How to Prepare Mentally & Emotionally for the New School Year Ahead

students in classroom


Not all students view school in the same way. Some look forward to going, whereas others dread it. Whatever view students may have about school, however, many things remain consistent. One of these is stress. The fact that it leads to increased levels of stress in many students is known.


Unlike other sources of stress, students cannot just forego school. Dealing with stress is the best way of coping, and preparation is key. Being mentally prepared is essential for students even before the school year starts. This is to ensure that they are kept emotionally healthy no matter what academic stresses they become subjected to.


What are some things that you need to prepare for?

The school year tends to be the most stressful time in a student’s life. There are many stressors that students are exposed to during the academic year. Some of the most notable ones include the following:


  • Academic requirements: The constant flow of academic requirements can become stressful for anyone. Always having to read, learn, and research tends to be both daunting and tiring for the unprepared
  • The pressure to excel: Many students want to excel for one reason or another. This pressure to excel can place an extra amount of stress on students
  • Grades: On the other end of excelling, other students can become stressed with below-average grades. Needing to catch up on requirements to pull grades up can be a very stressful situation

Academics are not the only stressors that students can become exposed to. Students can also experience personal and relationship-related problems. Some of these are:


  • Peer pressure: Students are constantly exposed to their peers in school. These everyday interactions can be a source of peer pressure. Dealing with this pressure unhealthily can have an impact on one’s academic life.
  • Romantic and personal relationships: It is completely normal for a student to want to have intimate relationships while in school. If mishandled, these relationships can be a cause of problems.
  • Personal problems: Problems with family, friends, or other personal issues can get in the way of proper academic performance. Even worse is the stress that they can potentially cause.

Even more problematic is how these stressors affect and aggravate each other when they occur all at once. This can sometimes be enough to tip anyone, not just students, off the edge. It is imperative to build resilience to be better equipped when dealing with these issues.


The benefits of being mentally and emotionally prepared

girl looks stressed in schoolThere is no way of being fully immune to stress. Developing resilience is an excellent way of preemptively dealing with potential stressors. There are several benefits to becoming more stress-resistant, especially for students. Some of these benefits include the following:


  • Mental and emotional health: Being prepared to deal with stress can lead to better mental and emotional health. Building resilience can also help a student become less emotionally affected by these problems. For example, a mentally resilient student will not be easily rattled when deadlines come up
  • Physical health: Mental and emotional health can significantly impact a person’s physical health. Some people believe that stress is only in the mind. This is untrue. Stress has many physiological effects on the body. How the body responds to excessive amounts of stress can lead to problems, diseases, and disorders. Being mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with stress can help in preventing these problems from occurring.
  • Reduced chances of psychological disorders: Psychological disorders are some of the most severe problems caused by constant stress in students. Some of these disorders include anxiety, depression, and many other issues. In fact, studies show that the number of students with mental health issues is increasing.

Many people believe that the only way to deal with stress is to solve it after it occurs. This is not necessarily true. There are also several ways of developing resilience against stress.


How to prepare for the new school year ahead

Students, in particular, can vastly benefit from being mentally and emotionally resilient. Stress-resistance is always a great thing to have. Not everyone, however, has the same amount of stress-resistance.


This is the reason why it is crucial to prioritize ways of preemptively dealing with the school year. Doing these can help students properly prepare for another academic year. Here are some ways of preparing for the new school year ahead.


1. Fix your sleeping habits

high school students in classSleep is critical on so many levels. An ample amount of sleep is necessary to allow the body to rest and recover. In fact, the lack of sleep has many direct physical effects on the body. Some of these include heart problems like heart failure, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. Other conditions, such as poor skin, poor digestion, or hair loss, are also possibilities. Lack of sleep also impacts a person’s emotional and mental health.


This is especially important for students that are about to enter the school year. Many tend to have messed-up body clocks as a result of the vacation.

2. Take care of your physical health

Physical health directly impacts mental and emotional health. Aside from this fact, poor physical health can lead a student to miss out on school days. Absences require the student to catch up on lessons, and this can lead to stress.


In addition to preventing school absences, studies show that physical activities can also improve memory and thinking. This is another incentive for students to exercise and stay healthy.


3. Be optimistic

Optimism has a massive effect on one’s outlook towards the world in general. Keeping a positive outlook, especially regarding the upcoming school year, may affect a student’s performance. Attempting to stay positive in the face of stressors can help a person deal with these problems properly. In fact, optimism can also lead to better physical and emotional health.


4. Develop your time-management skills

students writing an examThis is something that many students lack and can potentially lead to a lot of stress. Effective time management skills allow students to allocate time properly to different tasks. Doing so can help prevent you from cramming.


There are many good ways of developing time management skills. These include keeping a planner, estimating the time it takes to complete a task, preventing procrastination, and more.


5. Make a resolution always to be prepared for class

This is something that all students should do. Many students come to class unprepared. Make a resolution never to do this, and give yourself an incentive to do so. Even a small self-reward after an entire week of being well-prepared can help you develop good habits.


6. Find healthy ways to de-stress

high school students talk in hallwaySome people keep working without rest. While this is admirable, this type of habit is not viable in the long run. Even before the school year starts, find healthy ways of coping with stress. These ways can include taking naps, watching a movie, going out with friends, and more. Being able to de-stress is essential to keep one’s mental and emotional health intact.


7. Surround yourself with people that support you

This is also very important. People need others to be able to vent out their stresses to, and students are no exception. Surrounding yourself with people that support you can be beneficial for your academic life in the long run.


8. Don’t put excessive pressure on yourself

Many students subject extreme pressure on themselves in order to excel. While this can work, undue pressure is not viable for long periods. This can lead to emotional problems in the long run.


Make sure that you manage your expectations and know your capabilities. If you feel that you need to improve, then encourage yourself accordingly and in a healthy manner.


9. Avoid the unnecessary things that can cause you more stress

young man studies with laptopWe sometimes do things that introduce more stress into our lives. These things can be as simple as checking social media, spending too much time online, and many more.


Identify what these things are even before the school year starts. This can lead to better physical, mental, and emotional health later on.


10. Enjoy the free time

Finally, try to enjoy what free time you have before the school year starts. Do activities to relax, recharge, and prep yourself for the academic year ahead. Don’t leave yourself any room for regret regarding the activities that you failed to do during the break.


Do you need help in mentally and emotionally preparing for the school year ahead?

Capital Choice Counselling has been offering services in the Ottawa area since 2006. We have experienced counselors that can help you prepare for whatever stresses that you may potentially face. If you are worried or feeling anxious about the school year ahead, then we welcome you to get in touch with us. Use our convenient contact form – or call us at 1-613-425-4257 for further inquiries.