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  • Angela Sillas-Green

Navigating the Waters: Advice for Young People on Transitioning Back to School

teens going back to school

Preparing to go back to school can be a mix of excitement and challenge. There are many things to navigate when going back to school, like the demands of academics, social circles, and your own personal development. The school environment is entirely different from the lax days of summer, which are full of vacations and large amounts of free time. This is just one reason returning to school can be a big adjustment. Here is some advice to help ease into the back-to-school routine:

  • Developing a Positive Attitude: School can be a lot to prepare for. There are a lot of expectations for teens in the school climate. At the same time, it’s important to work on developing a positive attitude, where possible, toward school and learning. This will make school a more pleasant experience and help you see more opportunities.

  • Setting Expectations: It is important that you and your caregivers communicate expectations and concerns regarding the upcoming school year. This helps address any fears or anxieties that can come up and assures you that it's normal to feel a mix of emotions about going back to school. Set some time aside to talk about what’s coming.

  • Set Goals: Having goals in mind can provide focus and enthusiasm for the upcoming school year. These goals could be academic, social, or personal. For example, I want to join soccer. This school year can be an exciting experience.

  • Establish a Routine: Create a daily routine that includes study time, extracurricular activities, and leisure. Having a structured schedule can make the transition back to school more manageable. Don’t forget to add space for downtime as well.

  • Sleep Schedule: It’s easier to make gradual adjustments to your sleep schedule by shifting to an earlier bedtime at least a week or two before school starts. This allows them to get back into a routine of waking up early and helps make the first days of school easier.

  • Reconnect with Friends: Seeing friends and socializing is one of the highlights of going back to school. If you haven’t been in touch with friends, then reach out and plan some activities together before school starts. This will help you feel more excited and connected when you return to school.

  • Identifying Support: It is helpful to find trusted adults who can listen and offer support as you adjust to the new school year. You will be dealing with a lot of feelings and concerns, and it is helpful to have people in your corner to navigate any challenges that may arise.

Remember that every teenager is different, and some may adapt quickly while others may take more time. Be patient with yourself throughout the transition process. If you're continuing to struggle with the adjustment, consider reaching out to teachers, school counselors for additional support

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