Heading back to school | Advice for Young People | Jigsaw.ie

Heading back to school

Heading back to school


Thursday, 19 August 2021

After the holidays and the disruption of last year, going back to school can seem a little nerve-wrecking.

empty school desks

At the beginning of the school year it’s fairly typical to feel:

  • stressed or anxious
  • excited about seeing friends again
  • sad about holidays being over
  • pressure or expectations from yourself or others
  • concerned about the workload, or exams coming up.

Here are some suggestions to make heading back to school this year as stress-free as possible:

Be prepared

It can seem obvious but setting yourself up each evening for the following day can make a big difference to those mornings.

Set yourself some goals for the year

To get motivated, think about goals you might like to achieve this year. These might be school-related goals, or they might be more personal, for example taking up a new sport or hobby.

Get involved

A good way to get back into things and make new friends is to become involved in activities that interest you. This way you’re meeting people with whom you have things in common.

Breaking the ice

This year you might find yourself in classes with people you don’t know very well. People can feel nervous about making new friends, so you’re not alone.

Though it can sometimes take someone to break the ice. Think of a few icebreakers with this in mind. These could be to prompt casual conversation about music, TV, or films.

Have something to look forward to

Sometimes it can help to have something to look forward to if you’re feeling stressed about school starting. Plan something with your friends after school or over the weekend.

Identify your strengths

If you’re worried about your workload or marks, remind yourself that your worth as a person is not based on how you perform at school or in exams. You are so much more than a grade.

Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, or your strengths. Have it somewhere safe at home to refer to whenever you feel worried about your academic performance. Exams aren’t everything.

Watch out for comparing yourself to others, it’s a trap! Remember you are your own person and can work at your own pace.

Talk it out

If you find you’re not coping with the thought of going back, talk to someone about it, like a friend or family member.

Sometimes talking to someone who is outside your situation can help. Check out get support for different ways to connect with Jigsaw’s clinical team.

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