Guest Blog: My Back to School Experience | OpinionPanel x YouthSight

Guest Blog | 22 Mar 2021

OPC X YSThis month's guest blog comes from a year 10 student, who is returning to school after months of home studying. Get an idea of what emotions are prevalent for students right now and learn how you can use this insight to connect or alleviate stresses for your young audiences.

This is the seventh article in our guest blog series written by members of our OpinionPanel Community. In this series you can hear Gen Z's stories, in their own words and on the topics that matter most to them.

Read more articles from the series here. 

My Back to School Experience


I'm a year 10 student from Leicester, and here is my experience of the first day back at school after what feels like forever.

Nerves are kicking in

As soon as Boris Johnson made the announcement that schools will open on the 8th of March, everyone has been eagerly waiting for this day; Getting to see our friends again and working in a normal environment is what we've all been looking forward to. 

Even the last week of home learning was filled with 'we can do this next week properly in class' and making plans for the weeks ahead. So much build-up, all for school!

But with this excitement, also comes nerves.

I prepared mentally and tried to sort out my sleeping pattern (I’ve gotten too used to waking up at 8:15am - 15 minutes before logging on to my first call) and travelling to school would be different (although not as challenging for me, as I walk to school instead of taking the bus).

Finding my focus  

I’ll admit it! Monday wasn’t a productive day. Everyone needed time to adjust and catch up. My form teacher had made us all welcome back packs with chocolates and it was just great to talk to people in person again. I had seen a few friends at the park, but no one properly.

While the school tried its best to maintain some sort of order, it is quite impossible to socially distance and wear a mask all day. Even in classes with passing things around – we have to put our faith in hand sanitizer!

Classes were odd and I found it easier to contribute than on video calls. However friends have not had the same experience and one said they actually found it more difficult, although this may be because everyone was a little more excitable and loud.

I'm exhausted! 

I didn’t anticipate that a full day as school would be so tiring. While home learning wears you out because of screen time, at least you can take breaks and be in the comfort of your own home. At school I struggled with moving about all day – although I’m sure by next week I’ll have settled in again.

We have to get two Covid tests a week, just to make sure we don’t catch anything and pass it on. I have a pack to bring home but some people are doing this in school. It all feels a bit surreal!

My sister is in primary school and things are much different for her with testing. I will carry on doing what I can to keep people around me safe! Especially because I haven’t had the virus yet.

I’m still really excited to be back, and look forward to things getting back to normal again. Everyone reading this, especially secondary school students – follow the rules and be safe!


Read more about the OpinionPanel 

The OpinionPanel Community is the UK's largest youth research panel with over 150,000 highly engaged 13-30 year olds ready to take part in your research project.  

Our Community is more than just a research panel; it's a platform for young people to express themselves, share their thoughts and experiences with peers, learn from thought-leadership articles and hear alternative views on topical subjects. 

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