First day

7 Clever steps to make your first day at school, university or work a success

Your First Day

It may be your first day at a new school; starting a new job; working with a new team or joining a new club, the nervousness and worries you will have will be the same. These changes will happen throughout your life so it is important that you find out how to use these situations to your advantage rather than fearing them.

After working in the UK, Middle East and Far East I have had my share of change. Most of them have been BIG changes in lifestyle; language; culture; jobs and expectations – all at once. During this time I have learnt not just to cope with change but to look forward to the challenges and experiences they bring.

I have written out the 7 most important steps I used to enjoy new challenges so that you can do the same.

1. Be prepared

First impressions are very important so make sure that you have all correct the information you need before you start. Remember or write down important names, locations and other information.

Do not just rely on your phone for storing information, your battery may fail just when you need it or you may have to put it away somewhere where you cannot use it.

Prepare all you need the day before so that you are ready and there will be no last-minute panic attacks.

Get up early. Arriving late on your first day is never good. It looks bad on you and also stresses you out for the rest of the day.

Make sure that you have you have the correct room numbers and locations. There is nothing worse that rushing around at the start of your first day because you cannot find the right room or office.

2. Be flexible

You cannot prepare for everything in life, and the most important thing involved in coping with change is being flexible in your approach and the way you think. I have seen many skilled and experienced professionals fail at their jobs simply because they cannot accept that there may be more than one way to complete a task, or that even the best laid plans can change.

You may think that everything that you do is the correct way to do things and anything being done differently is…just wrong. You may be correct, but there are often many other ways to do things that work perfectly well.

Be prepared to accept that some things will be different and people may not do things how you expected or behave how you expect them to. It may not mean that they are wrong and you are right. It may just mean that they have a different approach. Be open to new ideas and ways of doing things, perhaps you can learn something from them.

3. Do not fear change – look forward to it.

Changes in schools, classes, universities, jobs etc all bring the same challenges. You may worry about how you will fit in; what the other people are like; how difficult it will be; will you look silly; be bullied etc. All these fears are negative and eat away at you in the day and especially at night.

It is important to understand that your mind is programmed to look out for anything that threatens you in life. It is programmed that way to identify when you may be under threat from a sabre-toothed tiger or other danger – it is there to keep you alive!

Once you realize that your brain may be overreacting to the possible dangers of going into a new school or area and that there are probably no sabre-toothed tigers out there any more, you can start to think a bit more rationally about the situation.

There will always be someone who you can go to for help. If you are new to a place people will always understand that you may make mistakes. Don’t forget they started there too.

There will always be someone looking for a friend. However harsh or unfriendly people may appear at first, remember that everyone likes to be liked, and everyone likes to have friends – it is in our nature.

4. Be positive – Plan for fun

As we said above, you mind is programmed to protect you by imagining the dangers of a situation. You need to stop this by imagining the new friends you will make and the new experiences you will have. Plan to have fun and enjoy your experience by looking forward to the new people you are going to meet and the new and exciting experiences you will have. This will put you in a more open and friendly frame of mind which will help you cope positively with anything that comes along – it’s going to be fun!

5. Don’t try too hard or expect too much

Having said that everyone likes to have friends, you should also remember that some people may not deserve them. When you first start in a new place I have found that the best thing to do is to take a little time to observe the people around me. It is always good to get involved with the group but do not try too hard to make friends with everyone all at once.

Remember that not everyone is going to agree with you, and you probably wont please everyone, so look out for those people who may be in a similar situation to you or you have something in common with; a common football team; live in a similar area; common interests. There will be someone that you can identify with and if they are already used to the place then they may help you. You can look out for the person who appears to know more about the place or has some prior experience so that you can watch what they do and follow them until you get used to the set-up.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask

Speak-up. If you are starting a new class or job, you will not be expected to know what you are supposed to be doing or where you are going for the first few days or weeks so, don’t be shy if you are not sure…ask!

Clever people are not afraid to find-out information for themselves and when you do, you may find a number of others following you because they did not know what they were doing but were too afraid to ask.

7. Remember that you are not alone

There will always be others that are in the same situation as you or have been in the past. Everyone will get nervous when they start something new and having been there myself many times I know that even teachers or managers get nervous when starting a new class or project with new people. Understanding that you are not the only one that may be nervous will help you to reduce your concerns. Perhaps you can even help someone else who may not be coping as well as you are!

See our article below on Quick learning to help you develop your brainpower and be super Clever.

Quick learning – How to make learning easier and grow your brain 031

Main image Pixabay Skeeze

Posted in Clever Learner, Clever Life, Cleverness at work.