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How To Help Students Cope With Back To School Stress

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

Going back to school after a break can be a hard transition for many students. They’ve had the freedom to do as they please, and play with friends all day for weeks. They have been free of having to do any homework or study for any tests. The thought of heading back to school and being stuck in a routine, or in a classroom can be daunting. Some students may even try to get out of school altogether or refuse to go.

So, what can you do to make this transition smoother and easier for them? Let’s go over some tips to help your student deal with the stress of going back to school.

What Is Back To School Stress?

Kids may feel stressed, anxious or nervous at the thought of going back to school. This is what we refer to as back-to-school stress or anxiety. This can occur for a number of reasons. For some children, it may occur because of a fear of the unknown. If they are heading into a new school, or a new class, they may feel anxious about having to meet new people, find new friends, and get used to the change.

Other kids will feel nervous about the workload, particularly if heading into the latter years of high school. The stress of getting good grades can become too much for them. For many children, this stress happens because kids are worried about bullies. Being away from school feels like a safe haven where no one can harm them, and as school approaches, they may feel nervous about going back and suffering at the hands of bullies.

Many children also worry about being around their peers. They could stress about their appearance, their clothes, their school supplies and not having enough of them, or not having the on-trend backpack that everyone has. They could suffer from body issues such as acne, weight gain, the fear of wearing glasses, or changes due to puberty.

There are so many reasons why your child is anxious about going back to school, but you can help ease them into it. But first, let’s take a look at the warning signs.

Signs Of Anxiety In Children

  • Irritability

  • Unexplained bouts of crying or sobbing

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Restlessness

  • Being clingier than usual

  • Complaining of headaches and stomachaches

  • Getting upset or angry quickly

  • Difficulty sleeping

If these symptoms persist for a number of weeks, then it could be worth taking them to speak to a doctor or mental health professional, as they may be the beginning signs that your child is developing an anxiety disorder.

How To Help Students Cope With Back To School Stress

Be There For Them

One of the most important things your child needs right now is for you to be present for them. Try to be home when they get back from school to help them decompress. If you can arrange it with work, be the one to take them to school and pick them up, so that they feel safe and supported when they go to school and when they leave.


Remind them that it’s okay to feel nervous, and plenty of kids feel the same way. Boost their self-confidence by encouraging them and being as positive as possible.

Promote Self Care

Self-care can help limit the symptoms of anxiety. Ensure your child gets ample sleep and eats a balanced diet. Make sure that they are eating breakfast before school to promote brain function. And encourage them to exercise for their physical health. Exercise can help them blow off steam. Encourage them to do activities or hobbies that they like so they have downtime between school and homework.

Get Help

If you think your child is dealing with back-to-school stress, connect with us soon so one of our clinicians can assist them and you with counseling.

(248) 2-EMERGE (248-236-3743)

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