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To Sam

Secondary School!

Hi Sam! I need some help. Today I am feeling worried about moving up to S1. I am going into the first year of secondary school in a couple of weeks and I am very anxious. The thing I am worried about is what if I get bullied. I am going to be one of the youngest in my year and am scared if I'm going to get picked on. I've met my class and only one of the people from my old school is in it. Please respond asap (:

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From a very stressed little girl

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Around this time of year, a lot of people will be feeling anxious and worried about moving to a new school or to a new class. For some this is because they'll miss their old school and their friends. For others it could be that they're unsure about being in a bigger school with many more students and teachers than they are used to. Whatever the reason, there are ways to help you cope with that anxiety.

Sometimes people visit their new school beforehand. Often this can put them at ease and help them feel okay about where they're going and who they'll be with. If you're able to do this, it'll help you feel more confident when term starts. We've got information about school problems and some ways to cope that you might find helpful.

Sometimes when doing something new, self-confidence can really help. When we're anxious, we often feel less confident. But there are lots of things you can do to help build your confidence and self-esteem before you start your new school.

One way of acting as if you're confident is to keep your head up, speak clearly and make eye contact with people. Another thing you can try is to focus on something positive about yourself. This could be anything - like your eye colour, your smile, your speaking voice, a talent or skill you have.

These things take practice but are something you can keep working on. You could try doing these confidence-building activities with people you know at home or with you friends. You can then see how you feel and the effect it has both on you and on the people around you.

You can find out how other people are feeling about moving schools and how they're coping by checking out the Childline message boards.

If you feel you'd like more support, remember you can always contact Childline and speak to a counsellor.

I hope these ideas help, thanks for your letter.

Sam.

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