Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Anxious about going back to school

I started high school this year and made one friend and it's all fine. Obvioulsy, due to Covid there has been a lot of added pressure on my mental health. Since we are all going back (My year go on Monday 15th) I am panicking so much because i've had a covid test once before and i had a panic attack before and during it! No one at school knows about my anxiety except my best friend, I don't want to embarrass myself infront of everyone but my mum doesn't understand and i'm not comfortable talking about it to anyone! I hate it, i don't know why I can't just stay calm and able to talk about whatever i need to! I don't know what to do!

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Going back to school after the coronavirus pandemic restrictions are lifted is going to feel positive for some but worrying for others. For a lot of people, it's probably going to feel like a bit of both.

It's been a difficult time for students and working from home has put a lot of responsibility on you. Now that schools are reopening, it’s OK to feel anxious or nervous about going back. Childline has advice about going back to school, how to prepare and how to manage your feelings about returning.

Coping with anxiety when you're in a public place like school can be challenging. There's often a lot going on around you and it can be difficult to find the space you need to stay calm and relaxed. Childline has lots of advice about how to cope with anxious feelings or panic attacks, and you can try some of the activities in the Calm Zone to help you manage feeling stressed and low.

I think one thing that might help is the Calm Aid Kit. Some objects, perhaps something meaningful from home, can help to calm you and remind you of a safe place. You can bring these in with you to help you with your school day. While this might be a little more challenging if there are restrictions on what you're allowed to take into school - it can also be something as simple as a note to yourself that you keep in your pocket.

The most important thing to do is to look after yourself, and be mindful of how you’re feeling. Try to think about what could help make going back to school easier for you, and ask for help and support if you need it.

You can also talk to your school or teacher about how you’re feeling. The more they know about your worries, the better they can support you. I can't promise what your school will do as every school is different, but it's important to give them the chance to help. It can help to make suggestions about things they could do to support you. If you go to them with specific ideas you'd like then it's easier for them to know how to help you.

Whenever you feel anxious or like you might have a panic attack you can always get support from Childline. Childline counsellors are trained to help young people who’re having panic attacks and won't ever judge or rush you. If you're at school, you might need to excuse yourself and find somewhere private to do this. Telling your school what’s happening can help your teachers understand why you might need space or privacy at school.

Thanks for writing to me, I'm really glad you shared how you're feeling. I hope this letter has helped.

Take care.


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