10 Tips for Managing Back to School Stress

From one high school student to another

Written by Vayda Otti

As a student, I know all too well about the stresses of returning back to school. The process of transitioning your mind and routine from summer mode to school mode can cause students to experience stress for a multitude of reasons — from a switch in your sleeping schedule to a lack of school supply organization. With these 10 useful tips and tricks, going back to school will be a breeze!

    1. Invest in a planner or actually use the school issued version… I’ve used a planner since elementary school and continue to use one in high school. Not only does it help me organize my school life (i.e upcoming tests/quizzes, homework, due dates, etc.) but it helps students organize extracurricular activities as well. Find a planner that works for you to help lift any stress you may have about managing and organizing your life.
    2. Lights out… As much as you may enjoy staying up to finish that one Netflix series or to read just one more page of your book; it’s important to start preparing yourself for those dreaded early mornings that can be made into not so dreadful mornings by going to bed earlier. My own sleeping schedule gets corrupted by the summer days but returning back to my school sleep schedule is to my own benefit.
    3. Know your schedule.. If you’re entering middle or high school, you are likely to be in more than one classroom all day and will have to navigate your way through the school from one class to the next. This is why a lot of schools will distribute schedules electronically beforehand. I’d advise you to get as familiar with your schedule as you can and to even come in and walk the route as to avoid getting lost on the first day of school. You can also compare your schedule with friends’ to ensure that you’ll know at least one person in each of your classes.
    4. Shop ‘til you drop… This tip is not mandatory and it’s more of a lighthearted one. Maybe the reason for your back to school stress is more surface level than you think. It’s fun to create a new look for the school year and a new outfit can make a person more confident. Find your style and pick up a few new pieces to prepare you for the new school year. While you may consider this tip, know that looks do not matter in the long run and no one else’s approval matters besides your own.
    5. Lists on lists on lists… It is super helpful in any and all situations to make a list when you have a lot of things that you need to get done. Instead of keeping it all in your head, adding more unnecessary stress to your plate, make a to-do list of things you need to get done before school rolls around. It will keep the stress to a minimum and help you see what you’ve completed and what needs to be done!
    6. Limit the electronics… This one is definitely a tough one to bear. During the summer you might have consumed a lot of your time gaming, on YouTube or scrolling through social media. You’ll want to spend less time involving yourself with electronics during the school year in order to increase your focus, so it’s better to start before school is in session. Taking time away from your electronics will allow you to explore healthier de-stressing strategies such as meditation, exercise, hanging out with friends or even sleep!
    7. Talk it out… Sometimes the best way to relieve any negative emotions you’re feeling is to talk about it with someone. Turn to a trusted adult, relative, or friend and talk to them about what you are feeling and you may feel better after connecting and sharing with someone else outside your own thoughts.
    8. Come prepared… Here’s a tip that I’ve followed since elementary school that has been a huge time saver. My mom taught me to lay out my clothes the night before. You can get yourself into this routine by laying out your outfit the night before as the weeks leading to school get closer and closer. Have your homework and supplies already packed in your backpack so all you have to do is pick it up and go!
    9. Self Care… In the midst of all the stress and anxiety you’re feeling, take time to take care of yourself. Self-care is super important and you want to feel healthy not only physically, but mentally as well. Whether it’s yoga, walking, pilates, or a more rigorous workout such as spin class, boxing, or sprints; you should practice being active regularly. Even if you are not an athlete at school, you should be doing these things. You should also make sure that you are feeding your body the appropriate nutrients and drinking enough water. Not only will these things help you mentally for the school season, but it can help you in the long run by creating a healthier, longer life for yourself.
    10. Take a breather… If you’re returning to school after summer break, chances are this isn’t your very first year of school. You’ve gone to school before and the year before that and so on. While it may seem stressful leading up to the first day, soon, you’ll be in the swing of things just like every year before. It’s important to realize that school is simply a building where one goes to obtain knowledge. Nothing more.




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