Ask Sam letter


To Sam

I am super worried about school.

Hello Sam ​ I am getting too worried about school. I keep thinking I might get bullied, I might get lost and getting told off. I was getting that worried that on my first day of secondary school, I felt like I didn't want to wake up at all. I also always have butterflies in my tummy all the time when I think about school. Another thing that worries me is about being separated from my friends as you get put into different levels for certain subjects and I really don't want to be separated from them as they are mainly the people (along with some of the teachers) making me less worried. Could you maybe tell me a few tips on how to not be as worried in school if that is fine?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It's natural to be feeling worried about going to a new place or going back to something – like going back to school - after a long break.

There might be lots of reasons you're feeling like this and it's important to find ways to cope with the specific things you're worried about. This is going to be different for everyone but there are some ideas you can try which might be a good starting point for you, or anyone else in a similar situation.

First it's good to take a step back and list the things that are making you anxious. For some people it might be difficult to name the things causing you anxiety, it could be things like homework, bullying, friendships, or something else. Take your time to think about this. Try to imagine your perfect day at school and what it would be like - then think about the things that are making it such a perfect day. Perhaps you're anxious that the things that would make your day perfect might not happen.

You've mentioned you're worried about being separated from friends. People generally feel more confident when they've got their friends to back them up in unfamiliar situations. Try to think about what it is your friends do for you to make you less worried. It might be they're someone you can talk to about what's happening in the lesson. If that's the case then maybe writing down some things you want to tell them about will help as you can share it with them later on at lunch or after school.

One technique for staying calm is to have something familiar with you - a physical thing that helps you to feel more relaxed. For some people this can be a stress toy, such as a squishy ball or something you can fidget with. For other people it might be a familiar object from home that helps to keep you grounded. It could be anything so try to find what works for you. You can find other ways that might help in the Calm Zone or in the Coping Kit.

​Your family and school should want to make sure you feel comfortable and able to learn. Try thinking about a trusted adult or teacher you could talk to about your anxieties and they can help find out what your school can do to help. They might have some ways of making your day easier, but they won't be able to help unless they know about it. Try talking to someone at school just like you have told me.

I hope these ideas get you started - everyone is different so you need to find something that works for you. If you want to think of some more ideas you could try chatting with a Childline counsellor or speaking to other young people about how you’re feeling on the Childline message boards.

Thanks for your letter, good luck with the new school year.

Take care.


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