The 5 Biggest Concerns Teens Have About Going Back to School

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The end of summer vacation means many teens are getting anxious about going back to school. While some teens are also a little excited about starting a new year, others are actually terrified. Ebates recently conducted a survey and uncovered the five biggest concerns teens have about going back to school:

1. Waking Up Early to Get to Class

Staying up until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping until mid-afternoon is a highlight of summer vacation for many teens.

Less structure often means teens can stay up watching TV, talking to friends, or listening to music without having to worry about what time they need to wake up in the morning. But, all that changes when school rolls around again.

Get your teen started on a back-to-school schedule a week or two in advance. It can take time for their bodies to adjust to waking up early and going to sleep at a reasonable hour. Begin setting bedtime rules and enforcing reasonable wake up times to ease the transition back to school.

2. Getting Too Much Homework

The homework load certainly increases in high school and students are expected to be responsible about managing their time to get their work done. As a result, they can become easily overwhelmed by their daily assignments, projects, and upcoming tests.

Help your teen create healthy homework habits. Establish rules that will help your teen be productive. For example, set limits on electronics use and create cell phone rules to prevent your teen from being distracted by text messages or social media.

Check-in with your teen regularly to ensure that homework is being completed on time and work together on problem-solving when issues and obstacles arise.

3. Not Liking My Teachers

Not all teachers are created equal. While some students think certain teachers assign too much homework, others students grow frustrated by unfair grading policies.

It’s likely that your teen will encounter at least one teacher he doesn’t like each year.

Learning how to work with people he doesn’t like is a great skill for teens to have. After all, it’s likely that he won’t like future college professors, bosses, or co-workers at one time or another. Talk to your teen about his concerns and discuss how he can be respectful, yet assertive when responding to authority figures, regardless if he likes them.

4. Not Having the Right Clothes

Although worrying about clothes may seem like an insignificant concern to most adults, to many teens, it’s a big deal. Teens often worry about being teased for not wearing the latest trends. It’s normal for teens to want to be attractive, and for many of them, clothing plays a big role.

Talk to your teen about any concerns she may have about what to wear this year. Go school shopping together and establish a budget that you can live with. Also, encourage your teen to earn money so she can afford to buy clothing that may not fit within your budget.

5. Not Fitting In

Although it’s developmentally normal for teens to want to assert their independence, they also tend to want to fit in with their peers. It’s important for them to be liked and accepted by others. The high school experience can be very painful for teens who struggle to fit in and make friends.

It’s normal for teens to change friends as their interests shift and it leaves many teens anxious about making new friends. Mental health issues can sometimes interfere with a teen’s ability to make friends – but depression and anxiety can also result when a teen isn’t fitting in. Monitor your teen’s mental health and have ongoing conversations about friendships, peer pressure, and making healthy choices.

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