New school anxiety hits students transitioning between school levels each year. As this academic year gets underway Cathy Petchel, a clinical psychologist at Washington & Jefferson College, is ready to help.
Petchel says the major issues which contribute to new school anxiety stem from a fear of the unknown. That includes new social situations and how to build relationships in this new setting. Heightened academic expectations can also be a source of anxiety.
One solution, says Petchel is seek advice from older siblings, as they can answer younger siblings’ questions and ease their minds when it comes to the unknown. A way for adults to help ease anxiety is to develop a “self-initiative” in students.
One of Petchel’s favorite philosophies, highlights how students’ and parents’ anxieties are connected, “If you prepare the child, you prepare the parent.”