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Start of School Anxiety

School has become a controversial subject filled with anxiety and eggshells for students and parents alike.

On the one hand, going to school has never been more terrifying. After two years of a pandemic, several more years of active shooter drills, and the constant pressure of social media, it’s a wonder that students can go to school sometimes.

However, school is also a haven for millions of students across the country. It’s where they can make friends, learn new things, have a nutritious lunch, and discover who they are as a person.

So, how do we make sure students and parents feel safe this school year?

For Students

Have a Plan

Your schedule is more than just time for classes. It’s also a foundation for your success plan. Creating a weekly or daily plan will help you know what needs to be done and focus on completing it consistently.

Planning doesn’t stop at your calendar, either. Start making a to-do list of the day’s tasks, whether homework, practice, or helping a parent with dinner. Prioritize these tasks; however, you want to ensure the most critical studies are done efficiently towards the start of the day, so you have time to relax at the end of the day.

Make the Most of Your Time

Do not let your time go to waste. If you spend hours-on-end scrolling through TikTok or IG or playing video games, think of what else you could accomplish with that time. You could be making TikToks and growing a following or starting a game streaming channel. You could also be doing your homework or learning a new skill. Whatever you want to accomplish, be sure you’re using your time wisely.

While it’s essential to get things done, you must also enjoy your time at school. Be present and enjoy high school.

Find Your Group

Finding your group is the most crucial part of enjoying your time at school. This does not refer to cliques. Finding your people means identifying friends with common interests, who you trust to keep you grounded. Find them, and you may discover that school becomes more bearable.

For Parents

Stop the Monster

The most important thing you can do to help your child at the start of school is to address what causes their anxiety. What makes it so hard for them to go to school? Speak to your child and break down that fear into ways they can easily manage it. You can speak with the administration if they are dealing with bullying at school. If they struggle with making friends, see if there’s a club or sport they might find interesting.

Discuss a Plan

If your child has a more severe reaction or needs reassurance due to recent news stories surrounding traumatic events at high schools, discuss a plan with them. For example, if they’re worried about the school going into lockdown, talk about what will happen and map out the steps they should take in that situation. Creating a plan can help them feel more assured and confident in an otherwise scary situation.

Get Involved

Even though it might embarrass your child, get involved at school. According to research from the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, students whose parents are more engaged at school achieve higher grades and better social skills. It will also give you a glimpse into what’s happening at school. Are teachers mistreating students? Do they have the resources to make sure students have what they need? So, volunteer your time. You may be surprised by how much the school will welcome it.

Whether you’re a student or a parent, there’s no doubt that school can be scary. However, with the proper planning and strategy, students can feel less fear and experience the joy that comes from learning and spending time with peers.

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