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Preparing for your next school year

Graphic image which reads "Preparing for the next school year"

The school year is finished and the summer holidays have begun! These coming weeks may be an opportunity to relax and enjoy your break, but we also know the time off can make you feel nervous, stressed, worried or anxious about the next school year.

The finish of the school year may have been an ending for you – leaving primary school, secondary school, college or university, and September may be a new beginning – starting your GCSEs, A-Levels, BTECs, going to a new school or college, moving away from home to go to university or starting a new apprenticeship or job.

It is totally normal to feel a range of emotions about these new beginnings and transitions, but we wanted to share some tips and resources that can help you feel more calm, excited and prepared for September!


Starting Secondary School

Moving up to secondary school can feel exciting and fun, but can also feel scary as there is lots of new and different things to get used to – a new building, school uniform, new teachers, a new routine, and making new friends. Maybe you’ll be travelling to school on your own for the first time, or going a different school to your friends.

These feelings are normal and totally understandable. There are people there, inside and outside of school, to support you and help you feel less worried, and it is really important to talk to someone you trust about how you feel and what you are worried about.

We hope the videos and resources below can help you feel less nervous and more ready to start Year 7 in September!


Here’s a video of our Young Ambassadors sharing the things they wish their 11-year-old selves new about starting secondary school!


Compass, a charity who provide health and wellbeing services, have created the ‘My Moving Up To Secondary School Booklet’ which contains a checklist of things you can do before September, tips for making new friends, homework, navigating your new school and more!


BBC Bitesize have created this hub dedicated to starting secondary school with resources for young people and parents and carers!


Leaving Year 11

Starting you’re A Levels, BTEC courses or apprenticeships can feel really exciting as it can be a fresh start and an opportunity to focus more directly on the subjects and areas that you are passionate about. This new transition can also feel really scary and uncertain, especially if you are leaving your secondary school and going to a new sixth form, college, or workplace. It might feel like all those feelings and worries from starting Secondary school have come right back, and it can feel daunting.

It is really important to remember that these anxious feelings are a normal, appropriate response to the uncertainty of starting something new and experiencing new things. And even though everyone says it, it is true that its important to remember that everyone else will be feeling these things too, and that it is okay to share these feelings with someone and let them know how you feel.

Starting new in September is an exciting opportunity to meet new people with shared passions and interests and experience something new. Some of our Young Ambassadors have described it as an opportunity to be a new version of themselves and try new things.


If you are feeling a little lost after spending the last year dedicated to your GCSE’s and are  unsure what to do next,  this article from BBC Bitesize contains six tips to help you handle ‘the post exam blues’.

BBC Bitesize also have a whole hub dedicated to information and resources about going to college and starting an apprenticeships that you can explore here!

If you are feeling nervous or anxious about results day, check out this blog by our Young Ambassador, Hannah, where she shares her tips on how to cope with results day.

If you are starting college, check out this blog by our Young Ambassador, Ryan, about his experience of leaving secondary school to go to college.


Going to University

The transition to university can feel really scary – and that’s okay! It is a big milestone and a significant change. This is true whether you are moving away from home, going to a university close to home, or taking a distance learning course. Whatever you are doing, it is a new experience and with that can come nervousness and feelings of uncertainty.

Starting university can be the start of lots of new things – living away from home, living with people you don’t know yet, managing your money, getting used to a new routine and managing the workload of your course. The amount of new things to get used to all at once can feel overwhelming and it is important to remember that you don’t need to do it all at once, and it can take some time to find your feet and get used to it all.

These feelings and worries are completely normal, and understandable, and so many others will also feel, or have felt, the same as you.

It’s really important to find someone you can trust to share these worries with, and find the things that help support you to feel better able to

We hope the resources and tips below can also help you with your transition into your new university life!

If you’re feeling nervous or anxious about A-Level results day, check out this blog by our Young Ambassador, Hannah, where she shares her tips on how to cope with results day.

If you’re nervous about not getting the results you need for university, this blog from BBC Bitesize shares stories from young people about what they did when they didn’t get their results and what they did next.

Students Minds (a university student mental health charity) have created ‘Know Before you Go’, a guide to help you feel prepared before you start university. It covers many topics in detail including, building relationships, mental health, sexual health and becoming independent!

‘Getting Ready for University’ have a great video playlist called ‘Settling in at Uni’ containing over 20 videos on a range of topics such as moving away from home, how to make friends, living well on a student budget, having dyslexia at Uni, and more!

The Mental Health Foundation have created the #BehindTheBooks campaign which aims to help university students talk about their mental health, identify when they’re struggling and provide tips on ways to cope to normalise the ups and downs of uni life. The blogs and resources have been co-produced by university students and The Mental Health Foundation.





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