Latter-day Saint Life

5 scriptures to ease back-to-school anxiety

Group of multiracial teenage college students ready to go back to school standing against blue background wall.
Starting a new school year can be overwhelming for parents and students alike, but these scriptures are sure to alleviate back-to-school jitters.
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As the long summer days begin to wrap up, many families find themselves face-to-face with an exciting new chapter: going back to school. Whether it’s a little one setting foot in kindergarten for the first time, an experienced teenager heading back to high school, a young adult moving away to go to college, or an experienced professional stepping back into the classroom, a new school year can also bring some big feelings with it, and sometimes, that includes some back-to-school anxieties.

Here are five of my personal favorite scripture verses that might just help with any new school year jitters, regardless of age.

Isaiah 55:9—“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

For me, this verse in Isaiah has two important takeaways for students who are feeling anxious about the new school year. The first is the reminder that God has a plan for your life, that His thoughts are grander and greater and more all-encompassing than our own. The fact that we each have an individual life plan is evidence that He is fully aware of any worries you may have, and He wants to help ease them in any way He can.

The second lesson involves more of the academic side of a new school year. By saying that “my ways are higher than your ways,“ God is also reminding us that He is the Supreme Creator. And as Supreme Creator, he is also the Master of all earthly laws and knowledge because He created them: math, science, language, history, you name it. He is the ultimate source of knowledge for any subject or topic we may struggle with in a classroom. As such, He can also be the Supreme Teacher, opening our minds to be more receptive to new concepts—concepts He already perfectly understands—presented in a personalized way He knows we will best comprehend and retain.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:36—“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”

This verse has a straightforward, powerful, easy-to-understand message, but let’s break it down. Let’s assume this verse follows God’s pattern of commandment-then-blessing language in scripture (à la “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land”): God requests that we look to Him in every thought. In return, He will bless us with an attitude of less fear, less doubt. And I am hopeful that as a God who is “no respecter of persons,” He is also no respecter of anxieties, and He can (and will) assuage any fears large or small you may have surrounding a new school year.

► You may also like: What we may be misunderstanding in the Savior's command to ‘Doubt not, fear not’

Matthew 11:28—“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

As the carefree, unstructured summertime days fall behind us, many students likely find themselves “heavy laden” in the classroom. So no matter what the “labor” of this year’s school year looks like for you, Matthew promises that as we more actively come unto Jesus Christ, we all can find rest. If you feel especially taxed by the pressures of school, consider asking specifically for mental peace, rest, or relief in your prayers. Finding simple ways to infuse your daily life with the Savior through tools like more dedicated personal scripture study, hymns, podcasts, general conference talks, or Church videos.

John 14:18—“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come unto you.”

John 14:18 is another great example of straightforward language in the scriptures. There is no mincing of words here. It doesn’t matter if your back-to-school jitters include fears about facing a new school, tackling a difficult class, encountering homesickness, or struggling with relationships among your friends. Christ’s message is simple and powerful: He will never ever leave you comfortless. He will always be with you, no matter how alone in your struggles you may feel.

► You may also like: One misunderstood New Testament scripture that can help you be less anxious

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10—“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

The principle that we are divine, that we are God’s children, that our souls have eternal worth and value, is a beautiful message for any scenario, and facing academic challenges or anxieties is no different. If you understand and acknowledge your worth in God’s eyes, He can and will help you remember how far you’ve already come and the challenges you’ve already overcome, or more specifically, the tricky concepts you’ve already mastered and the difficult exams you’ve already passed. And when facing anxieties, you can take comfort God doesn’t want you to fail—both in your life generally and in your academic endeavors—because the worth of your soul and the value of your happiness is of vital importance to Him.

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