Back To School Tips For Youth


Heading back to school can feel overwhelming, however, we wanted to remind you to put yourself first and ensure you start the year off on the right foot by celebrating your authentic self! 

Check-in with yourself and prioritize your wellbeing

Back to school can be stressful, especially as a 2SLGBTQ+ student. Once the school year starts it can be easy to fall behind on your self-care. While juggling homework, friends, and other stressors, it can be helpful to start getting into the habit of checking in with yourself and creating dedicated time to decompress. Something like journaling, making art, and consuming affirming queer content can all help remind you to take a moment, reflect, and breathe. Learn why self-care is essential for 2SLGBTQ+ youth and what steps you can take to start putting your well-being first. 

Express yourself in ways that feel safe and authentic for you

You can take other small steps to help align your environment with who you are. Experimenting with makeup or wearing gender affirming clothes is a great place to start when looking to express your authentic self. Wearing a pride flag pin or putting 2SLGBTQ+ themeds stickers on your water bottle are all little ways you can show the world who you are. Small actions like this can also help other 2SLGBTQ+ students who aren’t “out” yet feel safe. Coming out isn’t easy for everyone. Be inspired by Ethan’s “ road to figuring out my sexuality” to help you find ways to navigate your own coming out journey

Check your records to ensure they are current with your preferred name and pronouns

Contacting your teacher or school administrator and requesting a name/pronoun change prior to starting the school year can help make you feel more comfortable in your own class. Taking this step before you start school can help avoid deadnaming and other forms of gender invalidation. 

Not sure how to write an email to a teacher or principal?  Access our email template to help you get started! 

Access available resources

It’s common to feel isolated or like you have to deal with things on your own, but you aren’t alone. There are a number of great resources, caring allies, and organizations ready to provide guidance and support. See if your community or school has any 2SLGBTQ+ groups you can join. Visit our get help page for a list of organizations across the country!

Consider being a mentor

If you are a returning student, consider being a mentor to younger students who could benefit from your support. You could join or start your school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). Advocate for more inclusive books or connect with trusted school staff to find ways to make school a safer space for 2SLGBTQ+ students.

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