The Results Are In! Teens Share Their Back-to-School Thoughts

We asked the Choices Teen Advisory Board how students really feel about going back to school. Here's what we learned. 

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The new academic year has dawned upon us, and kids across the country are heading back to school. Teachers eagerly anticipate the chance to implement their refurbished lesson plans, parents rejoice over a finally quiet home, and students … Wait, did anybody even bother to ask how they’re feeling right now?

As parents and teachers, we may try to recall the pressures of a new school year, as if it were just yesterday that we ran the halls. But in reality, it’s been a while since we were in school, and teens today are dealing with challenges much different from the ones we once faced. 

To bridge the communication gap between parents, teachers, and teens when it comes to academic stress, Choices reached out to its Teen Advisory Board—a nationally diverse group of brilliant middle and high schoolers—for some insight. We asked more than 60 of our advisors how they really feel about going back to school. Here are some highlights:

On first-day-of-school eve, just more than half (53 percent) of teens are too excited to sleep, while 47 percent are too nervous.

Teens are most looking forward to seeing their friends as they go back to school, and least looking forward to drowning in homework. In fact, 42 percent of our advisors listed “amount of homework” as the No. 1 thing they wish they could change about school this year.

According to our advisors, the most valuable quality a teacher can have is respect for his or her students, closely followed by approachability, and three-quarters of students say that there is an adult at school whom they would feel comfortable going to for support.

Only 3 percent of teens say that bullying is a serious problem at their school. More than half believe it’s a little thing that gets hyped up by adults. The rest (46 percent) say it only happens from time to time.

• When it comes to life after high school, 70 percent of teens say they have somewhat of a plan, 18 percent say that have it all figured out, and 12 percent haven’t even thought about it.

To put these stats into context, check out this post from Arden, one of our teen advisors who gave us an in-depth inside look at what’s really going on in teens’ minds once summer comes to an end. 

Know of any teens who would be interested in joining our advisory board? Have them apply here