Dealing with back to school nerves... (Dear Jess)

by Jessica Holsman

Dear Jess,

I’ve been feeling quite nervous about starting back at school next week and hoping you have some advice to calm those butterflies in my stomach that are feeling more like elephants at the moment.

I don’t really know what to expect with my teachers and I’m worried the workload is going to be even harder than last year.

How do I calm my nerves?

Anonymous x

Hi Lovely,

How you're feeling is very understanable and I definitely think you are in the same boat as a lot of other students who feel anxious about starting back at school again after a long break. Even if it's the same environment, starting a new year means new teachers, new subjects, and a different workload too.

Know that how you feel is completely normal and the apprehension around starting back at school does settle, and soon! It might take a day or two but once you have your timetable, know your teachers and find out your expected assignments, I am sure you will begin to feel more at ease.

Just remember that you have conquered each school year and this one is no different. It is another chance to learn new subjects, strengthen friendships, mature, and develop and expand your skills.

Whenever I start to feel anxious, I always find it helps to talk to a family member or friend too. Sharing our thoughts and worries with someone we trust can be a great source of support, even if they are only there to listen and don’t necessarily give us advice. Have you spoken to anyone else about how you’ve been feeling? I wonder if some of your friends are feeling the exact same way? You might even have some friends who are as cool as a cucumber and make for great company when you start to feel anxious, because they can put your mind at ease and offer some extra support.

I also find that writing down a few things that you are looking forward to for this school year, no matter how small, can help to ease the nerves and create a positive mindset. (E.g buying new school supplies, trying out for the school play, going on camp, learning a new subject, making a new friend, improving your grades, mastering a new skill, or taking up a new hobby such as joining the soccer team or debate club).

Every year is filled with new and wonderful opportunities and I know you can handle anything that comes your way! Remember to be kind to yourself and acknowledge how you’re feeling, while remembering that these butterflies in your stomach do eventually subside.

Love, Jess x