Transitioning from Secondary School to College or Sixth Form

Transitioning from secondary school to college or sixth form can be a daunting yet an exciting experience. For some, it can be an incredibly stressful change to move away from secondary school into a whole different environment. You’re no longer doing over nine subjects and you’re starting to be treated less like a child and more like an adult.

We know what it’s like transitioning between the two: we’ve all been there. But don’t worry because here is a list of tips to help you.

1)    Make friends!

It can be tricky to put yourself out there and introduce yourself to other people; especially if you are quite an introverted person. But just remember that everyone is most likely in the same boat that you’re in, so they will also be looking to make more friends.

If you have gone to a college or sixth form that none of your friends from your previous school has joined, then start chatting to people in your classes. Ask them questions about why they chose their subjects or what they like most about the subject. You could see if there are any clubs to join that you have interests in. That way, you will be able to meet people that share the same interests as you.

2)    Stay focused!

You’ve finished GCSE exams and you don’t have anymore important exams to do until the end of the year. Time to kick back and enjoy the next two years.

Only it’s not that easy.

You can still enjoy your time at college, but you must focus on your studies. College/sixth form work is entirely different to your GCSE’s. They’re a lot harder and more time consuming. If you have free periods use them wisely; try not to get into the mindset of thinking they are a time to be used for socialising. You can socialise a little bit but make sure that it does not affect your studying as that is what free periods are there for.

3)    Ask for help!

Everyone struggles every now and then; especially when going through something completely new. It’s stressful trying to find your way around new buildings and it can be even more daunting having to ask for help. But try not to worry, most people that have been there longer than you have will be willing to help. If you don’t feel comfortable asking another student, approach a teacher and ask them.

The same goes for if you’re struggling to reach your targets in your courses. The courses you take are going to be more difficult than what you experienced with your GCSE’s so ask your teachers for help: that’s what they are there for.

4)    Changing courses!

This won’t apply to everyone but once you start your new college/sixth form, you may decide that the subjects you chose were not what you thought they would be, or you just simply are not enjoying them. If this is the case, then visit your head of year or head of college and talk about switching courses. Most colleges/sixth forms will offer this option, but you do need to be quick about it as after the first term it will be difficult for you to catch up with the work.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Just remember that you won’t be the only one in the world to feel this way. There are going to be plenty of people that are in the same position as you. Two years may seem like a long time, but they are going to fly by. Keep your chin up, work hard and if you feel like you are struggling to adapt, talk about it with someone that you trust.