How to Deal with Back-to-School Anxiety

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Whatever year in school that you’re entering, you can’t deny that you’re more than a little bit scared. Back-to-school anxiety is a common thing, and it’s okay to be scared. I spent so many years dreading the first day, feeling like my stomach was full of butterflies when it came time to walk into my school after months of being gone. But here’s the thing: it gets better. Back-to-school doesn’t have to be a big, stressful thing. It doesn’t have to mean tearing your hair out and dreading the start of it. There are ways to make it better and to manage your stress.



  • Know your classes:

You’ve probably gotten your schedule, but knowing where your classes are isn’t usually enough to ease my anxiety. In my experience, researching them helps. For an English class, for example, know what books you have to read and maybe even get started on it.


  • Breathe:

School is stressful, but getting a bad grade is not the end of the world. If you don’t get a class you want, it opens up the possibility of getting a better one. It’s okay.


  • Accept that school will take you out of your comfort zone:

This statement is especially true if you’re going somewhere new or going away to college. Getting it out of your comfort zone is one of the best things about school. The new experiences will help you grow as a person and help you to make new friends. Being scared to leave your comfort zone will hold you back, and being able to leave it without stressing out over that, as well as the start of school, is just too much.


  • Reach out to new classmates:

Although this is really only applicable for those of us going away to college. Most colleges have facebook groups for their incoming classes that can really help students connect and make friends with the people they are going to be spending the next four years with.


  • Get used to waking up early:

This is one of the biggest changes when it comes to going back to school. The days of sleeping until noon every day are done until December, and the only way to get yourself used to that again is to start waking up early during the last weeks of summer.


  • Talk to someone:

If you’re in high school, reach out to your guidance counselor. If not, most college campuses have resources to help students deal with their anxiety and stress. If you don’t want to talk to a stranger, talk to someone older that you know who knows what you’re going through can also help. Talking it out with somewhere who has been there, or with someone who knows exactly what to say can be beneficial.


  • Know what you can and can’t do this year:

Every year, we weigh ourselves down with what we THINK we have to do this year. AP classes, extracurriculars, student council, whatever you think that you have to do, let it go. Spreading yourself too thin can usually causes more harm than good, and it’s good to know your own limitations.


Dealing with anxiety can be hard. Going back-to-school can be harder. But take a breath, calm down, and you can do it.


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Faith Gravemann

Faith Gravemann is an editorial intern at Smart Girls Group. She attends University of Missouri- Columbia (Mizzou) and is majoring in journalism. She enjoys reading, writing, watching NASCAR, spoiling her cat and independent bookstores.

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