Lilydale Youth Hub

You’ve got this! A wellbeing guide for Year 7s starting high school

It’s easy to get overloaded in your first few weeks of Year 7. Our Support Team has some simple tips to help you handle the stressful mental health stuff, so you can enjoy the best bits of your first year.

This article in three points:

  • With so much to get used to at high school, things can be a bit overwhelming for Year 7ers in their first few weeks.
  • It’s important to listen to your body. And know who to reach out to if you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or stressed.
  • There are some easy things you can do to help yourself get used to your new school environment.

Starting high school is one of the coolest times in your life. There’s lots of change – you’re becoming more independent and getting to learn and experience tons of new things.

This article is going to discuss a couple of mental health and wellbeing things to look out for as you start your first year of high school. We’ll provide tips on how to deal with them, so you can enjoy all the best bits and handle the stressful parts.

First, let’s cover some of the mental health and wellbeing issues you might experience:


Definition: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

As a new high school student, it is natural to feel a bit unsure about your new surroundings and of needing to adjust to new situation.

Some of the warning signs that you are feeling anxious:

  • Feeling like your heart is racing
  • Hands feel extra fidgety or shaky
  • Legs or tummy feeling weak
  • Feel like you need to get out of a room or place
  • An intense feeling of wanting to be at home

Sensory overload

Definition: Sensory overload is when your five senses — sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste — take in more information than your brain can process making you feel unsafe or even panicky.

Lots of new people to meet + lots of things to do + plenty of noise and visuals + heaps of information to process = good chance of feeling a bit overloaded in the first couple of weeks.

Some signs you might be getting overloaded:

  • Mind running/ too many thoughts
  • Headaches
  • Starting to feel low on energy
  • Feeling panicked

It’s important to listen to your body. Being aware that something doesn’t feel right can help you to deal with anxiety or sensory overload before it becomes too big a problem.

Practical tips from the Lilydale Youth Hub Support Team

Our support team helps young people from around the Yarra Ranges with all kinds of different mental health, social, and wellbeing issues.

Case manager hi-fives young person

We spoke to Tania, one of our Case Managers, and Sam, one of our Peer Support Workers, to get their best tips on how Year 7ers starting high school can manage anxiety and sensory overload.

They say it is all about being prepared before the school year starts and getting familiar with your school and your routine. The less rushed and more prepared you are, the better you will handle your first day and get off to a great start.


Before school goes back

Practice waking up on time
We know you’ve been enjoying a long summer break with plenty of sleep-ins, but if you start getting up at the right time a week before, then you won’t need to get used to it when the term starts.

Practice the trip to school
No matter how you get to school, whether you get driven, take the bus, ride a bike etc. take the journey to school and get familiar with the route you take. Things to notice include how long it takes, and some of the main things you pass on your way there.

Check out the school grounds
No doubt you will have already seen your high school grounds on transition days. Going for a walk around the grounds before your first day can help you to get more familiar with the layout.

Make sure you are respectful of the school property!

Make a checklist for your first day
What will you need? Where will you need to be?


Once school goes back

Know where all the helpful stuff is

Take time to learn where all the supportive people and places are – the wellbeing department, a chaplain, your year level coordinators – they’re all people who can help you if you get stuck, or if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Be brave and ask for help if you need it.

Check out some of the extra activities your school offers
Whether you’re into sports, art, drama, music, or getting outdoors, most schools have extra stuff for you to check out. They’re a great way of getting to hang out with people while doing things you love – or maybe even trying something new.

Meeting so many new people at once

Give yourself time and permission to meet new friends. Be patient.

Relax and embrace change.


Good luck for your first year at high school. It’s going to be amazing!

If something doesn’t feel right and you need support, you or your parent can make a request for help on our Get Support page.




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