LISTEN: Dealing With Transitions, Like Starting High School

Find the full episode at This Teenage Life, and wherever podcasts are found. The start…

By Beth Fertig

Find the full episode at This Teenage Life, and wherever podcasts are found.

The start of a new school year is a time of renewal. But for teens, it can also be fraught with anxiety after a summer away from the structure and daily interactions of school. They may be afraid that they’ll have trouble keeping up as the high school workload gets more challenging. Or that they won’t make new friends; or wear the “right” clothing. The latest episode of This Teenage Life (TTL) dives right into this bumpy emotional landscape of transitions.

This Teenage Life is a podcast that helps teens feel less alone by giving them space to talk about their emotions and experiences. At XQ, we value youth voice and choice so much that we’ve made it one of our design principles for rethinking how to make better high schools. We’re proud to sponsor TTL because we believe listening to students helps educators foster caring, trusting relationships—another one of our design principles.

The theme of this latest episode—transitions—was suggested by a listener in Tunisia who said she wanted to hear other teens discuss how they handle the stress of entering a new year of high school. Stella, in Chicago, acknowledged the “huge anxiety” of returning to school after not seeing classmates for months, when some kids may go through physical changes, and said she decided to let go of her expectations for the fall. Gamu, from England, said she moved around so often that she’s learned not to reveal too much of herself in a new situation until she gets more comfortable. Other teens talked about using books and journals to escape mentally and to reassure themselves.

Listen to previous TTL episodes dealing with high school, sponsored by XQ:

Listen to How Teachers Can Help Students Feel Seen on “This Teenage Life”

Listen to Teens Discuss What Mattered Most to Them in High School Classes

How the Pandemic Changed Us: High Schoolers Share Their Perspectives

All art by Cloe Moreno, provided by This Teenage Life