Do you feel it? That unique, electric blend of optimism, nervousness, and possibility that comes with knowing your immediate future is about to be skyrocketed or demolished by the perceptions of a few hundred teenagers and a handful of burned out teachers. That’s right — the summer is coming to an end, and the real New Year is just about to start: the new school year.
So put down the Magic 8 Ball and start taking your fate into your own hands. This can be your year — the year that trigonometry finally starts to make sense, everyone finally notices how hot you are, and your parents push your curfew back to midnight. But if you’re serious about turning things around, you’re going to need some advice from the oracle: young adult fiction.
The first 48 hours are critical. Starting a new school is a blank slate for your identity. But there’s always going to be a gauntlet of subpar friend leeches waiting to suck you into a social black hole. It’s important to walk through the doors with an idea of who you want to be so that you can pick the right friends, clubs, and, of course, a romantic interest to match. When you’re standing alone in the cafeteria, it’s tempting to sit down with the first group that will take you, but settling can stunt your growth. Don’t be afraid to snub a few over-eager friends before settling on the right match for your new life. — The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman