Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Scared of going to school!

Dear Sam,
So today, I actually faked sick so I could stay off and didn't get any sleep last night because I was worrying about school. For about a year now, before I go to sleep. I panic about school and get really worried which causes me not to sleep. Then in the morning I feel sick just thinking about school and just want to cry. I feel comfortable at home and have asked my mum about home schooling but she said no.
i have a group of friends at school but I feel like I'm drifting afpway from them. Nowadays, the only people I have to talk properly too are some nice people I've met online, who listen to my problems and are so kind. Everyone else just ignores me.
There is one reason why I partly hate going and that is because of my science teacher. He is really scary and puts pressure on you. I'm in the top set but definitely not the smartest, but most likely the dumbest and if I get an answer wrong he makes me feel stupid and just scares me. There's this boy who is always naughty, and when my science teacher gets annoyed, he shouts really really loud and I just want to start crying.
another problem is homework. I rarely do it because I need time to cool off after school not to do a load more work. I don't get to trouble for not doing it, because a few people don't do it.
I really don't want to go to school anymore. On the Sunday before Xmas, I cut my arm and just cried and cried because I felt I couldn't hold it in anymore. The next day, my mum saw the cu on my arm and got worried. She asked me why but I was too scared to tell her because I don't want to see anyone face to face.
Speaking to you is a lot easier because we have never/will never meet.
Please help me out before I do something worse!
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter.

A year is a long time to have had all of these bad feelings about going to school.

All of your worries about school can be very scary and cause you to panic which makes sleeping very difficult. I imagine this could be exhausting for you and it’s understandable that you feel so emotional and want to cry.

Your school should feel like a safe environment and somewhere that you want to spend time and learn. It sounds like it’s hard for your science teacher to understand how his behaviour affects you and that this is one of the reasons that you don’t want to be at school.

It might be helpful to think of someone at your school that you trust and could talk to about how you’ve been feeling in class. This might be the school nurse, or a different teacher who you might get on with a bit better.

The way that you feel about school is affecting everything you do and you’ve described feeling as though you’re drifting away from your friends. I imagine that school could feel like a lonely place now that you feel like everyone there ignores you.

The Sunday before Christmas sounds like it was a very difficult day for you. You reached the point where you couldn’t keep all of these thoughts and feelings inside any longer. At ChildLine we hear from lots of young people who cut or self-harm in different ways. Maybe you could think about how you'd feel if you could tell someone about this? You could also speak to ChildLine a bit more about how you felt when you cut.

Sometimes it can help to write a diary to keep a record of how you’re feeling. This can be helpful if you’re thinking about telling someone else when you’re ready. If you do decide to talk to someone at home or at school, having those feelings written down might be a good way of giving you confidence.

You described feeling as though you need time to cool off after school and maybe this would be a good time to think about talking to a ChildLine counsellor. At ChildLine, the counsellors are here to listen to you and to support you so you don't have to cope with things on your own. You can talk to a counsellor by phone, 1-2-1 chat or email.

We also have message boards where you can chat to other young people going through some of what you have been telling me about. 

It’s taken a lot of courage to write to me and I hope that you talk to ChildLine again when you’re ready.

Take care


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