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How to Deal with New School Anxiety

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.”