A new school year. The joy of reuniting with friends. The thrill and fear of a new grade, building, and teacher. For students, parents, and educators, it is a season of change that affords us the opportunity to grow. For many, despite earlier curfews and a cut in social and technology freedoms, we are rejuvenated and ready to resume progress with academic and athletic goals. Many of us will experience a mixture of anxiety and nervous excitement as the new school year approaches. Though the start to a new school year can be quite challenging, most individuals are able to transition to a new normal within a few weeks. For others, the fear and dread of being away from home, mastering with new routines, and having to be more social leads to a spike in anxiety which is displayed in numerous ways including: acting out behaviors, poor sleep, and feelings of hopelessness that are often observed for weeks after school has started. This flurry of emotions and increased anxiety is typical and temporary for most of us, but those with lingering behaviors should be given added attention and support, especially if and when they interfere with a student’s ability to succeed in school.
As our community prepares for a new school year, it is important for families to prepare students for the transition from summer to school. A good place to start with children and teenagers is to have a short discussion about what is coming up. Identify expectations. Label emotions. Help them to formulate goals. Normalize their concerns and anxieties. Help younger ones establish new routines. Support teenagers as they re-establish healthy, appropriate, and balanced boundaries for academics, social interaction, and sports. You may not have all of the answers. That’s okay. The most important thing is for us to be present in the lives of our children. Below are some resources that may assist you as your family prepares for the upcoming school year.
If school anxiety persists beyond the first month of school, it may be a good idea to consult with your school social worker or counselor to ensure your son or daughter is best supported. Northview is passionate about the well being of students and is eager to help families with this transition so that our students can focus on maximizing their potential inside and outside of the classroom.