By Jennifer Mudarrie, LICSW
Having a hard time believing summer is almost over? I can’t believe it’s time to go back to school! It’s strange how time flies by when you are still recovering from last year and finally had a little time off from the stress of exams and afterschool sports and jobs. It really is a hard time to feel understood right now. It’s all so hard sometimes. It’s been a little while since I was in high school but I can still remember that hustle and get stress dreams about high school!
It’s a new school year and you may find yourself wanting to make a good impression with friends or trying to stay ahead of academics. However, it’s important to make sure you have balance and figure out what things you want your parents to do and what you want to do. Here are some tips to get back into the groove and ways to keep your parents happy while still giving you the space you need.
5 Tips for Heading Back to School
Stay honest about your needs
What did you realize last year about that extra hour you stayed up to hang out on Snap or gaming? Did it give you time with friends because your homework load was heavy, or you needed space from family? Try to figure out what happened last year and learn from it.
Keep open communication with your friends
Be weird and try to be yourself. Nothing hurts worse, then feeling you must put a mask on all day and then come home to take it off. It takes energy to pretend you’re okay. Say to your friends, when they ask, what is really going on, within your comfort zone.
Be realistic with your time commitments
Maybe you just started a job and want to keep it during the school year. Or maybe you joined a new club? Are you still able to see your friends and do things you enjoy? It’s important as you add commitments that you can see where you’re able to give more time. If you had many commitments in the past see if they are coming from pressure to perform, rather than enjoyable activities.
Don’t try to do everything
Some things are important to do alone but your parents are there to guide you and help you if you’re stuck. Not sure where to turn or feel unsure if you want help? Maybe try asking for counseling or guidance support with a trusted adult first. They are there to help you too.
Acknowledge it’s an awkward time to be a human
Things are constantly changing. What has changed for you that you want to keep in your routine? What habits are useful and ones that you want to repeat this year?
Whatever is coming up, I wish you a happy, healthy and well-balanced school year!
About Jennifer Mudarrie, LICSW: Jennifer is a psychotherapist with nearly two decades of experience in the mental health field based. She provides individual and family counseling, movement-based healing, clinical supervision and facilitates various workshops in the community with other multi-disciplinary professional providers.