The start of a new school year brings with it a mixed bag of emotions. There is excitement to see your friends, worries about not knowing your teachers or what the new school year will bring and often stresses of achieving the academic goals we set for ourselves. I have experienced all of these, and more throughout my academic career. From starting secondary school right through to university, I have lots of experience of new school years and I would like to share with you some of the things I have learnt, and hopefully help you feel better prepared and less anxious about what is to come.
One way in which we can reduce the anxieties of the new school year is by preparing ourselves. The last thing we want is to forget something important or be late on our first day! Make a list of things you’ll need and prepare it all the night before. Feeling prepared will give you a confidence boost.
Use your support networks
One of the scariest things about the new school year is the unknown. Whether you’re starting a new school with new people or meeting new teachers, there is always the question of ‘what if?’ And, to add to that, we are still living through a global pandemic! My biggest piece of advice is to use your support networks. If you’re feeling anxious about the new school year, chances are your friends are too. Talk to your friends, set a time to go shopping for school supplies together before the start of term, or arrange to meet them before school or during lunch / break times once school has started. Sharing your concerns can help you to work through them and you and your friends can support each other to have the best school year yet.
Be kind to yourself
The most important thing is to be kind to yourself – ALWAYS. It’s completely normal to feel anxious about new things so don’t beat yourself up about it. The last few days of the school holidays and first few days of school is a good time to set up your new daily routines and build self-care into this. Not only will this help you to look after you during the school year but having a solid routine can help reduce anxieties about the unknown. Run a hot bath, read a book, watch your favourite movie or go for a walk in the fresh air. Do something you love and enjoy it and enjoy the new school year!
Thank you to our young ambassador Emily, for this useful and heartfelt blog about going back to school.
If you have a lot on your mind going back to school, we offer a Wellbeing check-in service for 11-25 year olds where you can talk to a trusted adult of regularly through online calls. Find out more about this support service on our website.