Been there, done that.
And it was an interesting experience. Three things that I know are certainly going to happen in middle school?
It’s unavoidable. You may think,
‘I’m nice, I’m not going to get into any drama.’
‘I already have so many friends, and we’re besties!’
or ‘Stress? Nah, I’m super smart, and it looks easy.’
No. Welcome to the world of busywork, manipulation, and writing essays in 30 minutes. You’re going to change, both physically and mentally.
Want proof? I looked at a couple of pictures of me from the start of 6th grade and realized how much puberty affected me. My mentality and attitude have been completely transformed.
Welcome to middle school.
So without further ado let’s get right into it.
You’re not cool
I’m going to start with this one because I’ve seen so many 6th graders act like they’re the boss. You’re not, and please stop yelling in the hallways. (Or online). People are trying to do their work, not get interrupted by your high-pitched yells.
So, instead of trying to get everyone’s attention, wait until you’re the big dogs. I’m not saying cower if someone’s bullying you, by all means, stand up for yourself.
But stop blasting music and talking really loud, so you’re the center of attention.
No. One. Cares.
If you mess with the upperclassman, it’s not going to be fun.
And don’t act as if you know more than your teacher, they’re just trying to help you. True, some teachers will be downright rude, but restrain talking back. Just respect everyone, even if they may not deserve it.
Better get on top of your work
The workload will increase, maybe not the first month. But compared to elementary school? It’s going to be intense. You’re going to be carrying a lot more notebooks, and supplies.
Posters and presentations will be common, and essays will be assigned almost every other week. All in all, though, it depends on your teacher. I suggest talking to people that had those teachers and asking them questions.
One main difference is that you’ll have about 5–6 different teachers. Back in elementary school, teachers were more lenient and late-work was accepted. That isn’t going to happen anymore.
The first couple of months of 6th grade will be pretty similar to 5th grade, workload wise. They’ll settle you in, and then soon they’ll kick it up a notch.
Planners are lifesavers both online or physical.
My Study Life, My Homework Planner, Clickup, Egenda, Pocket Schedule, etc are all free online homework planners(they also have paid subscriptions).
I personally use Clickup.
I don’t have any preference for physical planners, but I used to get mine from Amazon.
WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a few pages you have to read tonight or a simple worksheet. Chances are, you’re going to forget it the second you reach your house. Your brain was not made for memorizing homework assignments.
A couple of minutes before class ends, write down all the tasks you need to do.
Chill, it’s not life or death.
I know I said it’s going to be intense, but teachers understand that too. It’s their job to ease you into middle school. They’re not going to assign you a 10-page essay in the first week.
And trust me, colleges don’t care what you got in math for 6th grade.
Your grades aren’t that important till 8th grade(because those impact your high school classes). So, relax, millions of kids have been in the same position as you.
Just be on top of your assignments, but don’t stress that much. (Leave that for high school and college)
Having your own Chromebook is new in middle school. Keep in mind the school administration can see everything you’ve done on it. Older kids may have said that they didn’t get in trouble, but the schools have evolved then.
When I was in middle school, no one got in trouble, because they didn’t have the means of finding out. But they do now, so use your Chromebooks for school purposes.
Playing games while your teachers talking isn’t worth it.
They know you’re playing games, you don’t hit the same 3 keys again and again which that much interest if you’re working.
Finding yourself In Middle School
People say that you find yourself during high school, and while that’s true. Middle school is the foundation of all that. If you don’t question who you are during middle school, then how do you discover yourself later?
This is where you find new friends, and build new relationships. This is where you learn study habits, and actually experience responsibility.
Not only do you learn academic skills, but social ones as well.
Back in elementary school, you were mainly coddled by your teachers and parents. But now, communication is vital. There’s no more hair-pulling or tattling, kids are going to get mean.
So, get ready for the haters.
Don’t worry, however, you’ll also find amazing friends. You may not be friends with them throughout middle school.
