Do not bring your whole house with you on the first day. You will not start classes right away so will not need all your textbooks, books, stationery and so forth. You will most likely only need:
- A notebook
- A portfolio (for any documents they may give you such as a timetable)
- A pen
- Sometimes on the first day of orientation you may be asked to do activities at the school field so bring a hat if it’s sunny outside. If your school has a uniform make sure your hat is the colour that’s allowed.
Do look presentable. As cliché as this may sound, first impressions go a really long way. Looking presentable is not only reserved for the first day of school, it’s a habit you have to carry out for the duration of your high school career. Make sure you wear the correct uniform (some schools alternate between winter and summer uniform) and that your shoes are clean and polished.
Do familiarise yourself with the school rules. Usually when a student is accepted into a school, he/she is given the set of rules to be abided in that school. It’s important to familiarise yourself with these so that you do not violate any rules (for example the dress code). Some of the important things to note first are:
- The time when school starts and the ‘grace period’ when you’re late
- Assembly time and location
- Places where you’re forbidden to sit during lunch breaks
- The appropriate uniform for a specific period (for example, some schools alternate between summer and winter uniform whereas some may alternate between everyday uniform and sporty uniform).
- The dress code for schools that don’t require a uniform
- The accessory colours that are permitted in schools. Usually schools will not allow students to wear accessories (such as headbands, scrunchies, hats) that are not the same colours as the school uniform.
- Some schools are iffy about girls leaving their hair untied or how they braid their hair as well as about boys being cleanly shaven.
You may want to look into these rules before you choose to attend a specific school to see if you are okay with complying with the rules. Just ask for a copy of the rules from the reception office or look them up on the school website.
Do not be a wallflower. This is especially important during orientation, do not be scared to approach other students because they are most likely in the same boat as you. The friends you make during orientation won’t necessarily be around for the long run but it’s a way to start cultivating the social skills you will need not only in high school but throughout your life.
Do be a good sport. Have a sportsmanship attitude when it comes to scholastic activities. If you do not want to participate in the actual activity find a way to be supportive of the events, for example:
- Attend and cheer for sports games
- Donate to charity drives
- Help the sound crew during concerts
- Attend school debates and poetry sessions
During orientation you most probably will not have a choice regarding whether you want to participate in an activity or not. But again, just have a positive attitude with it, it will be over before you know it.
Note: Do not stand for hazing during orientation. This does not happen often but if it does happen to you tell your educators and/or your parents as soon as possible.
Do learn the school traditions, specifically the school anthem and/or prayer.
Important things to know:
- The location of certain facilities (for example: the infirmary, admin office, bookshop, tuckshop/cafeteria and your educators’ offices)
- Who the student leaders are and the position they hold. They are the middleman between students and educators. If, for example, you’re facing a problem with a bully you have to talk to the leader heading the disciplinary committee.
- Your timetable and the location of your classrooms. This helps you to avoid getting lost and arriving to class late.
- Nearby means of public transport
Hope you enjoyed this article and that you have a great school year.
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