How to Mitigate Back-to-School Anxiety

Returning to school when you haven’t been in the educational environment for years can be daunting for many past, present, and future students. Life can take us away from education because of family, work, or other circumstances. Sometimes the timing just wasn’t right for you then, but now it is.  Nothing should stop people who want to pursue their education. In fact, those, many of those who return to the classroom after several years away, tend to do better and have a better context to the work they are studying. Even if you were only away from school for a year or two, if it was because of traumatic experiences or personal struggles, it can be hard to want to go back. While you are beginning your plan to return back to school, keep these things in mind.

Focus on the Benefits

Think about how much of a difference it will make to earn your degree. The benefits of having a college degree are immense. Graduating college can add as much as 10 years to your lifespan. It can also help you to meet new people and find better career opportunities. While there are challenges along the way to getting your degree, they should be outweighed by all the positives.


A thorough social life in college can help you to enjoy your experience much more. When you aren’t constantly worried about classes and grades, you can end up clearing your mind and performing better as a result. You need to be careful to ensure that you aren’t neglecting class time to party. If your social life is lacking, look for clubs on campus that you believe you would fit in well. Your college experience should be one of joy, not stress.

Improve Your Time Management

Feeling anxious about going back to school can come from feeling like you won’t have the time to get everything done. The reason students can succeed with a full course load is that they know how to manage their time. Having time management skills means starting on assignments right away and following a proper sleep schedule. It takes time for these to pay off, but when they do, you can feel like there’s no stopping you.

Consider Therapy

No problem is too small for therapy. If going back to school has you especially worked up, you need to find help. Psychotherapy has a host of benefits for students, including reducing and managing destructive behaviors, learning healthy coping mechanisms to help you through emotionally tough times, an increase in focus, attention, organization, and time management, and much more. Talking to a qualified psychotherapist is more than worth your time.

No matter your original reason for being away from school, when you go back, and set yourself on a path of success, you have nothing to fear. It may be challenging, but as you focus on the good, reach out to others, improve your time management skills, and seek help when necessary, you will be able to astound even yourself with the results. Some of the best students are those with experiences outside the school environment. Remember that you are not alone in this exciting educational journey!

For help in figuring out your transitions, professionally or personally, from your workplace to dating and socializing and more, let the Mentor SF’s Explorers Program (EP) help!

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