6 ways to beat those back-to-school blues

By Andrew Adler

Going back to school after the summer can be both scary and stressful. But the more you prepare yourself to face the new term, the less you’ll dread it

By Andrew Adler |

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The words “back to school” may strike horror in many students, but they don’t have to. Returning to school after the summer holiday is a challenge, but with a little effort, you can avoid the back-to-school blues.

Here’s how to start the new term with confidence:

Get enough sleep

You’ve probably been told this many times. Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep a night to function well in school – and in life in general. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are likely to become stressed, irritable and forgetful. Of course, you probably sleep less than you should, because you’re worried that your grades might drop if you don’t stay up late studying. In fact, you’ll perform better at school if you sleep more, because your brain will be more alert.

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To ensure you’re getting enough sleep, write down your daily schedule, so that you can fit in all your regular activities and still go to bed at a reasonable hour. Asking your parents or siblings to remind you to get ready to go to sleep is another strategy that may work for you.

Eat breakfast

No doubt you’ve heard the saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Well, it’s true. Research shows that eating breakfast gives you the energy to focus on your work for the rest of the day.

You may be tempted to skip breakfast, especially if you tend to be in a rush in the morning. But by making sure you eat that first meal of the day, you’re more likely to have an enjoyable and productive day. To get more excited about breakfast, make sure the kinds of food you enjoy eating are always available at home.

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Get (and stay) organised

Because the beginning of the school year can be stressful, you may struggle to get yourself organised. Still, it’s vital to keep track of homework, assignments, and any important dates. Make a note of these things in a diary or on your phone, so that you know what’s due and when, as well as what textbooks you’ll need to bring each day. Some schools encourage students to use binders to organise homework, so that your papers don’t get muddled up.

If you have a locker, try to keep it tidy so you can find everything easily. Just like a binder, you can section off your locker to keep textbooks and notebooks for each subject separately.

Maintain old and new friendships

As you get sorted into new classes for the new school year, you might find that you don’t see your old friends as much. However, you’ll enjoy school more if you make an effort at the beginning of the year to seek out your friends from last year. An easy way to keep in touch with old friends is to create a WhatsApp group where you can check in with one another regularly.

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Of course, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t make new friends, too. You might find yourself in a class with someone you have never spoken to before. If you’re not sure how to go about making friends, start by talking about something that you notice about the other person. For example, you might see a sticker of a flag from another country on a classmate’s notebook. This could be the perfect opportunity to ask if your classmate has been to that country.

Stay on top of your work

With so much homework and so many assignments, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. But avoiding tackling your workload head-on will only make it pile up even more. If you don’t understand an assignment, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher to explain it. Many students are reluctant to do so, but it’s your teacher’s job to ensure that you understand what they are asking of you.

Talk to and seek help from others

Never go it alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are worried about your schoolwork, talk to someone close to you. Parents and friends can help you find solutions to problems that you might not be able to find yourself. What’s more, simply sharing your worries can make you feel better able to deal with them. Good luck!

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge