Back to school blues: How can students fight this?

Going back to school from a long break can be stressful. Net photo.

The long holiday break from school came to an end last week; students from all over the country were seen packing as they headed back to their respective schools.

Whereas this moment can be filled with excitement, it’s been observed that not only students but professors, teachers, administrators and parents encounter a ‘tough’ transition at the beginning of every academic year. 

 

Heritier Minani, now a candidate in Nu-Vision High School, says going back to school, especially from such a long break can be stressful attributing this to the hardships that come with re-adapting to the routines and big workloads of academics.

 

However, he is quick to point out that it is very crucial to find ways of adapting.

 

“Just like anything else that we dread, we have to come to terms with it so that it doesn’t become a habit. For lucky students the feeling may be fleeting, but this is not the case with everyone,” he says.

Minani is hence of the view that by being proactive, any student can be able to alleviate and possibly overcome the dreadful blues.

“For instance, I chose to practise a schedule, which will in the long run help me ease into a routine better. I also take on challenges ahead of time which reduces anxiety while slowly building up the spirit and confidence back,” he explains.

On the other hand, Cherish Nkurunziza a teacher at Kigali City Primary School believes that for any student to overcome the blues, they need to reframe their thinking.

“Transition from long holidays back to school can be hard, but students should let their fears out. As a student, it is important to know what they fear and propose a plan to tackle it. By doing this, a student will be able to control their focus -which is the most important aspect of a student’s life at school,” Nkurunziza reiterates.

Dianna Daisy Uwonkunda a teacher at Excella primary and secondary school challenges students to have new goals for the new academic year. She says that students need to understand that this should be taken as a time of not remaining stagnant but instead feel refreshed and look at the new academic year as a new beginning.

“Creating a strategy will help them fight the blues. This can be joining a new school club, getting involved in extra-curricular activities such as sports or community activities. This will in the long run help in terms of improving their grades,” she says.

For Rosette Mutesi, a mother of one, parents should play a role in ensuring that students don’t go back to school when they are ‘worn out.’

“Towards the beginning of the year, parents can be pivotal in ensuring that their children gain back the confidence, spirit and the love for an academic setting. This can be done through a number of organised workshops, assignments among others,” Mutesi notes.

She also adds that students should begin a new academic year with great aspirations and expectations.

“Many students have not been able to distinguish between aspirations and expectations. And yet, there is a subtle but important distinction between these aspects. Aspirations are about wanting to be better, whereas expectations convey a belief about the likelihood of success. Teachers can help raise expectations for their students but the same can’t be said for aspirations,” she points out.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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