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New Kid Syndrome This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     I loved my school last year. I was top of my class, student body president, in the school musical, into drama and art, on the swim team, and principal chair for band. I knew all my teachers, and I had some really good friends. I was unstoppable, on top of the world, no one could touch me - until I changed schools.

Now I am a freshman (a.k.a. dead man walking). I remember my first day. I was so nervous, but knew everything would be okay ... wrong! It turned out that I was very, very wrong. By the end of the day my feelings had changed quite a bit from the summer. I thought I was going to be calm, cool, and collected by the end of that first day, but instead I felt confused, bewildered, and flustered, and like I was the only one going through this. I was diagnosed with New Kid Syndrome (NKS). I had the common symptoms of NKS: confusion in class, no connection with teachers, lack of friendly faces in the hallway, and zero people to talk to.

For those who suffer from NKS, believe they are suffering, or have in the past, there’s a way out. You too can see those friendly faces in the hallways, and even those little tepee marks on report cards - if you read on.

Know you are never the only one who is new; there are other new kids around, in addition to people who were once new and are understanding and willing to help. Make sure you tell people you are new. Try to get other kids to show you shortcuts only they know. This way you can make your routes to classes much shorter and get around the school better. Also remember that although upperclassmen can be scary, you can ask a sophomore or even a senior for help. They don’t bite ... most of the time.

In the lunchroom try to look for people you know from your classes and people you might like to get to know. Ask nicely if you can sit with them; most likely they’ll smile and say yes. If not, it’s their loss. Simply say, “That’s okay, I see my other friends over there,” and don’t be embarrassed - who cares what they think?

If you are trying to meet new people, getting involved with clubs and sports is a great way to find others with your interests. Making new friends is important, but don’t forget about your grades and your relationship with your teachers.

When starting a new school, there will also be brand-new teachers, which can be good, or bad. Be sure to be respectful and pay attention in class. If you get bad grades at first, ask the teacher for help before a test and do all your homework. Then at least the teacher knows you are trying your hardest. Find out whether your school offers tutoring. Always try to go for extra help right away when you do not understand something, and don’t wait until right before the final. If you can’t go to the teacher, ask a guidance counselor, another teacher, or even a student.

Just remember that everything will be fine. Being the new kid isn’t as scary as it is on TV. Remember, above all, to be yourself.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

ananisa said...
Sept. 2, 2013 at 11:21 pm:
It happened to me too in the early months i entered my new college. when i read this article, the days pictured in my mind
 
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aurum_angel said...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 9:34 am:

Bravo! I really like this. Such a true story...

To tell you the truth I have been where I am for about 4.5 years and I still have NKS. It really stinks.

 
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mmb77 said...
Oct. 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm:
I like this. I agree with the people who said middle school and elementary school are very different. I've never started a new school, but I did have a hard transition between elementary and middle school.
 
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SidPusain said...
Oct. 1, 2011 at 8:04 am:
Ok guys who posted comments earlier, the writer didnt generalize the idea of NKS instead  he's telling his experience and is trying to help. I think you should acknowledge that!
 
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CupcakeSaffy said...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm:
The scary thing about NKS is that hardly anyone gets it in elementary. I was new twice in elementary and it seemed to make me more popular than ever - what a breeze! But the four times I've been new in junior high four times and THAT was very different. For some reason, it suddenly switches and WHAM BAM CRASH, NKS kicks in, being new is not cool anymore, and whoop! there goes all that first day confidence you had, especially if you are new (like I have always been) on any day othe... (more »)
 
jomi973 replied...
Sept. 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm :
So true! I was the new kid four times in elementary school and I made friends pretty quick. When I was new in high school, it seemed like there was some rule saying that new kids must be avoided. It was so uncool to be new.
 
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HighQuality said...
Feb. 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm:
that was great im not a new kid though i was about 5 years ago but the whole thing is really cool
 
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Savvy_ said...
Jun. 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm:

People exaggerated the way Freshmen are treated. My Freshman year was a breeze, and I never was pointed out for being a Freshman.

I liked this story though :D

 
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mcpanicfanic said...
Apr. 20, 2010 at 2:55 am:
I can relate. I have gone to private schol my entire life with the same kids and will go to college soon. This piece is way good.
 
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gallagher This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 10, 2009 at 8:50 pm:
I feel like I have NKS everywhere I go. I have all those symptoms, even in familiar places.
 
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