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Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 6, No. 1 - January/February 2014

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First Day Back Jitters

By Michelle Lee

Is your child dreading the first day back at school? Is the last week of summer holidays a tense time when it could be a time of relaxation and joyful pursuits?

For many students including high school students, the first day back at school can seem a scary unwelcoming idea.

My discussion with teens including my own, suggests that the fear creeps in not only for the first day of the year, but for every first day of term, and for some, even every first day of the week.

Furthermore, these concerns are amplified if the first day back is at a new school.

These are 7 of the most common what ifs that run through students' heads:

  1. What if no one likes me?
  2. What if I can't make friends?
  3. What if my friends are not in my classes?
  4. What if I am not accepted & don't fit in?
  5. What will they think of me?
  6. What if they don't like how I look?
  7. What if I get bullied again?

As many of these "what ifs" suggest, there is a deep fear of not being good enough, bringing on perceptions that manifest as nerve-wracking, nail-biting and hair pulling anxiety, distracting from the motivation of learning.
Here are 7 strategies to overcome these False Expectations Appearing Real (FEAR) and to assist students, teachers and parents in getting through the first day back at school with ease:

  1. Create your own reality

    Your thoughts manifest your emotions - your emotions bring on situations to reinforce your fears and dreams, so why not create a reality you want. Begin focusing on the positive.

  2. Write out a goal for a relaxed happy fulfilling day back at school

    Research shows that those who are clear about their goals and write them down have higher likelihood of their goal manifesting. It's about what you focus on.

  3. Begin liking yourself

    As sad as it seems, so many are caught up in the world of "I am my appearance" and flounder in the judgment of it. Stop judging yourself, start loving you for who you are, and you will receive the same back.

  4. Be understanding and compassionate

    When we stop judging or comparing ourselves to others, and start showing understanding and compassion for our differences and for others differences, we are giving and receiving unconditionally.

  5. Take responsibility

    When you take ownership and responsibility for how you think and act, you make more conscious, informed and mindful decisions. This allows you to stand up for what you believe in and act in an assertive manner whilst honouring both your values and others.

  6. Be mindful and thankful

    Be mindful of every opportunity you are given. The more thankful you are for the small blessings that come your way, the more you focus on them, and the more you receive. This applies also to being thankful for all challenges, as within them are an opportunity to grow.

  7. Ask "How?" not "Why?" or "Why me?"

    Asking "Why?" may not always bring the answer you want. When you ask the question "How?" it facilitates a solution to a problem. Develop a solution mindset.

Practising these strategies now will ensure the start of school will be a time to rediscover old friendships, forge new ones, and to be more prepared and motivated for the 2014 school year ahead.

About Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee is a Transformational Life Coach at UpnAway Career & Life Coaching, based in Newcastle NSW. She successfully guides adults and teens to transform their lives and to pursue their passion and purpose. Michelle has developed programs to assist her clients to become clear on what they want and to build their purpose and confidence.

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