Problems at school

Everyone has a different experience of school.

Most students go through some ups and downs throughout the year. Experiencing problems at school is not unusual for many young people.

When difficulties get on top of us, it can be like a domino effect. One domino falls over and all the rest seem to pile up. It’s OK to have mixed feelings about school, as everyone has their good days and bad days. Whether you’re having problems with schoolwork, friends, or fitting in, you are not alone.

Some common problems in school and solutions:

Issues facing young people who are immigrants

It’s not easy being an immigrant in Ireland. Some people had never heard of Ireland before they moved here, others knew very little about it. Even what language was spoken.

It can be very difficult landing in a country when you don’t know much about it.

This article covers:

Supporting migrants from war-torn areas

Hearing stories about conflict in other countries can bring up a number of feelings.

Rolling news about events such as the war in Ukraine and other conflict areas, can be overwhelming and leave us with a sense of helplessness at not knowing what to do.

Connecting with others

We can also feel empathy and sympathy for what our fellow human beings are going through.

Part of being human means we can connect with people we have never met, worrying about their situation and feeling their distress. It’s not unusual to feel different emotions at one time.

Fleeing a war-torn country is a very challenging thing for someone to do. People are forced to leave family members, homes, pets, jobs, and careers, as well as their social community.

Adjusting to being in a new country you didn’t necessarily choose isn’t easy. There may be many barriers to settling in, such as language and different cultural norms, like foods that are eaten.

Ask Jigsaw: I miss my friend

I feel like I’m soo lost with how may life is going. I don’t really do anything. Everyday feels like nothing, with me doing the constant cycle of getting up going to school and home to my room.

I don’t have any friends except this one person I met online that live across the country from me over lockdown. We used to FaceTime every night for like 2 months(it was something I looked forward too every day)

But I don’t know if they want to talk to me now that lockdown is over as I feel like I’m annoying or they have other friends they’d rather talk to(he’s a very outgoing and has lots of friends ) as it’s been 3months since we talked properly and I don’t want to seem weird asking to call again as I’m scared we’d have nothing to talk about anymore and he’d think I’m stupid calling with nothing to say as my talking skills aren’t the best.

He helped me during a really lonely and dark place and he doesn’t even know that him just talking to me about random things helped and I miss it a lot


Hi Red,  

Losing an important friendship can change how we feel about everything, even the things that we previously enjoyed. 

Fitting in at school

It can seem like everyone else has found their group and is fitting in at school. We can end up feeling very lonely and isolated when we don’t feel we fit in. 

If you feel like you don’t fit in, you’re not on your own. According to My World Survey 2, over one in five young people considered friends to be a source of stress. 39% of adolescents reported that they had experienced bullying at some point in their lives.

As we get older, we tend to spend much less time with family and more time with friends. For many young people, fitting in is really important. It seems that everybody wants to be popular. This can lead to social rivalry, competition and bullying, particularly in school.

When you feel like you don’t fit in, it can be an extremely tough experience. There are no easy answers, but some of the following may help.

Ask Jigsaw: Difficult friendship

I had a friend and we were so close but all of a sudden he turned nasty towards me with no reason that I was aware of. It got to a stage were I got really really sad and had dangerous thoughts in my head but I managed to tell my family and they brought it to the schools attention.

 My family and Boyfriend hates this person after what happened and doesn’t want me anywhere near them. But I miss the friendship still and would like to be friends with this person again but I’m afraid will the same thing happen again and I’d also be risking my relationship with my boyfriend and risking my feelings and mental health getting damaged again.

I don’t know how to deal with these emotions… do u have any advice for this situation? Thanks

-Number 5

Hello Number 5,

Friendships are complex and there’s no right or wrong way to navigate them. So thank you for your honesty in sharing your situation.

Sometimes, the closer a person is to us, the easier it is for them to hurt us. It sounds like the unexpected nastiness of your friend confused you, and knocked your self-esteem. When someone we trust treats us badly, we can often start to question our own self-worth. We might start having negative or dangerous thoughts, as you’ve described.

I’m glad that your boyfriend and family were there to remind you that that the friend’s behaviour was not right. You deserve support to handle this.

Ask Jigsaw: Friend wants to self-harm

My best friend who is 14 wants to harm herself and I’m able to talk her out of it a lot but I’m afraid if someday I’m not there to help or give her the advice she needs or something like that.

I could really use some help here I’ve already recommended this website for her. I really need help with what to do for her because I am worrying a lot because of this. Please contact me for advice I should give to her. Thanks



Ask Jigsaw: Best friend left me

What should I do if my best friend left me and I don’t have anyone else to talk to and at home I don’t feel good enough to talk to someone about it. School starts soon and I don’t want to have no friends.


Hi Hannah,

I’m sorry that you feel like you are on your own with no one to talk to. Friendships make us feel connected and understood. So when they end, it’s normal to feel lonely or sad. It’s hard to accept but we have no control over our friends’ actions, so if they end the friendship, we can feel helpless.


Ask Jigsaw: Friends not social distancing

I met up with my friends today and it was a bit underwhelming. It was great to see them but it also made me very nervous. First of all there was 7 of us, but the thing that stressed me out the most was the lack of social distancing. A few of us tried to at the start, but it got so difficult especially when some friends kept trying to get close to me. This really annoyed me and when i confronted them they brushed it off and said ‘a sure we will all get it at some stage’.

I understand that some of them are not in tune with irish news and it could be down to innocent ignorance, but its impossible to convince them to even try. Some people in my family are at risk, so social distancing really matters for me.

At the same time, I get serious Fear Of Missing Out when it comes to passing on hanging out, so I dont know what to do now. Any ideas on what i should do?

Also Id like to say a massive thank you for doing all the work you guys do, it means so much as a young person to have a place like this to fall back on when i need support:)


Hi Kayla,

Firstly, thank you for your kind words about our service. It’s our aim to provide support for young people like you, so it means a lot to hear that you can rely on us. It sounds like you’re in a tricky social situation and I’m sure that many of us will face similar situations, if not now then in the future