Why do freshmen often experience high levels of stress and anxiety?

New school year? Why freshmen often experience high levels of stress and anxiety.

– by Frank Thomas

If YOU are heading to middle school, high school, college or university near Pine Bush NY, I don’t need to tell YOU about the butterflies and jitters that come with being a freshmen, do I?

In fact, the new school year for Pine Bush Schools brings stress and anxiety no matter how old you are.

Margaret Ross, a psychiatrist and director of Behavioral Medicine shares some insights on this subject.

She goes on to say:

“There are so many changes when a person comes to school. Sometimes they’ve been to camp or programs away, but for some it’s the very first time they’ve left home. That entails having to make certain decisions that they’ve never really encountered before. Such as, am I hungry enough to eat? Where should I go to eat? And how do I know when it’s time to do my laundry? Those are some basic activities of daily living.

There are obviously many more complex issues facing them, such as, where am I going to be living? With whom will I become friends? And what happens if I start out and don’t do well on my first test? Does that mean I should change fields? There are just so many things people face for the first time when they come to college. It’s really an order of magnitude jump from high school.

It’s such a change when they don’t have any parents around. They need to know how to make choices in such a way that they don’t feel they’re killing their social lives, but are able to function responsibly.”

Is there anything a Parent can do to help with first day at school stress?

She goes on to say…”They can be reassuring and normalize the situation for their child. To say: “What you’re telling me doesn’t surprise me. You’ve always taken a little time to adjust. Think how many changes there have been in your life. Going to a new school, going to a new city, meeting new friends, having new classes, making all these choices. Of course you’re taking some time to get used to it. That’s not alarming to me. Just hang in, we’re here, call as you need to, and we’ll see how it goes. We can always make changes going forward, but for now, let’s just give you some time to adapt.”

Fox 59 of Indiana interviews Dr. Greg Sipes about new school year anxiety.

In this article Edla Prevette, LPCA and Elizabeth Worley, LPCA give 12 tips on Dealing with back-to-school, new school anxiety.

They remind us that it’s not just freshmen that get school anxiety… but all kids get anxious meeting new teachers and classmates.

Here are 3 practical tips they share that I appreciate most that parents in Pine Bush NY might be able to use:

10. Normalize the anxiety.  Talk to your child about how it is normal to feel nervous or worried when starting something new.  Share personal stories about times you have been nervous when going to a new place and what you did to feel better.

11. Teach him some calm down strategies (deep breathing, counting to 10, telling himself that he can handle it, etc)

12. Remain positive and remind your child of her capabilities. Remember that kids get their cues from the important adults in their lives. If we feel comfortable and ready, there is a better chance that they will too.

Barbara Greenberg, on The Huffingtonpost adds another dimension to school anxiety that we hope we never have to

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