BRIDGING THE GAP FOR YOUTH STRUGGLING WITH STARTING SCHOOL
August 15, 2022
The 2022-2023 school year is promised to be a fully in-person school year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic for many. With that said, many young people are having mixed feelings about the return to school. Recent studies reveal that nearly half of students are scared to physically go back to school. There are over 40% of high school students admitting to feeling nervous about the upcoming year.
Youth For Christ (YFC) is aware of these concerns and is prepared to come alongside youth during such pivotal moments to provide support, encouragement, and love. Through their many different ministry outreaches, YFC is one of the foremost leaders in youth missional ministry, reaching young people everywhere and working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus.
YFC Campus Life meets youth in middle and high schools and builds relationships with young people to introduce them to Christ. Campus Life leaders help students as they wrestle with critical issues and guide them towards a Christ-centered life. This is done in hopes that provides balance mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
Ryan Anderson is YFC’s National Ministry Lead. Anderson has witnessed some of the stress modern youth are facing due to the pressures of going back to school. To bridge this gap, is the main priority.
Anderson said, “As young people begin to gather in large groups again, we’re noticing that they are having more panic attacks than I’ve ever seen before. The combination of anxiety of gathering in large groups and re-engaging in ‘normal life’ again has made it harder. It has become difficult for a teen to function in what we were so used to only a few years ago. They no longer have a screen to mute or hide video on. Now, they are forced to have a conversation face to face. This generation has always been the loneliest and most isolated, but these last few years have amplified that significantly.
“At the same time, the return to school is exactly what many young people have been craving for a long time. We’ve had an entire group of young people that have not gotten to experience what a normal middle school or high school experience is like. Their sports and activities have been canceled. They’ve gotten sent home for two weeks at a time simply for being in the same room as someone else who got sick. They, also, have had to learn on their own, without the same help from their teachers that the classes before them received. Many are excited to jump back into the normal rhythms of high school life.”
Anderson continued, “Adults, whether it’s a parent, teacher, guardian, or a leader in a young person’s life, can best support youth by simply loving them. Spend time to check in with them and see how they’re really doing. Ask them hard questions. Speak truth into their life. You never know when a young person is experiencing a pivotal moment in their life and one conversation can make all the difference. This generation needs to be led — whether they know it or not.
“At Campus Life, we have empowered thousands of loving adults to come alongside youth to build lasting relationships with young people in pivotal moments to help them uncover God’s story of hope in their lives.”