Beat the back to school blues

Every year across the nation an epidemic of the dreaded Back to School Blues strikes the student population. This feature provides the antidote, with heaps of advice on how to prepare for the hideous inevitability of the new school term.

[START: Back to school]

[head] Beat the Back to School Blues

[sell] After a chilled out summer break, the thought of dragging yourself back to school is enough to bring on a major cold sweat, but getting primed for term time is as easy as A, B, C…

Words: Michelle Garnett

Typical. You’ve spent the past few weeks having marathon lie-ins, poking new mates on Facebook and enjoying a stress-free lifestyle when… the new school term looms. Whether you’ve already had your first day back or you’re still gearing up for it, settling in can seem impossible. But you’re not alone. Here’s some survival tips to help give those new term blues the boot.

[subhead] Tip 1. Give your wardrobe a work-out

After weeks of dressing how you want, it’s important to feel comfortable with the way you look. Throw on your school clothes before hand and get familiar with the new you.

[subhead] Tip 2. Tuck into breakfast

Yup, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day – you’ll be more alert and should do better in class. Go for a slow-release energy food like porridge or bananas to keep you going til breaktime.

[subhead] Tip 3. Be flexible with your friendships

Hooking back up with school mates is hard, especially if others in the group have stayed in contact. Listen and join in with their stories and act excited rather than wallowing in self-pity. These people didn’t stop being your friends just because you didn’t see them for a while – you simply need time to re-bond.

[subhead] Tip 4. Suss out your whereabouts

If you’re off to a new school, ask for a map of the building so you don’t feel totally clueless. Even if you’re returning to your old school, check out where each class will be held. It’s no fun trailing into your class ten minutes late.

[subhead] Tip 5. Think positive

Instead of thinking about all the hassles school chucks your way, think about the opportunities it brings: amazing mates, things to do, new challenges. Education is the way to get what you want out of life.

[subhead] Tip 6. Be prepared

Get yourself organised and you’ll feel more in control. Stock up on stationery supplies and keep new timetables in a safe place. Jot down important dates ona wall-planner (exams and deadlines as well as the fun stuff like school trips) and put it where you’ll see it every day. It’ll unclog your brain, leaving plenty of headspace for the stuff you really want to think about!

[subhead] Tip 7. Face your fears

For some, school brings the prospect of daily misery. Perhaps you’re being bullied, or having trouble doing the work. Talking to someone can instantly make difficult situations more manageable.

[subhead] Tip 8. Take a deep breath

When you’re teetering on the edge of a mental meltdown, take a deep breath, count to ten and SMILE… You might find yourself enjoying school so much that you’re dreading the start of the holidays!

[subhead] Tip 9. Get enough shut-eye

Teens need at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep each night to feel rested. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re tired and minor problems like losing your locker key can seem like hideous catastrophes.

[subhead] Tip 10. Go easy on yourself

New routine = new emotions. It’s natural to feel nervous – even if your knocking knees can be heard across the Atlantic! Give yourself time to ease back into the routine and adjust to new workloads. Think back to previous ‘first days’ and remember how quickly you settled in.

[box out]

Handy survival hints

• Pack your bag the night before to avoid early morning panic.

• Eat healthy snacks to keep energy levels buzzing. Sugary foods give a short high, followed by a massive slump.

• Make notes of important stuff: your locker combination, lesson times, where various school clubs meet.

• Be yourself. It’s tough trying to keep an act going for weeks and weeks.

• Help fellow students who look lost – you might make a new friend.

• Do more at school and you’ll have less to do at home.

• If you don’t understand something, ask. You won’t look stupid – you’ll look confident.

[ENDS: Back to school]

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