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To Sam

I'm scared to go back to school after COVID-19

Dear Sam, I have been going to school with restrictions in place since May 5th of this year and I left for the summer holidays on July 17th but even though it has only been a month or so that I have been off school for, it is all I can think or dream about. I don't know how I will react on the first day back and have no idea whether or not this is even a normal way to feel. I was wondering if you had any advice to give about my predicament, Thank you, SL

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Going back to school after a long time away can be difficult, even under normal circumstances, but the pandemic has created extra anxiety. Finding ways to control this  anxiety isn’t always easy but there are some things that can help.

The pandemic has meant that lots of familiar things now feel more unfamiliar because people are acting differently. There are also lots of changes being made so it’s safe for you to go back to school. When things change it can be difficult to feel comfortable and have confidence but there are still many things that haven't changed. Your teachers are still likely to be the same people, so any relationships you built with them will still be there. If you have teachers you felt comfortable with before, perhaps you can talk to them about it when you go back to school.

Hopefully your school will try to get life back to normal as soon as they can. There might be lots of things that are different and strange, but if any of it makes you anxious or you find it difficult to cope with, I’m sure they will offer to help you.

When things feel unfamiliar and uncertain, it can sometimes help to take something comforting with you. It could be a favourite book, toy or object, but having it close by might make school feel more like home and reduce some of the anxiety you’re feeling. Check with your school to see what you're allowed to bring.

Our Calm Zone has tools and exercises that can help you stay calm when you go back to school. You might want to have bookmarked if you have a phone or have access to the school computers.

I hope this has helped but if you need to talk, our Childline counsellors are always here for you. You can also see how other young people are coping with going back to school on our message boards.

Thanks for writing to me.

Take care,


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