The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

Before or Back to School Jitters?

It's that time of year again!! Back to school. Whether you/your child is going back for your next year in high school or college, OR starting a new chapter in your life by heading off to college, this article is for you. It is completely normal to feel some anxiety, particularly if you are going off to college. Not only are you dealing with possibly moving some distance away from your family, you are starting a next chapter in your schooling and getting back into the swing of things with continuing your education. New faces, new classes, new teachers, new everything are there to meet you (or your child). This can be both a scary and exciting chapter as is any start of a school year can be.

So, how to get over the nerves and anxiety? Definitely get involved in any orientation groups that the school might be offering. This will help you meet other students and possibly form some friendships. Also, if you are starting college, take this time before classes start to get the lay of the land. Take your class list, a map of the campus, and walk around to where you classes are. This should help calm some of the nerves you might be having, at least in terms of feeling comfortable with getting to your classes successfully and on time and being familiar where things generally are on campus. It's also ok to call home! Everyone experiences anxiety before school starts. So, remember, it's ok if you want to call home or call friends. Make sure to be talking to people about how you're feeling instead of bottling it up inside.

If you feel like you're having difficult getting any before-school jitters out of your system or your nervousness is becoming problematic, get in touch with your guidance counselor, advisor, and/or school counseling clinic. This can also be a good resource to use if you're having a difficult time adjusting. There are also a lot of techniques like deep breathing, grounding, progressive muscle relaxation, journaling, etc. that can also be helpful to get rid of nervous energy. Not getting the immediate help or guidance you need? Check out www.liveperson.com to locate a counselor or therapist today. And remember: "Nerves and butterflies are fine- they are a physical sign that you're mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that's the trick." ~Steve Bull

1 comment (Add your own)

1. MERVE wrote:
This is a pretty noraml thing amongst all of us. As a matter of fact, many people suffer from this sort of thing (including myself). It's just that some people can cope better than others. From what you've described, there's no need to throw up the red flag to the extent that you have to go see a doctor. You do have social anxiety yes, but it's not a disorder. People with social anxiety disorder have all these symptoms you've mentioned, but because it's so extreme, it affects their daily routine and their ability to function noramlly in everyday life. So no need for the doctors yet! I was extremly shy like you too, and I had social anxiety as well right before I went to college a few years ago. Here are some ways you can deal with this: 1) If you're ever invited to an event, tell a trusted friend or a best friend of yorus to tag along with you. If he/she is outgoing, that's a plus. Observe how he/she would approach a social setting.2) Talk to yoru friends about this issue. If you're not comfortable talking on the phone, talk online (MSN, Facebook, etc). Or write an e-mail. That way, you can perhaps organize your thoughts much easier. 3) When you're at a party, try to fascinate yourself with other people; ask them about themselves. Approach with a simple "Hello" and make small talk. I find that things get easier after that point. 4) If you do have a Facebook account, you can add friends and keep in touch with them. That's the best way to get invites to parties other events, etc. That's also a good opportunity to improve your social skills.5) Join a club. There are people with diverse interests.and 6) In college, there are usually gorups tailored to helping people cope with shyness. When you find that you're still shy on the first few days of college, I urge you to check out for those types of groups. Go to like a counseling centre in yoru college and ask about them. Chances are they might have programs or groups or even clubs you can join with other shy people in them, I find that those thigns above have helped me quite a bit. But of course, no-one expects everything to work overnight, it takes a bit of time. But remember, everyone is in the same boat! It's noraml! I wish you all the best! References : Personal experience.

Fri, July 20, 2012 @ 7:04 PM

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