Have you ever had that thought? Lots of kids do. Usually this feeling doesn't last
long. But what happens if you feel this way too much? School is a fact of life, and
getting an education can help you build the kind of future life you want.
So let's talk about school and what to do when you don't like it.
Signs of School Stress
When you worry about school, it can affect your body. A kid who feels stressed
about school might have headaches
or stomachaches. You might feel "butterflies" or like you have to throw up.
Having trouble sleeping
is also a sign of stress. And if you're not getting enough sleep, you probably feel
grouchy and tired during the day. Feeling tired can make your school day seem even
If you're stressed out, you might have a hard time making decisions. In the morning,
you can't decide what to eat, what to wear, or what to pack for lunch. You don't want
to go to school, so you put off getting your stuff together. And now you're not prepared
to go to school, and you've just missed the bus — again! Staying home may seem
like a good choice, but it just makes it harder to go to school the next day.
Why Do Some Kids Dislike School?
If you don't like school, the first step is finding out why. You might not like
school because a bully
is bothering you, or because a kid you don't like wants to hang around with you. Or
maybe you don't get along with your teacher.
You might feel different or worry that you don't have enough friends.
Sometimes it's a problem with your classes and schoolwork. Maybe the work is too
easy and you get bored. Or maybe the work is too hard, or you don't feel as smart
as the other kids. Reading or math may be difficult for you, but you're expected to
do a lot of it. You may be getting farther and farther behind, and it may seem like
you'll never catch up. Maybe you're dealing with worries, stress, or problems that
make it hard to concentrate on schoolwork.
When you stop to think about why you don't like school, you can start taking steps
to make things better.
It's a good idea to talk to someone about your problems with school. Your mom,
dad, relative, teacher, or school counselor will be able to help you. It's especially
important to tell an adult if the problem is that you're being bullied or someone
hurts you physically.
Another good idea is to write down your feelings about school in a journal. You
can use a journal or diary or just write in an ordinary notebook. It's a great way
to let out emotions that may be stuck inside you. And you don't have to share what
you've written with others.
If you feel disorganized or like you can't keep up with your schoolwork, your teachers
and school counselors want to help. Teachers want and expect you to ask for help when
you have trouble learning. If all of your subjects seem really hard, a school counselor
can help you sort things out. Special help with schoolwork is available if you need
Try not to let the problems go on too long. It's easier to catch up on one chapter
than the whole book!
Feeling Better About School
The next time you find yourself disliking school, try this:
First, write down everything you don't like about school.
Then make a list of the good things you enjoy (even if it's only recess and lunch,
that's a start!).
Now, what can you change on the "don't like" list? Would remembering to do your
you feel more confident if you're called on in class? Can you get help with schoolwork
that's hard? Who can you talk to about a worry or problem you're dealing with? Could
you find a way to show off your special interests and talents? If you made just one
new friend, would you feel less alone? If you helped someone else feel less alone,
would you feel even better? Which activities could you try that would help you meet
Of course, you might not be able to change everything on your "don't like" list.
A bully may not simply disappear. Reading may always be a challenge. But that's OK.
Focus on what you can change and you might be able to put the cool back in school!