for your new adventure and it will be easier.
This will be a significant adjustment, but it will not be as difficult as those who come before you in life. Life changes: senior secondary school topics, the HKDSE, getting a job, going to university abroad, getting married, having children, growing elderly… Finishing primary school and navigating a secondary school is the first of many important steps.