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Conquering Back-to-School Terrors

As the summer break comes to an end the prospect of returning to school, college or university can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Whilst September is a time to reunite with friends and catch up on your summer activities, for some of us the thought of entering a classroom again can make us feel anxious or stressed. Whether you’re starting a new educational environment, a new class, meeting new teachers and classmates or fearing the unknown of exams, back-to-school anxiety is a completely normal emotion to have. The good news is that in most cases, this is a temporary feeling and there are effective strategies you can use to cope with these emotions and make your transition smoother. In this blog, we’ll explore various tips you can implement to take charge of your back-to-school fears and start the year with confidence.

Tip #1 | Acknowledge your feelings

The first step in coping with any back-to-school worries you have is to recognise and accept the emotions you are feeling. It’s entirely normal to feel anxious or nervous about the upcoming school year and I’ll let you into a secret… most of your friends and fellow students will be feeling the same emotions too! By acknowledging your feelings, you’re opening the gates to give yourself permission to address and overcome them and take proactive steps towards managing them effectively. People who refuse to acknowledge their feelings often feel completely overwhelmed as their worries continue to grow and build up, eventually leaving them with a pile of emotions that they don’t know where to begin tackling.

Tip #2 | Remember to communicate

As I said, a lot of your peers are feeling the same nerves as you and also the adults around you also attended school once and more than likely remember feeling exactly how you feel right now. Talking about your concerns with parents, guardians, teachers or friends can be extremely helpful in your journey to overcome them. Sharing your worries might lead to others opening up about similar feelings and as a result, you can help each other. Sometimes, even just saying your fears out loud can bring you a sense of relief, discuss your academic and social concerns with anyone you trust and they may offer you valuable advice that you can take with you into the new academic year.

Tip #3 | Create a routine

A well-structured routine can ease your back-to-school anxiety by providing a sense of predictability and control over your day. Before your school year begins, gradually implement a consistent schedule starting with setting your alarm at a similar time every day and going to be at regular times. Having a routine can reduce your feelings of uncertainty and allow you to feel like you can better manage your time. Also allow yourself set time each evening for your hobbies or relaxation. Whilst your educational institution will dictate how you spend your hours each day, take control each evening for self-care, this will reduce your feelings of being overwhelmed as well as giving yourself something to look forward to once you return home.

Tip #4 | Set yourself realistic goals

Goal-setting is great for personal growth, but also setting yourself realistic and achievable goals will help you stay focused and give you a great sense of achievement once accomplished. When it comes to back-to-school anxiety, realistic goals will also help your confidence as you can see your progress to achieve objectives. You should be able to set yourself smaller goals to accomplish an overall objective, for example, set yourself a grade you believe you can realistically achieve by the end of the year. As you’re working to achieve that overall goal, set yourself mini targets to achieve such as so many marks in your coursework or homework which will give you a sense of pride once achieved as you can monitor your progress to hit that end goal.

Tip #5 | Look for support if you need it

If these don’t help and your back-to-school anxiety persists, significantly interfering with your daily life, consider seeking professional support. Whether you are attending a school, college or university, you will be able to find a counsellor or therapist available to provide you valuable personal support and coping strategies catered to you. Sometimes, talking to a professional can help you take a deep dive into your emotions in a judgement-free zone which will allow you to develop effective ways to manage them. Similarly to acknowledging your feelings, seeking support does not mean weakness it in fact demonstrates your commitment and courage to improve your mental wellbeing.

At eQuoo, we have produced an app that is clinically-proven to develop your resilience so you are better prepared to tackle emotional situations such as the beginning a new academic year. Through playing our immersive game, you will learn crucial skills to navigate relationships, manage stress, boost your self-esteem, and enhance your mental wellbeing. Find out more about how eQuoo can benefit your journey to personal growth here.

Back-to-school anxiety is a common experience for any student, by following these strategies you will begin to navigate this transitional period successfully and feeling more at ease. Remember that your new year presents you with a unique opportunity to grow and learn both academically and personally, and in a years time when you begin to feel common worries again, you will be more prepared to tackle them with confidence knowing you have overcome these emotions before. We wish you every luck and happiness on your journey into the new academic year.


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