Back to school is an exciting and overwhelming time no matter the year, but this time around, emotions are heightened since we haven't been back to IRL school in so long. Take a minute, recognize any feelings that you may have and then take a deep breath, because those feelings are normal, and you definitely aren't the only person feeling anxious about the new school year. Don't worry, though, because we're here to help Read on for all the tips you need to help combat back-to-school anxiety and to make this transition as easy as possible.
1. Write down how you're feeling.
Get out of your head. Often times, when you just go over your worries over and over again in your mind, they get bigger and scarier with every minute. So, take a pen to paper and write down all your fears and anxieties. It doesn't have to be eloquent in anyway—basic word vomit will do. Once everything is written down, you can see your fears more concretely and hopefully that will make you feel more prepared to tackle them head on.
It's never too early to start preparing for the first day of school. Pick out an outfit, pack up your bag, drive the route you're going to take. Do whatever you can to make sure you've established a routine and are fully prepared for your first day. That way, if you have any anxieties around the more logistical aspects of your first day (figuring out what you're going to eat for lunch, deciding how to do your hair), you can handle them and then focus more on the big picture stuff.
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3. Talk to someone.
There is no reason to go through this alone. Chances are, your friends are feeling the same way. Talk to them, your parents, or a professional about your fears. Just like writing, talking things out will help put them into perspective and will make you feel more able to handle your anxieties.
4. Reach out to your teachers.
Nervous about in-person class again? If you already know who your teachers will be, take the opportunity to reach out to them and start creating a rapport. That way, when you step into the classroom on your first day, you will hopefully feel more comfortable because you already have a relationship with your teacher, even if it just consisted of a few emails. Hopefully, that will make you feel more comfortable.
5. Remind yourself of the good things.
You've been here before! You've gone to school a million times. Just because you had some months off doesn't mean you can't conquer school just like you used to. Remind yourself of the good things you loved about school and the things you will be returning to, like sports teams, after school activities, and lunchtime chats. Those will all be there when you return.
6. Remember, you aren't alone.
It's easy to feel like you're facing the world (or, in this case, school) solo, but you aren't. All of your classmates are in the same position as you are. They also haven't been in school for a year and a half and, most likely, they have the same fears. Hopefully, that will make you feel a little better and less alone.