Back to School: 10 Tips to Help you Settle into the New School Year

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08 Sep 2016

Back to School: 10 Tips to Help you Settle into the New School Year

Going back to school after some time off can be a nerve-wracking experience; especially after a break as long as the summer holidays! Your routine has adjusted tremendously and you might not have been spending as much time with school peers as you do during term time. We understand that many contributing factors can lead to back-to-school jitters, so we have put together some tips to help you control and soothe any feelings of anxiety that may arise. Here are 5 reasons you may be feeling anxious about the beginning of term, and 10 tips to help you on your way!

5 reasons you may feel anxious about the academic year ahead

    1. You’re unsure of your new teacher.
    2. You’re worried none of your friends will be in your new class.
    3. You don’t know who you will sit with at lunch.
    4. You’re worried about keeping up with this year’s school work.
    5. You might not have everything you need.

10 tips to help

  • If someone has made negative comments about one of your new teachers, it is very likely that this peer is overreacting or trying to scare you, or that they misbehaved for this teacher and caused unnecessary conflict. If you attend your lesson with a positive attitude and don’t disrupt the class, they will have no reason to act in a strict manner towards you, like they may have done with other students.
  • If you feel comfortable, talk to a teacher you trust about your back-to-school nerves. Inform them in confidence how you are feeling. This way, they can be more aware of how their attitudes and teaching style may affect you.
  • Your class/classes may be less familiar than the year before, but this is an amazing opportunity to make more friends and expand your social circle! You can meet up with your usual friends during break times but try and get to know new people during lessons. The more friends the merrier – right?
  • If you feel your are struggling to cope with your anxieties and feel comfortable enough to do so, maybe inform your teachers that you are feeling anxious about starting a class with new people. It is good to make people aware of your situation so they have the opportunity to offer advice and look out for your best interests.
  • Try to remember that this is everyone else’s first day back too, not just yours, and so most students will be feeling slightly unsettled whether they admit to it or not. Why don’t you chat to someone in your lesson before lunch-time and if you get along with them, ask if they’d like to get lunch with you? They might be feeling anxious themselves and appreciate the invitation, or they might introduce you to some of their friends. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!
  • Also, you could try getting in contact with some of your school friends from last year and arrange to meet up before term starts. If you haven’t seen much of your school friends over the holidays the first day back at school might seem daunting. Re-familiarising yourself with your peers is likely to make you feel relaxed, and maybe even a little excited!
  • It’s very unlikely that your school work will rapidly increase in difficulty without an introduction or gradual build up in work load from your teachers. If you haven’t noticed an unbearable struggle in previous years then there is no reason why you should start to panic about this particular year! Why don’t you try looking back over some of your work from last year – it could reassure you that you are capable of keeping up and completing tasks.
  • Also, setting up a homework schedule can really help you to feel in control and on top of the upcoming academic changes. Whether you write it down, or just think it in your head; allocating a specific after-school time slot to homework assignments, and making sure you sit down and complete them will stop you from feeling swamped and under pressure. Remember that not understanding is not failing or something your teacher will be angry about – if you try and complete something but have some questions about any uncertainties within the task, your teacher will appreciate you taking the time to ask questions and should be more than willing to help you.
  • The best way to overcome this worry is to write a checklist of everything you need a week or so before you are due to go back to school. This way you can prepare properly without the stress of having to do things last minute. Organisation is key!
  • Again, reaching out to school friends is a good way to put your fears to rest. If you discuss between you what you will need for your return, if there is something you have forgotten, you can tell your parents/guardian what you need in advance of the start date!

Don’t sweat – you’ve got this!

Written by ELoise Lavell

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