How to Face Back-to-School Blues

Many studies have proven that students, especially children, tend to experience back-to-school blues unwillingly. Dr. Bobby Jain, a child psychiatrist, explains that children don't specifically need to have a history of anxiety or behavioural problems, anyone can experience these unnerving and depressive feelings that seem to arrive on every new academic year.

However, I am no longer a child and yet every time university starts in September, I feel extremely depressed and spend most of the last days of my freedom at home in bed. Now, I'm certain that all of you guys can totally relate, and being as classes have started once again, what better way to kick off first semester than to follow these five tips to keep ourselves motivated and mentally prepared to beat those gloomy feelings that come around every year around this time? 

1. Stay Positive!

I would say this would be the best tip of all. You need to stay upbeat! Sometimes in these situations, I have trouble trying to cheer myself up, so I try to distract myself by drawing and reading. Find a hobby that keeps your mind clear and do what makes YOU happy. Try pampering yourself a bit - you know you won't have the time to do it once school gets actually serious by the second week of classes. If it's as simple as going out for a walk, then do it, or if you need to spend some big bucks on therapy shopping, then by all means indulge in the most inessential things, just do something more valuable with your time besides stressing out over the start of university. 

2. Ask Yourself: Why?

Sometimes asking yourself why you may feel like this can help make you feel somewhat less anxious. I used to be bullied in elementary school by my own friends, so part of the reason I hate going back to University is the fear of my own friends betraying me. What I have realized, however, is that there are plenty of awesome people out there to befriend - knowing this helps calm me down a bit during these last few days before school.

3. Make a Pros List - Leave Out the Cons

A simple Pros list can help you get in a much better mood and overall mindset. Starting university with a positive attitude is key for success, throughout the entire academic year. Sometimes it's hard to remember all the reasons you should go to university, so the next time you face this dilemma just grab a pen and paper to make a list of what you should look forward to in this school year. Perhaps, consider joining some clubs or volunteer initiatives to meet new people, and to place less emphasis on just the academic side of things and focus a bit more on extracurricular activities as well.   

4. Breathe! Before you know it, it's back to your summer vacation. 

This tip has helped me the most, what I usually do is just tell myself this is just another year. It will only be a few months until I’m back at home with nothing to do. Breathing slowly can calm you down immediately, you are basically telling your brain: "Hey, I've got this. It’s less than a year, we can totally do this". Try meditating, taking days off for yourself and being totally zen. 

5. Seek Help!

Sometimes, serious phases of depression will not be easily resolved with a simple seasonal change and require more professional help to be resolved. That's completely fine! Talk to a counsellor or make an appointment with your doctor. It’s okay to be upset or down on some days, but if your continuous depressed mood is interfering with your daily activities then you need to seek external help. At times, you may experience irritability, don’t presume this to be a symptom of mood swings or hormonal changes, these can also be signs of serious depression. So please, do ask for help! It’s out there for you, you just have to be willing to pursue it.


At the end of the day, you need to understand why you feel this way. Try to determine whether this is a serious issue or a mild case of back-to-school blues because no one can understand how you feel better than yourself. It is okay to comfort yourself at times. When I become down during the last few days of summer, I try to think about the good things that will be coming up in the school year. Keep yourself busy to let these past few days pass by quickly. Just give it some time, before you know it you'll be back in school mode and nothing will to stop you.