Friday, August 26, 2016

How to Banish Back-to-School Anxiety

Five days from the day I'm writing this. Three days from the day this post will go live. To what am I counting down? To Sunday when I'll fly back to San Diego (from my new home in Colorado Springs) for my last semester in college.

I'd grow a nose that would rival Pinocchio's if I didn't say I was anxious. I've been waking up in the middle of the night, making countless to-do lists in my phone and trying to savor the last moments of summer

casey the college celiac

Yet, as summer winds down, so are my worries. Need help banishing your back-to-school anxiety? Here are my top four tips!

1. Accept that this school year will be different

I know that, compared to some students, my last semester will feature more changes than usual. My parents no longer live a mere 45 minutes away. The relationship that filled my sophomore and junior year has ended. And I'm welcoming a new roommate into my college apartment

casey the college celiac, plnu, babe cave
Same Babe Cave, different babes...
Everyone experiences yearly changes, though, big or small. Whether you've just moved up a grade or moved to a new school, accepting change will allow you to accept the unique positives (and negatives) of this school year. 

It can be scary knowing that this year won't be the same as the last, but it also means that this year can offer blessings, surprises and friendships you never expected

2. Make a bucket list of activities to look forward to. 

While the causes of anxiety differ from person to person, they usually are negative (ranging from the fear of homesickness to not making any friends). To combat these negative thoughts, you may want to make a list of everything you're looking forward to. I took this idea even further, though, by creating a yearly bucket list

casey the college celiac, senior year bucket list
My list so far...
In this case, I'm not just celebrating being reunited with friends or having my favorite teacher again. Instead, I'm focusing on everything new and exciting I want to do! If you're a senior like me, a bucket list is an especially great way to give a "last hurrah" to college

Need some ideas? Some bucket list items could include: exploring an area of town you've never been to, finally joining the club you've been interested in for years, having a weekly movie night with your roommates or even scoping out that gluten free pancake restaurant you've heard so much about!

3. Reconnect with school friends. 

No matter how hard you try, you may have fallen out of touch with your college friends during summer - especially if you were working an internship, moving across country or just chilling at the beach all day. To start getting excited for school, reconnect with the people who made last year so awesome

casey the college celiac, plnu, friends
Shout out to these awesome folks!
Not only will talking with friends remind you of the good times you had, but you can also make plans for the upcoming school year and share tidbits of your summer. When I talked to my roomies and friends, I also confided my worries for the upcoming school year - and their reassurances and pep talks definitely helped!

4. Plan and prepare...but smile at the surprises. 

If you're a planner, don't ignore that skill as a way to quell your worries. Make checklists of what to pack or what you'll need to do on move-in day. Input your class schedule into your phone and/or planner. You can even meditate and use visualization to picture your first day of class or how you'll arrange your dorm room. Basically? Don't let your worries get in the way of preparing yourself for success!

casey the college celiac, plnu
Packed & ready!
At the same time, though, don't become so stuck on your plans that you react to surprises like a dog hearing loud noises: yelling and running to hide under the nearest piece of furniture. I have my lists made, my flight booked and my patient car (waiting for me in San Diego) packed. Now, I just need to roll with whatever life throws at me along the way! (And definitely stuff my backpack with treats to fuel me or cheer me up, depending on what's necessary!) 

School anxiety is a normal feeling, whether you're a first-time preschooler, a returning middle schooler, or a soon-to-graduate (*insert screaming emoji here*) college senior. "Normal" doesn't mean "necessary" though - and with these tips, you can walk to school feeling more excited than worried...

casey the college celiac
From CO mountains to CA cliffs!
...especially about all the adventures to come!



Do you ever experience back-to-school anxiety? Do you use any of these tips? Tell me what you think below!

*Also found at FlauntItFridayIHeartNapTime and Saucy Saturdays!*

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