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Students Share Their Back To School Experiences

BTS

September has come and gone and by now, most, if not all, students are back in school. Throughout the past month, we checked in with more than 2,200 high school and college aged Millennials to ask them about their transition back to school, how their first day went, and what they’re most excited for this year. Overall, starting a new school year has been a positive experience for them and many are excited for what’s in store whether it be classes, friendships, or a fresh start.

The first day back at school is always nerve-wracking, yet exciting as most students mentioned. Many explained that they were restless the night before school about their classes, teachers, and about getting back into the routine. However, for many, the anxiety quickly disappeared once they arrived at school and reunited with their friends and/or made new ones. Moreover, most Millennials indicated that their school was filled with energy and for the most part, the opportunity to see friends again or meet new people outweighed their anxiety about finding their classes, the workload, and not having classes with their close friends. As a 17-year-old female stated, “I was really nervous going in, but I ended up having a lot of fun and feel comfortable already.” This seems to be the consensus among most Millennials we heard from.

Additionally, students mentioned that preparing for back to school was really fun and they liked picking out a special outfit for the first day of school. This is an exciting tradition for many as a 16-year-old female expressed: “For me, the most important thing about the 1st day [of school] is always what outfit you’re going to wear…planning it out weeks in advance, laying it out the night before, and praying that no one else would be wearing the same thing!!” While there’s pressure about the first day of school, especially in terms of one’s outfit, many viewed it as an opportunity to wear something new that reflects their personal style and makes them feel confident.

We were also pleased by students’ enthusiasm for new classes. Many indicated that their courses seem challenging, but also very interesting and rewarding. Students expressed excitement about their teachers and felt like the first day reflected signs of a good year. Even most of those who felt like their syllabi seemed overwhelming indicated that they were pretty happy with their classes and their teachers and professors seem like they’ll make the subjects enjoyable and engaging.

Many were also eager to share the new sense of responsibility that they’re looking forward to along with this new school year. High school seniors frequently mentioned how happy they were to get off-campus privileges for lunch and how they feel more grown up as they’ll be graduating this year. Freshmen in college frequently mentioned how they love having more freedom and time between classes. In fact, one 18-year-old female stated: “I loved my first day of college. The transition between high school and college is amazing. Being able to have time in between my classes is the best! My professors are so cool and I just completely love it already.” For some students, it’s still the very start of the school year whereas others are fully in the swing of things, but overall, heading back to school was a success and many said they’re eager to learn this year, challenge themselves, and have fun with friends.