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11 tips for Year 7 newbies from older high school kids

11 tips for Year 7 newbies from older high school kids

My youngest is starting high school in February, so I thought we’d gather some tips for Year 7 kids from older friends. It actually physically hurts me to write such a ridiculous sentence. How can all three of my babies be in actual big school? That makes me very… old.

It also makes me very prepared, because this isn’t our first rodeo. My eldest is heading into year 10 and middle into year 9. Already they’ve had lots of tips for Year 7 (both helpful and WTF) for their little sister. In many ways, advice from older kids is the most reassuring for kids heading into Year 7.

As for the mums, it’s not that long ago that I was feeling totally overwhelmed by the whole high school thing myself. I wrote this during that time:

I’m not ready for high school (but my son seems to be)

These days, I’ve learned that you don’t have to be as ‘on’ as a high school mum. Primary school is all about staying on top of notes and checking homework and calendar dates. High school is more about checking in with your kid. The rest is really up to them.

Mind you, I suspect that we are rather slack in this department, so you do what you’ve gotta do. My kids do well at school, but they’re not those ‘outstanding’ kids who are into everything and top all their classes. Perhaps a little more attention might lift my kids up to be like that, but we’ll never know. It’s all about learning responsibility and self-motivation at our place.

So, sit back a little and enjoy the summer – your baby will be fiiiiiine. And if you’re still worried, hopefully these tips for Year 7 will soon see you right. This is what older kids want Year 7 kids to know about the emotional side of school…

Read this too: 21 things teachers want you to know about starting high school

11 tips for Year 7 kids from older high schoolers

Tips for year 7 from older high school students

1. Take a step back

“The kids who take a moment to check out the high school playground and see who’s who are the ones who adjust the fastest. Some of these kids come in and from day one they are loud and aggressive. That’s going to turn off their peers and really, really annoy older students. So my advice is to just take it all in for a while and get comfortable before you try to make yourself known.” – Emma, Year 10

2. Make a good first impression

“I reckon they aren’t supposed to, but most teachers will get your number from day one. So if you’re rude or muck up in the first couple of weeks, you’ll never live that down. Believe me, I know!! Just treat the teachers and the classroom with respect and you’ll get so much more out of being in class.” – Adam, Year 11

If you’re rude or muck up in the first couple of weeks, you’ll probably never live that down.

3. Be yourself

“When you’re in Year 7 and 8, and maybe even Year 9, you think you have to be like all the other kids to fit in. But it’s not true at all. Kids respect other kids who are just being themselves, even if they are a little bit different. Let’s face it, you can’t ever really hide your crazy ways anyways, so it always backfires on you. Just be yourself.” – Leon, Year 10

4. Show respect

“Older years at school can make your life miserable in the playground if we don’t like you. We don’t like younger kids who have no respect for the fact that we’re older and know a bit more about life. If you don’t want to draw attention on yourself, it’s best to step off the path and not expect an older kid to.” – Damo, Year 9

5. Have lots of friends

“I made the mistake of having only one or two best friends in Year 7, and it was really lonely when we had fights. I definitely think it’s better to be friendly and make friends with as many girls as possible. Do this early, before all the cliques form.” – Anna, Year 10


A simple way to think about friendship


6. Get involved

“There is a bunch of stuff happening in every school that Year 7 students can be involved in. If you’re not sure, ask a teacher or your peer leader!  You’ll get so much more out of school if you put a lot into it. Find a club or activity about something you love and get in there!!! You don’t have to wait until you’re older!!!” – Sophie, Year 12

7. Be aware of your actions

“Everyone says they’re not the bully, but heaps of kids are. It doesn’t take much to think through what you’re about to say or do before you do it. Ask yourself if it’s mean and then just don’t let it out of your mouth if it is. All the credit from your peers in the world isn’t worth belittling someone else. Believe me, they might act like they think you’re a legend, but inside they just think you’re mean.” – Sonny, Year 9

Tips for year 7 from older high school students

8. Don’t get in on the drama

“Kids in Year 7 love to make a big deal out of the stupidest things. Don’t be that kid. Just don’t get in on the drama. Just walk away. Or even say, ‘I don’t think that’s such a big deal’ to diffuse the situation. Getting involved is just not worth the anxiety.” – Ciara, Year 9

9. See friends outside of school

“Friendships are strengthened away from all the other kids. Doing fun things together will bond your group. You might think you see them after school on Snap or Insta, but it’s not the same. Get together as a group. Even if it’s just going up to the shops after school to get a snack together. Or go see a movie.” – Annabelle, Year 11

Nothing ever happens that matters in the long run.

10. Laugh things off

“Lots of things will happen at school that make you worry or feel small, but you have to learn to laugh them off. Nothing ever happens that matters in the long run. Just learn to roll with the punches and you’ll get along just fine.” – Sean, Year 10

11. Talk to someone

“But I just want to add that you might not be able to laugh everything off, so go and talk to a teacher or the school counsellor if things are getting you down. No point letting things get on top of you. They are there to help you through school, so just ask for the help if you need it. It’s not that scary because they are trained professionals who just want to see you do well.” – Sean, Year 10

Got any more good tips for Year 7 kids?

All images by Hongqi Zhang / from Deposit Photos


Saturday 25th of January 2020

Thankyou for this. So helpful and totally agree that hearing directly from older kids is exactly what is useful.

Bronwyn Mandile

Tuesday 28th of January 2020

The kids offer such great advice at a relatable level. Good luck to all the new starters!

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