According to Dr. Josh Klapow, clinical psychologist and co-host of the radio show The Web, it’s normal to experience some degree of back-to-school anxiety, regardless of how long it’s been since you were a student. After all, school doesn’t just account for a large portion of our lives, it takes place during some of our most impressionable years, Klapow said.
It makes sense, then, that our most salient memories from school often come rushing back to us at the start of a new school year, Klapow said. These memories – good, bad and otherwise – can bring us back to a specific emotional state, be it anxiety, nostalgia, dread, sadness or a general feeling of being overwhelmed.
According to Klapow, the transition from summer to fall can be a stressful time for many people. “Summer is about nostalgia and represents for so many of us a time when things were much more carefree,” he explained. The start of school signals a time to go back to work. It signals that time is passing us. Kids are getting older, life picks back up.