Hello, new students! Starting a new school is tough as it is, but starting a new school during coVid-19 is something else. However, I can assure you that KCD is a very heartwarming family and you’ll soon realise that you have wasted your time worrying about fitting in as your transition is going to be so easy! Remember that everyone has changed school to come to KCD because KCD is a new school, so we have all been in the same boat.
Here are some tips and reassurances my awkward, 11-year-old self would have loved to hear in my first few weeks at KCD.
There are friendly people everywhere
It is very hard to believe at first, but you are going to find your group. You are going to find your friends and your people. Obviously, you might not ‘click’ with everyone right away, and there will be people that like you less than others - but that’s fine! That doesn’t mean that you won't connect with anyone at all. KCD is not a hierarchical orientated school; you won’t find it to be like those (typically cheesy) highschool movies where if the ‘mean girls’ don’t like you, now one will. On the contrary! You will see that KCD students actually stand up against these preposterous ideologies and are always open to starting new friendships.
Teachers can be your friends as well!
I know it might sound weird, but I remember that the reason I fit in so well when I first joined Kent, was that all my teachers helped me so much. Of course, you should respect your teachers, and whilst there are things you might talk about with your friends that you wouldn’t talk about with a teacher, doesn’t mean that you can’t be friendly with them! If you have any worries when you first join, talk with your tutor! That’s what they’re here for. Or talk to the teacher that you feel comfortable talking to.
If you seriously don’t know anyone yet, then I would recommend for you to talk to Mrs Barker (Business) or anyone in the inclusion team (especially Ms Channer). It doesn’t matter if they teach you or not; they are the teachers I always go to, and I am 100% sure that they will help you sort your worries (each student has their own go-to teachers, so ask some people in your year!). If you don’t know how to start the conversation, just start with: ‘The school newspaper recommended going to you when…’ and you're set to go.
Don’t be limited to your year group
There are hundreds of students in school and only a handful in your year group, you might find that you make better friends with people older or younger than you. It is not awkward at all, and you’ll see some friendship groups including people from all over the school.
Hopefully, the CoVid restrictions will ease soon and you will actually have a chance to mingle with the other year groups.
Find one person you trust
When you first join KCD, find yourself a buddy. A person who you come up to and say ‘Hey can I stick with you?’. This will make your life so much easier. It could be a new student or an old one. If you (socially distantly) stick together, you will automatically have a lab partner and lunch buddy- plus a personal tour guide around the school (if they were at Kent College previously).
Make use of House events
Houses are there to bring people together, so make use of them! When you are in a team with other students; start some small talk! Compliment someone’s teamwork skills, creativity, or leadership. I have made so many friendships from house events, and these are the friendships that never die!
Other than house events, ECAs are another wonderful way of making friends. In a lot of them, you are going to be in teams and this is when you can talk to other people. This may be out of your comfort zone- but it's also a great way to make friends with people who you typically wouldn't hang out with.
Why not join KCDSpeaks for example! We promise that you’d make wonderful friends and have so much fun - we always make sure of that!
Nothing is as awkward as you perceive
I know it’s hard to believe, but trust me when I say that nothing is as awkward as you think it is. You are the only person who is going to remember those moments you think back to and cringe, trust me.
Stop overthinking everything, and just go for it! Introduce yourself, stir up some small talk, tell your classmates about what you did on the weekend. I sometimes start singing when walking down the hallways, and trust me when I say that 10 times out of 10, people joined in singing with me. Literally just go up to people and ask them if they want to be friends with you. There’s nothing awkward about any of it unless you perceive it to be.
Here at KCD, everyone is keen to make friends and engage in some conversation; so you have absolutely nothing to be worried about. Sooner or later, you will find yourself a group of friends who you won’t be able to imagine your life without in a couple of months.
We are with you!
If none of these tips works instantly for you or if you need any more advice, just come and talk to me. I am Rebecca in Year 12, and I’ll help you meet the people you will feel comfortable with! If you need anyone to talk to either chat to us on our Instagram @kcdspeaks, @rebecca.lara.fayad @hannah.vm (Hannah, our Editor-in-Chief) and if you don’t have Instagram send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, or just talk to us in person!
Welcome to the Family!
Love, Rebecca Fayad Y12