CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH – From excitement and anticipation to fear and anxiety.
The move from middle to high school could stir up many emotions for young adolescents.
Just ask students Nathan Chenin and Morgan Lewis of Cleveland Heights High School, who were incoming freshman not too long ago.
Chenin says, "At first I was really nervous because I hadn't been in the Heights' school system yet."
"Going to high school was really scary, but I knew like if I was myself, I would meet people who were like-minded," said Lewis.
From procedural to social and academic changes, family engagement specialist Lisa Hunt says it is natural for students to have numerous concerns related to the next major phase in their lives.
Hunt says, "You're talking about different buildings, different social constructs. I think a lot of times, there's a lot of 'who': who do I talk to about classes, who do I talk to about support, where's my locker."
Hunt says students and parents need to familiarize themselves with their district’s staff and support teams like guidance counselors and administrators.
As for the social aspect, Nathan suggests getting involved in extra-curricular activities.
"It was a little bit of a struggle at first, but once I started to join clubs and meet kids in my classes, eventually I started to make friends."
And experts say it’s not too early to think about preparing for the ACT or SAT’s. As for adjusting to tougher classes and longer study hours, Morgan who’s in the National Honor Society, has this advice.
"As long as I was focused, as long as I had people around me who were positive and could help me, I had teachers, I had counselors, I had a lot of people who helped me."
Social media and cyber-bulling can also be major learning distractions.
Morgan adds, "Just stay strong and be true to yourself."