Over the coming weeks, many children and teenagers will be returning to schools across the country to resume their education. For many, this can be quite daunting to cope with (especially seeing some of your friends in face masks, should they choose to wear one). This article should provide you with some general reassurance as to how you should approach returning to school.
Before exploring any of the suggestions, I must stress that it is important for you to consider your mental health. Your state of mind is your biggest asset in terms of aiding you to get through these difficult times.
If you have any concerns, the most appropriate people you can talk to are your family. Sometimes, just having that conversation with a reassuring family member can make a world of difference. It may also give you extra confidence when dealing with the current situation. I understand that for some people, family may not be the most comfortable option so here are three websites that you could use to find local help:
Mental health help
Youthwatch Trafford Mental Health – This has information about dealing with mental health from our team here at Youthwatch Trafford. It has many thoughtful and supportive links as well as stuff that can really make your lockdown experience more enjoyable.
The NHS website has a lot of information on how to support yourself and helpful services, helpline and apps.
Kooth is a great online resource; this is a place where you can receive online counselling or just talk to a counsellor if you choose. The counsellors are online and available to talk from 12pm during weekdays till 10pm and for weekends it’s 6pm-10pm.
There are many modes of transport available in Greater Manchester so choosing the most appropriate option can be a confusing task. Here are some pointers which may make it easier for you to decide:
- If possible, try to avoid public transport (at least for a few months) to avoid the spread of germs
- Personally, I would suggest walking as much as you can. Walking is not only a fabulous source of exercise but it also ensures social distancing measures are kept. If you are also interested in reducing your carbon footprint, walking is an efficient way to do this!
- Travelling by car is also a safer alternative to public transport. It allows you to maintain safe distancing from others and is a quick method of transport.
Life at School
School life is likely to change drastically based on the current situation and it’s important that you adapt along with it to secure your safety. Here are a few short tips which hopefully make your school life easier:
- Try to take a packed lunch from home, avoid eating school meals.
- Make sure yousanitize your stationery between lessons for the safety of you and others.
- Make sure you do not lend your equipment to other people.
- Try your best to distance yourself from other people as much as possible.
- Carrying wet wipes to wipe down your desk has also been proven to be effective in killing the virus.
- Avoid taking lifts from other people (outside your family) to and from school.
Personal experience with returning back to school
Last week, June 16th, I went back to school for the first time in 3 months. The school had taken thorough measures in ensuring our safety as pupils. Upon arrival, there was a sanitary station perched outside the front gate where a teacher was squirting hand sanitizer into the hands of every passing pupil. They also made sure that all pupils had tissues and their own hand sanitizers with them. All corridor doors were kept open to ensure minimal hand contact and students had to follow a single file order when commuting between classes.
Inside the classrooms, there were areas cordoned off at the front, acting as a teacher’s personal space; students were not allowed here. As well as this, in laboratories, there were 8 students in a class with one on each of the 8 desks. This again ensured minimal contact with others, reducing the likelihood of the virus being contracted. From this example alone, you can see that schools are trying their best to ensure safe standards for all of its students and staff.
Hopefully this information has taken away some of the stress that you may be feeling towards returning to school. Remember that many people are in the same situation as you, so it is okay to feel anxious! Try to keep as safe as possible and if you still have concerns, try to talk to someone perhaps, from the mental health organisations previously listed.
From the Youthwatch Trafford team, keep safe and enjoy your time back in school!!!