Here's how to deal when your sibs start school before you

Back to school season is upon us—well, most of us. Because every school and state has its own reopening plans, some have opened earlier than others. My school doesn't begin until October 1st (!) while two of my siblings are already back in the virtual classroom. But being in vacay mode while your sibs are in study mode requires some getting used to. If you're in the same boat, don't sweat it. I've compiled a short list of do's and don't's to help you and your sibs stay sane.

Don't: barge into their room


It's super-easy to forget that your sibs are back in the classroom, especially in the first few weeks of school. It's generally good etiquette to knock before entering their room, but it goes double when there's a chance that they're on a Zoom call with their class. Not only is it a distraction for them, but it can be embarrassing if your work-from-home look is PJs and your hair is a tumbleweed (I may or may not be speaking from experience). 

Do: figure out their schedule


Knowing when your sib is on a call or taking a test can make interruptions a thing of the past. Have your sib print their schedule and put it on the fridge—or write down times not to disturb them so you can have reminders on your phone. That way, you won't have to keep asking if they have to Zoom soon. You can even help them prep for their upcoming tests if you're feeling generous. Virtual study groups just aren't the same.

Don't: create distractions


It can be a bummer, but now that your sibs are back in class, you won't be able to spend the same amount of time with them as you did during iso-vacation. It's fine to watch an episode of Stranger Things with them once in a while, but keep in mind that their main focus now is school. Don't try to tempt them to binge-watch a show when they have a mountain of homework. You don't want to be part of the reason their next report card suffers.

Do: get used to seeing them less


You might not be used to getting less attention from your sibs, especially if they're going back to in-person school. The good news is that you can focus on connecting with other people. Reach out to an old friend or set up a socially-distanced date with bae. Just because you can't see your siblings as much as you used to doesn't mean you need to spend all your time on your own. 

Don't: lose patience


Going back to school is already a stressful event, especially if you're starting at a new place. The global pandemic only makes things ten times more complicated. Have patience if your sibs are anxious or stressed. They might be afraid of an outbreak occurring at their school, or sad that social distancing is hurting their social game. Let them know you're there for them if they need to talk.

Do: prepare for your own bts


What better way to bust quarantine boredom than by preparing for your own return to the classroom? This could mean doing summer work, studying up on key concepts in math, or making sure your work station is ready before your first video call. You can pick up on what works and what doesn't as your siblings go back so that you're extra ready when your time comes.

Share your back-to-school essentials with us by tagging @girlslifemag on Instagram!

Slider/Header Image: Stanley Morales/Pexels


by Bailey Bujnosek | 8/31/2020