Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Greatly struggling with school.

I am terrified to go to school. I hate getting an empty bus every morning because any other buses that come to my area come much later and I would be late for school. I am left waiting in the school yard alone before any of the the other 700 students have even woke up. I am only in 1st year and the teachers pile up homework, I feel like I am drowning. I get home at about 4:30, then I have about 3 hours of homework which I greatly struggle with. When I finish, and have showered it is about 8:00-8:30. I have no time to socialise with anyone. Waking up everyday is an effort and I cannot even think about going through 5 more years of this. If you leave a book in your locker for the next subject you get 50-100 lines and detention, I am scared and double check my bag multiple times. I don't know how I can cope with this. Help me, please...
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds like school has been getting steadily more and more overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like you have to keep pushing through this stress but it’s really good that you’re asking for support when you’re struggling.

You’ve said how much the homework has left you feeling like there’s no time to socialise and even like you’re drowning. On top of this I can see how the early starts have left you feeling alone in the mornings. When you’re in school it sounds like there are a lot of feelings of fear and anxiety about making sure you’ve got all the books you need.

It’s really important that you know that you’re never doing anything wrong by saying that you’re struggling at school. It can take time to be able to get a balance of being able to do the work you’re given and to look after yourself at the same time.

I get the sense that school feels like this place where you have to achieve no matter what and you can’t let yourself fall behind at all. As well as this though, school is a place where you’re there to learn and be supported, not just with the subjects but with life skills and how to cope with difficult situations like this as well.

I’m wondering what it would be like to think about the teachers you get on with, and to approach them with how you’ve been feeling and even to talk about particular things you’ve been struggling with. Asking an adult for help can feel really daunting but we have a page giving information and advice about how to do it.

When you’re thinking about your homework and workload there are lots of different things that you could think about to help make it feel more manageable. As well as talking to a teacher you could talk to people at home about how they could help you get a routine that lets you have time to socialise. You’re never alone in feeling this way about school. You might find it really helpful to read how other young people deal with their homework on the ChildLine Messageboards.

Even thinking about little things can really make a difference. For example you could do some pieces of homework while you’re waiting in the morning instead of doing it the night before. Or you could set specific times to take breaks while you’re working - this can really help you to feel more in control.

No matter what, ChildLine counsellors are here to support you. You can talk online or by calling on 0800 1111 – maybe you could call ChildLine one morning whilst you’re waiting on your own.

Take care,

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