Back to School!

Making the switch from middle to high school is a BIG DEAL! If your high school hosts a GEARUP-sponsored rookie camp, be sure to attend. Rookie camp will help you make a smooth transition to high school. While preparing for your big day, keep these seven things top of mind so you can have a stress-free first week. 

Locate your classes 

Save yourself a little time, stress and trouble by mapping out your class locations before the first day of school. This will help you feel better prepared for your big day with one less thing to worry about. 

Meet your teachers, counselors and Oklahoma GEAR UP school specialists 

If your school hosts teacher-student introductions or an open house” before the first day of school, this is a great time to stop by and get familiar with the teachers and your guidance counselor, too. They could be a reliable source of support through your high school years and may even offer to write a personal recommendation letter for your future endeavors. Don’t forget to say hi to your GEAR UP Oklahoma school specialist. This is the perfect time to introduce yourself.

Make new friends

Meeting new people and making new friends can be intimidating, but fear not, its easier than it looks. Take your time and start slowly. Make the first move by getting involved in activities and clubs youre interested in. Strike up conversation by mentioning a similar interest you share with a peer. Sure, being the newbie in the group may feel weird at first but youre likely not the only one. Keep an open mind and remain positive.

Manage your time

Having a schedule, to-do list or daily planner can help you stay organized and on top of your assignments throughout the school year so you never fall behind. Also, be sure to schedule yourself plenty of rest each night so youre ready for the day ahead.

Sign up for Oklahoma’s Promise 

If you didnt sign up for Oklahomas Promise in eighth grade, youll want to complete this as soon as you can. Oklahomas Promise allows 8th, 9th and 10th grade students from families with an income of $55,000 or less to earn college tuition or a scholarship.

Sign up for Oklahoma GEAR UP’s SMS reminders and alerts 

Sign up to receive text messages from Oklahoma GEAR UP to keep you up to date this school year. As things continue to evolve, GEAR UP will send out due dates, reminders, updates and more to keep you and your family in the loop. 

Start thinking about colleges you want to attend

You’ve signed up for Oklahoma’s Promise and now it’s time to think about your future. It may seem a bit early, but developing a four-year plan will make things much smoother for you in the long run. If you already have a college or university in mind, awesome! If you’re just getting started on your college research, don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of time to narrow down your list of favorites. 

High school is big, new and scary, but it isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s just the beginning! You’ve got this and we’re right behind you with the resources you need every step of the way. 

GEAR UP is a federally funded program administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education that partners with 10 school districts and five regional colleges throughout the state to prepare nearly 12,000 middle and high school students for college success. Learn more by visiting