Going Back To School
As summer comes to a close, it’s time for some of us to go back to school. For some, we have been looking forward to this moment for months. Others are dreading the idea of getting back into this structure and routine. Regardless of which of those describes you, there’s one question that remains for everyone.
What about COVID?
As the Delta variant is on the rise and we’ve grown accustomed to learning online, it’s understandable that feelings of anxiety and worry are showing up. Here are some considerations for whatever stage you find yourself (or a loved one) in:
- Elementary School: Because we’re working with kids under the age of 10, COVID may be a big concern. It’s important to have the conversation/s of what helps both the kid/s and parent/s feel comfortable going back to school. Some of these questions could relate to wearing a mask, keeping distance between other people, and washing hands/using hand sanitizer frequently. Make sure to check in with kids’ emotions and feelings, and be patient as they learn to return to school in-person.
- Middle School: Developmentally speaking, this is the prime age when kids experience growth spurts and puberty, often resulting in awkwardness and getting comfortable with oneself and their body. Having been online for a year-and-a-half, the expectation and understanding of what going to school means has changed dramatically. It will be important to talk with kids about changes they are experiencing and help them transition into the next phase of their life. Providing an open and safe space for them to vent and discuss their emotions/feelings will be of the utmost importance.
- High School: Depending on what the school year looked like (online vs. in-person), it’s likely that your teens have missed out on a lot when one thinks of high school. There may be a lot of exploring and experimenting that needs to happen so that one can truly get the teenage experience. It’s important to have patience and understanding when transitioning back to school in-person, while also reinforcing whatever rules may be in place as it relates to COVID (i.e., masks).
- College: Whether you’re starting your freshman year or getting ready to graduate, college may look very different compared to years past. Most schools require that students be vaccinated, so make sure to check your school’s requirements and meet them prior to the first day of school. For many, this means transitioning back to living on their own without parents or guardians helping every now and then (grocery shopping, laundry, etc.). It would be wise to do some back-to-school shopping and make sure that they are prepared.
As someone who is going back to school myself, I can admit that the transition may be difficult, but also exciting! It is important to remember that change is inevitable and can always come with a list of pros and cons. Remember to be kind and gracious with yourself over the next few weeks, and engage in whatever form of self-care that helps you get through it.
A great quote to keep in mind is, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King Jr.