When you don’t feel like you fit in at school, it can feel devastating, but there’s hope. Whether you simply need some tips on how to make friends, or you need to have a serious conversation about switching schools, you have options. Deciding that you need to switch schools is never an easy decision to make. But, for some students, finding a new school to attend is the only way to ensure they can be successful in middle school or high school. How do you know if change of school environment is the best solution? Consider these three reasons for switching schools and see if you might need to look at another option for school.
1. You don’t have many friends at school.
Friends are a huge part of school, and students need to find that one group of peers they can connect with. That doesn’t mean to need to be the most popular student in school, but it does mean you need to find where you belong. For some students, they might not feel like they fit into any of the groups of students at school. If that’s the case, it might be time to ask yourself if you need to switch schools and make new friends. School isn’t just a time and place to go to class and complete assignments; it’s also a time to socialize, get to know people, and make memories.
Developing these personal relationships is an important part of life, and so it’s important to recognize if you, or someone you know, aren’t making those connections. For some students, staying in the same school district limits the number of new people you can meet, especially if you come from a small town. For students in larger public school systems, it can be harder to find your ideal peer group in a sea of faces.
An obvious solution to this is to engage in after school activities, like band, sports or clubs. Perhaps you're interested in drama or a debate team, whatever your interest may be, make sure your school has it or see if you can start a new club. But if you can’t find the right activity or your school doesn’t offer what you want, switching schools could offer up new and interesting activities that can lead you to meet new friends. Many private schools, including Milken, offer a variety of programs that give students ample opportunities to get involved and meet other students with similar interests.
2. You’re hanging with the wrong crowd.
On the flip side of having no friends, some students have too many friends or friends who are bad influences. These peers can be negatively influencing you, pushing you to get involved in things you don’t like or that might get you in trouble. If that’s the case, you might need to switch schools in order to follow your own passion, better focus on grades or even reinvent yourself into a more positive version of who you really are. Being a part of a strong community that nurtures students and teaches them positive ways to live and learn can be a vital part of developing as a student and as a citizen of the world.
Believe it or not, the decisions you make in middle and high school can follow you into your adult life, and if you make the wrong choices, you might negatively affect your ability to get into a good college. Your middle and high school years are an ideal time to further develop a positive work ethic, so it’s important to set good values and study habits early. If you’re noticing that friends, social functions or activities are interfering with your schoolwork or pursue something you’re passionate about, like art or a sport, it might be time to switch schools and find an environment that will let you hone your talents and prepare for college and life.
3. Your school doesn’t provide a safe and supportive environment.
It’s important to find a school that provides an environment where you feel comfortable. For some students, their school is a place where they might not fit in, where they aren’t receiving the right support personally or academically, or worse, they may even be experiencing instances of bullying. If that’s the case for you, it’s important to determine if your school has the means to support you in the way that you need. From offering a diverse student body where you can foster positive friendships to extra help opportunities with teachers to help you excel academically, it’s important that you can accomplish what you need to do in a safe and supportive environment.
Students learn best in an environment that nurtures them as a person and as a student. Does your school do that for you? If not, it may be time to consider switching schools, and private school might be the right solution for you. Learn more about the application process and picking the right private school right here on The Student Success blog, brought to you by Milken Community Schools.