In the summer of 2014, when I was 9 years old, my family moved from Malvern to Port Union. These are two areas in the eastern part of Scarborough. Since we moved to a neighbourhood that was pretty far from my school at the time, I had to move schools too. So come September 2014, I would be going into 5th grade at a school I didn’t know existed, in a completely different area that I had no familiarity with. I was actually used to moving houses as our family had moved a few times before that, so that was no problem. But leaving all my friends, my favourite teachers, and my school behind was something I could not accept at the time. I hated it.
Going to a new school was scary. As a young kid, only 10 years old, I was shy and nervous to meet new kids and make friends. I thought I wouldn’t even make any friends. I thought I was going to get bad marks in all the classes because this school would be teaching some alien language, and I thought the teachers would hate me because I’m new. When I look back on that now, I laugh to myself. These were all crazy assumptions and thoughts that are common for everyone to have. But the first day of school was not bad at all, it was a new experience and it was fun. My main teacher, Mr. Gibson, was very kind and understanding of me as a new student. He helped me get used to the surroundings. What I didn’t realize was that my classmates were children just like me. They were curious, they were nervous, they were shy, they were just like me. We were all just looking to fit in and to make friends. It didn’t take long for me to start talking to the other kids and tell them about myself. They were excited to meet someone new too. It also didn’t take long for me to feel comfortable. Soon enough, I became one of the students at William G. Davis Public School. I felt like I belonged.
There are some things we don’t quite understand when we’re 10 years old. We aren’t always able to empathize with other kids our age, mostly because we haven't experienced much of life yet or had many experiences outside of school or home.
If you’re going to a new school or starting the new school year in general, I have some advice for you. Try to understand what the other kids are feeling; chances are, they’re anxious, scared, and excited just like you. When you figure that out, you can start to be more kind, welcoming, and understanding towards the other kids, in turn, they’ll be more open towards you. You should realize that you’re in the same boat, and when you’re in the same boat, you can’t help but make some friends.
Another piece of advice: things will change. If you’re going to a new school you should understand that at that age, there aren’t many things you can control. What you can do is understand and accept that things change and try to adjust yourself to what is happening. I didn’t like that I was moving schools, but I realized that I can only change how I react to the situation. I can't change my family's need to move but I can make the most of this new experience and see what it has to offer me. You will get used to anything new, I can guarantee that.
Remember, you always have people around you to talk to about your feelings. You can talk to a new friend or an old friend, you can talk to your parents, siblings, grandparents, or you can talk to any trusted person you know.
In the end, we should all understand that life changes everyday and we must make the best out of every situation.I hope I have helped ease your sense of uncertainty for the upcoming school year. Maybe you learned something from my story and my experience of moving schools and decide to use the advice I gave. Try not to get caught up in the jumpy feelings you may be having and try to enjoy the good things that happen in the school year and your future