#98 TRENDING IN Student Life 🔥

Back to School Stress: How to Manage It and Move On

Student Life

August 21, 2023

August can be a daunting month for many of us. Suddenly, our summer attire, pool accessories, and beach towels are replaced with school essentials. Social media feeds, especially TikTok's For You page, are filled with clothing and stationery hauls, as well as first-day-of-school get-ready-with-me videos. Gilmore Girls, a classic coming-of-age television series, now prominently appears on Netflix's homepage, and you might find yourself entering a Rory Gilmore phase/aesthetic.

Regardless of what grade you're entering, it's safe to say that most of us can relate to feeling anxious during this time of transition. If you are a first-year high-school student like me, you might be browsing the internet now and then searching for the ideal secondary school advice. Or if you are an incoming senior, you might be just starting your Common App application and trying to write the "perfect" personal statement.

I advise you to read this article thoroughly to ease back-to-school stress. I wish all of you the best of luck in this upcoming academic year!

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1. Romanticizing The Return

The TV show Gilmore Girls is a beloved favorite among many viewers around the world, particularly the dynamic mother-daughter duo at the center of the story. For those who may not have seen it, this series is the perfect choice for a cozy autumn watch. It's a must-see for students, as the character of Rory serves as an inspiration for her impressive academic achievements.

What many people may not realize is that romanticizing your life can have a significant impact on your daily routine, including those everyday tasks like studying. Personally, my interest in reading was sparked by watching Gilmore Girls, and it even helped me become more effective in my studies. Engaging in this kind of mindfulness can also have a positive effect on mental health, as studies have shown. It can reduce depression and stress.

There are many ways to incorporate romanticization into your life, including unplugging technology, exploring therapy, crafting a healthy breakfast, visiting cozy cafes, and practicing minimalistic skincare. It's important to note, however, that there is such a thing as too much romanticization- it's essential to remain grounded and realistic, and not prioritize aesthetics over practicality.

2. Checking Up On Your Mental Health

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It is of the utmost importance to prioritize your well-being before heading back to school. This includes ensuring that you get enough restful sleep, consuming nutritious meals and snacks, establishing goals for your intellectual, physical, relationships, spiritual and financial wellness, and giving priority to important things and people in your life.

As the day before school begins, you can unwind and relax by treating yourself to a spa-like experience such as taking a warm bath or sauna. You may also opt to say goodbye to summer by visiting the beach or pool. The morning you go back to school, call your friends as you get ready. You'll crack some jokes, and boom, you will feel a thousand times better than before.

If you are wondering why this step is crucial for heading back to school, let me tell you that taking care of yourself helps you transform into the best version of yourself as you embark on this new academic journey.

3. Acknowledging Your Feelings

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When you take the time to acknowledge your emotions, you are taking a crucial step towards moving forward and tackling any challenges that come your way. If you're feeling scared about going back to school, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions to better understand why this is the case. For example, what specific fears do you have about returning to school?

Are you worried about falling behind in your classes or struggling to make new friends? By identifying these concerns, you can start to come up with strategies for addressing them head-on.

An important step in managing your emotions is to talk to trusted friends or family members about how you're feeling. Not only can they provide valuable support and guidance, but they can also relate to your experiences and help you feel less alone. It's essential to remember that there's no shame in opening up about your emotions, and in fact, it can be incredibly empowering to do so.

To better understand your emotions, it can be helpful to give them names. For example, if you're feeling anxious about going back to school, try saying to yourself, "I'm feeling anxious right now." This simple act of acknowledging your emotions can help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed. Additionally, you can learn new vocabulary words to describe your emotions or keep a journal to track your feelings over time.

Finally, there are many resources available to help you better manage your emotions. One highly recommended book is "Emotional Intelligence" by Edward Benedict. Although I haven't read it myself, I've heard great things about the strategies and insights it provides. By taking proactive steps to manage your emotions, you can build the resilience and confidence you need to thrive in all areas of your life.

4. Creating A Positive Atmosphere

"A positive mindset brings positive things."

- Philip Reiter

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Maintaining a positive mindset while anticipating a huge course load in the upcoming school year can prove to be an unbearable task. The constant negative thoughts about school can weigh heavily on your mind. However, indulging in back-to-school shopping can help rekindle that positive energy within you.

The sight of extra cute notebooks, ball-point pens, and pink planners can uplift your mood. You could even create a list of all the things that excite you about school, be it prom, the variety of dances, or simply meeting your friends again. This list will serve as a powerful motivator to push yourself to look forward to the new academic year. Remember to organize your school bag, pencil case, and emergency kit right after purchasing your school supplies.

l invite all students who have tried other methods to maintain their positive thinking to share their experiences in the comments section below!

5. Handling Homework

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Many of us experience anxiety when we consider returning to school due to the overwhelming amount of schoolwork we'll receive throughout the year. However, there are ways to manage this stress with proper homework planning. Utilizing a planner and tracking all deadlines is an efficient method to manage your time while ensuring that all tasks are completed on time.

Another helpful tool is Notion, an effective online platform for tracking deadlines and managing your daily life. You may also want to try scheduling your study sessions. For example, you could schedule an hour of studying X topic from 6 to 7 am every day.

To ensure that you stay on track and remain motivated during your study sessions, it may be beneficial to establish a personalized reward system. For instance, following each study session, you could permit yourself to eat that chocolate bar you've been eyeing, or perhaps watch an episode of your beloved TV series. Another option is to team up with an accountability partner - someone who shares your interests and whom you've met through school clubs or volunteering - to help each other stay on track and achieve your goals.

6. Crafting A New Wardrobe

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Who doesn't love to indulge in a shopping spree now and then? As the new school year approaches, it's the perfect time to treat yourself to some new clothes, shoes, and accessories. A fresh set of clothes will not only give you a new outlook but also uplift your mood and help you feel relaxed.

For budget-friendly options, I highly recommend checking out Shein. It's a fantastic website that offers great deals while still providing amazing quality. As we all know, students always try to find ways to save money, and Shein helps you do just that. By planning a new wardrobe, you can take your mind off the stress and anxieties of school and look forward to wearing your new outfits every day.

If you're not sure where to begin, start by decluttering your closet and getting rid of everything you no longer wear. It's essential to create space for your new clothes and accessories. Once you've done that, consider purchasing the basics, such as plain tops and black pants.

If you already have these staples in your wardrobe, well done! You're ahead of the game.

7. Exercising

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Mayo Clinic has conducted extensive research work that reveals exercise as a practical solution for boosting the production of endorphins, which are your brain's natural mood enhancers. A regular exercise routine before and during the school year is a surefire way to ensure a stress-free environment. Not only does it cultivate healthy habits, but it also helps to break unhealthy ones, such as stress eating. Furthermore, exercise plays a crucial role in achieving your physical goals.

Going for a walk before or after a test is an excellent way to calm nerves and distract yourself from intrusive thoughts about school. Working out with friends makes it more enjoyable, with the possibility of listening to the same addictive songs and breathing in fresh air.


Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

I'm quite sure that these tips and tricks will help you cope and ease back-to-school anxiety in no time! If you find these tips helpful, don't forget to share them with your friends so they can also feel anxious about the awaiting return.

Sasha Khouzami
1,000+ pageviews

Writer since Jun, 2023 · 5 published articles

Sasha, a freshman in high shool whose love for books never lessened. As an aspiring student, she's certainly reading and writing curled up in her favorite blanket while the scent of her vanilla candle straddles the room. Aside from binge-watching Gilmore Girls, she can be found making lots of friendship bracelets and listening to Taylor Swift.