11 Ways to Beat the ‘Back to School’ Blues

11 Ways to Beat the ‘Back to School’ Blues

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After six glorious weeks of summertime fun, the day is edging ever closer – the day school starts again. For parents and grandparents this is met with a more than a little relief, but for many students, it can be an unhappy time of year.

Early mornings beckon, along with wearing a uniform, being back in class, and facing another academic year of challenges – and opportunities.

For some students, this means taking the big step into secondary school. Similarly, in university and colleges across the country, there are thousands of nervous freshers standing on the threshold of a massive life change.

Change is unnerving, and the fear and anxiety can be all consuming. Standing on the precipice of completing your home learning course, what stretches out ahead feels endless.

Thankfully, we have been in this position with students many times before, and we have some great ideas for banishing the ‘back to school’ blues…

  1. New stationery supplies – Who doesn’t love buying a new pencil case, pencils and pens, along with a pristine new notebook? If there is one thing that helps a student of any age look forward to their studies, it is shopping for new school and college supplies. And yes, a pencil topped with a fluffy fairy is perfectly acceptable…
  2. Get in touch with friends – It may feel like your home has been full of your children’s friends all summer, but there are some friends that they may not have seen. Spend the last few weeks and days of the summer hols reconnecting with old friends. Of course, children stay in touch via social media and by text, but there is no substitute for seeing your friends in person and enjoying their company.
    BBQ Time
  3. One last summer shindig – Summer was great, wasn’t it?! So why not go out with a bang and have one last bash full of summer time fun? From a weekend away to camping in the garden to a BBQ with family and friends, have one last gathering to say goodbye to summer and hello to school, college and studying.
  4. Get the uniform sorted – Some parents are uber-organised and buy new uniforms in before the summer holidays even start. But if you haven’t, now is the time. Staying within school or college guidelines, buy items that not only look good but will last through a lot of wear and washing. Do the same with school shoes – buy those that are comfortable and of good quality.
  5. Shop with a difference – You will no doubt have bought lots of tasty food and drink when the children were off school, but now is the time to get back into the swing of having ingredients on hand for wholesome and filling packed lunches and snacks. Make sure that you think about breakfast, too so that everyone leaves for school and work full to the brim with energy after a healthy meal.
  6. Set goals – Completing home learning courses might be a goal, joining at least one after-school activity may be another. Whatever the goal, there is research that suggests setting goals is a great way of looking forward to new challenges.

For young students either starting school for the first time or moving to secondary school, what goals would they want to set?

  1. Write Positive Notes – There is something heart-warming about finding a small piece of paper emblazoned with a warm and uplifting sentiment. It can be hidden in the pocket of their school coat or in their lunch box – sending a surprise note will lift anyone’s day.
  2. Get reading – For any student (including those on home learning courses) reading around your subject will give you a head start when it comes to completing coursework and assignments. For older students, why not pay a visit to the library or look at buying helpful guides to courses that give short, succinct summaries of the key topics covered?
  3. End-of-summer checklist – There are some things we just don’t get time to do when life is back in full swing. If you are studying as well as working, it can be impossible to get things done! So, use the last few days of your summer holiday wisely.
  4. Prepare your stories – You are bound to be asked, ‘what did you do over summer?’! This is a great way to start conversations with fellow students. Have on hand stories of summer trips and activities that you enjoyed.
  5. Something to look forward to – The first week back at school, college or your desk is a tough one. With the summer a distant memory by the end of the first day, it is common to feel overwhelmed and a little blue about the year that stretches out ahead of you. The first week will drag and so having an end-of-the-week treat to look forward to is ideal. It can be a DVD night complete with takeout, or a trip to the cinema.

How will you banish the back-to-school blues?

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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