Back To School: Anxiety, Stress, and Oblivion

backpackBy Agnes Robl, Prevention and Outreach, On Behalf of Youth Services Peer Mentors

Feeling anxious about going back to school? Here are some thoughts about back to school from two of our peer mentors: D.J. 15, E. S., 15

Going back to school is depicted by society as a time to regroup with friends, and get back to old habits of gossiping and glamour. But what’s really happening behind the mask? Just ask any teenager. Back to school can mean a list of things, from trying to fit in, to rising up the social ranks, or debuting the new look you dawned this summer. And on top of trying to manage becoming popular, teens have to manage homework and grades. In the eyes of adults (not all but a pretty good percent) teens should be able to manage all of these battles seamlessly. But the second you break or fail to complete one of these tasks, you’re a disappointment or an outcast.

America’s youth are expected to transition from easy summer days of swimming and shopping to the fast paced, chaotic frenzy we call school. School is a mess of unreasonable teachers, almost impossible deadlines, confusion in academics, judgmental peers, sky high expectations from parents, and oblivion from outsiders looking in. Now, when I say oblivion, I don’t mean you’re friends are blind to the fact that you’re tapping on their shoulder to catch them up on the latest school gossip. I mean oblivion in the sense that nobody really knows how you’re feeling. On the outside, you look polished and put together. But on the inside you’re shut down or franticly screaming. I know, it’s tough. Going back to school and having all these issues simultaneously attack you is tough. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You can manage ALL of this. Just remember that you’re human. And humans make mistakes, we slip up, we cry, we scream, and we feel lost. But it’s okay to do all of those things. Whenever you feel anxious, stressed, or alone, just remember: you always have someone that can help you. Yourself. Sure, friends, family, and everyone else can help by being there for you and talking things out. But at the end of the day, it’s up to YOU how you manage all of this.

Click here for some resources on coping with back to school stress.

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