St. Augustine Prep Blog

7 Tips for a Smooth Transition to a New School

Posted September 8th, 2022

The transition to a new school is one that makes everyone a little leery. Parents and teens alike recognize the significance of these four years (five if you’re lucky enough to be an 8th-grade Hermit!). Whether it’s taking on more challenging academics, widening social circles, or preparing for college, this transformational time has a direct impact on future success. Preparing to make the most of attending a new school for 8th or 9th grade is not only wise, but it is also vital. If you are a student managing your transition to the Prep or you are a rising 8th or 9th grader considering applying to the school, here are a few simple ways to get ready for a highly successful 8th-grade or freshman year and beyond. Start planning for a smooth transition now!

Choose Well
The most important way to prepare for a smooth transition to a new school is to choose a learning environment that meets a student’s needs and goals. Transitioning may seem overwhelming, but the rewards often make it worthwhile. You’ve done your research, made your decision, and now you just need to trust your instincts!

Course Selection
Students don’t have to wait for college to choose their own classes. Course loads can be tailored to unique goals by choosing advanced classes, and exploring areas of interest through electives.  Students are encouraged to seek the advice of their new teachers or especially their Unitas advisor.  As Director of Athletics, Mr. Rizzo always mentions to students at orientation, “There are people here that love you and they don’t even know you yet!”

Try Something New
Think about unexplored interests and passions and look for extracurricular activities in those areas. This will also help build new friendships based on shared interests.  Faculty, staff, upperclassmen and Hermits Alumni will testify to the importance of getting involved, even if it is in a club or a sport a student isn’t familiar with or didn’t originally intend to participate in.  Now is the time to broaden your horizons!

Plan for Study
8th-Grade and especially High School at the Prep will likely require more study time than a student is accustomed to traditionally. Whether studying for a quiz or preparing for the SAT, set a routine and a location that is free from distractions and conducive to success.  There is also the simple act of asking for advice from those around you.  St. Augustine Prep is a community made up of life-long learners who are well-versed in a variety of approaches to studying and note-taking.  There is a well-known mantra at the Prep, “There are two types of students at St. Augustine, those who fail and those who ask for help.” – be the latter!

Seek Mentors
The value of positive mentorship in high school cannot be overstated. The Unitas program introduced during a student’s freshman year serves as their first Prep mentor.  However, as time goes on, a Hermit has the balance of the Prep community available to him, additional mentors could be a teacher, a coach, or an upperclassman Hermit Brother.

Start Prioritizing
Learn how to manage time and skills now to avoid setting yourself up for failure and stress. No one can do it all, so start by identifying the things that are most important to you.

Evaluate Relationships
How do you feel about the friendships developed in middle school? There is always room to build more positive relationships and a supportive community of peers.

Discover More About the St. Augustine Experience
Are you ready to learn more about how St. Augustine Prep students are prepared to thrive in higher education? Schedule a visit to St. Augustine Prep to learn about the difference we make in educating young men, and an overview of the St. Augustine experience!