Most students are back in school by now, and despite the stereotype that students dread the end of summer freedom, students most commonly say they’re excited to be back in class, according to a Ypulse back-to-school survey.

College students (66%) are more excited than high schoolers (52%), which might be a reflection of students’ relative sense of freedom during school. College students have more autonomy in determining their class schedule and most live in dorms or apartments during the school year, whereas high schoolers are more likely to have rigid schedules and parents checking up to make sure they did their homework.

Despite their excitement, students are also anxious. Again, this applies to college students (51%) more than high schoolers (44%). College students will find themselves in classes full of students they’ve never met and teachers they don’t know much about. Also, with each semester they get one step closer to the “real world” and a challenging job market. No wonder they’re anxious!

High schoolers are much more likely than collegians to be scared (17% vs. 12%) and sad (26% vs. 9%) about school starting. Those who are sad are no doubt mourning their summers of freedom; high schoolers are less likely than college students to take classes or have jobs during the summer. Those who are scared to go back to school may be facing an entirely different issue…bullying. While it is a year-round issue for students thanks to the Internet and social media, dealing with bullies face-to-face, in front of other students is much more difficult.

The best part of school is friendships; high school students most commonly say seeing friends is the best thing about being back in class (56%). For college students, taking new classes tops the list (41%), followed closely by seeing friends (39%). While  students are excited to get new clothes and technology for class, few cite those things as the best aspects of back-to-school season; only 5% say tech is top and a mere 4% name clothes.

Students have a significant role in back-to-school shopping; 76% claim they are the primary decision makers. As expected, college students (82%) are more likely than high school students (49%) to be the decision makers, but an additional 39% of high schoolers say they share the decision making and make at least half of their back-to-school purchases. Only 12% of high school students and less than 1% of college students say someone else makes most of the purchase decision.

The research presented here is from an initial back-to-school survey conducted by Ypulse.