Join clubs, and other extracurriculars. This way you’ll find classmates with similar interests. You may have to approach people first, but if that’s not your thing, then that’s okay.
If you join a club, odds are you’ll talk to them sooner or later. And it may seem scary, but at the end of the day, they’re just looking for someone too.
Drama is a major thing too. This mainly happens, when you’re older, however. So if you’re just entering middle school, I doubt it’s going to happen. Just make sure you’re having good relationships with your teachers as well, but we’ll touch on that later.
Drugs & Alcohol In Middle School
You probably did D.A.R.E in 5th grade, if not, it’s basically a “Say no to drugs.” class. There’s a very low chance you’ll be offered drugs in 6th grade. An even lower chance of alcohol.
There’s a very low chance you’ll be offered alcohol in middle school at all really.
But drugs? They’ll be there. Especially if you go to a public school. They’re usually in the bathroom, or on the far side of the playground, no one goes to.
And I’m here to tell you, don’t do it. These are 12-year-olds, with ‘meth’. It’s probably not even real, because tell me where a couple of tweens are going to get drugs? It’s going to be overpriced, and extremely risky.
One, your parents are going to notice money missing.
Two, teachers are going to realize if you’re high during class.
It’s not worth it.
A lot of people think that you’re going to get pressured to do it because everyone else is.
Here’s the thing though; 70% of your grade won’t even know that drugs are on campus. The news travels by word of mouth, and if you hang with the right people, you won’t even hear about it.
And if someone asks you and you say no, they’ll leave you alone. It’s not their mission to sell you drugs.
Cell Phones have been more and more common(for obvious reason). Most schools say you have to leave them in your backpack, but teachers may let you listen to music.
We touched on this topic before about online planners, but cell phones are extremely useful in day-to-day life. True, they are distractions, but the pros outweigh the cons.
- You can sync them wherever you are.
- You can do your assignments on the go.
- You could forget your planner at school, but not your phone.
- If teachers contact you, you’ll know immediately.
- Safety purposes, such as getting lost, or injuries.
- If you need to stay late after school or forgot something. (The office will not let you call, until it’s a real emergency, such as death.)
- You will forget, because of all the rushing in the morning.
There are many other reasons, so in short please take your phone, but don’t get too arrogant, or else you will be caught. You don’t look down at your lap multiple times and smile if you’re doing math.
Electives In Middle School
This is also a brand new thing for middle school.. If you’re going to a school that doesn’t offer electives, just skip this part.
If not, welcome to that one part of the day which you look forward to(probably). They’re usually at the end of the day and are basically a graded club. A few examples are;
- Mock Trial
- Medical(varies on the school)
- Coding(varies on the school)
- Speech and Debate
These are a sample, your school should have a full list. Some schools let them pick beforehand, or the first two weeks of school.
The choices depend on the school, and some of them even have after-school clubs and competitions.
Electives are a great way to explore different career pathways. Especially since interviewers don’t look at your middle school electives. Thus, don’t be afraid to choose an elective. You may end up loving it!
You won’t get that much lee-way with choosing your classes, other than electives and advanced classes.
You will be rotating and it’s difficult getting used to that. Sometimes you’ll be too lost in your assignment, and won’t realize it’s time to switch.
Or your teacher won’t be paying attention, and you’ll lose precious time, probably be marked as tardy, and be reprimanded. It’ll also throw you off your balance.
But no worries! I have some tips. I set vibration reminders on my Fitbit which reminded me it was time to switch.
You can do this on any watch, that has this feature. If yours doesn’t, I suggest investing in one because it’s a lifesaver down the road.
Don’t use your phone, because the sound and vibrations will be loud. Especially in a quiet classroom. And your teachers will get suspicious if you keep on reaching for your pocket or backpack every period.
Just follow what I’ve said so far, and you’ll be acing your classes!
Be nice to them. Please. Not only are they getting underpaid but they have to deal with obnoxious kids every day. And I’m not saying be a teacher’s pet, but smile if they make eye contact and maybe write a nice card or a small present on Christmas.
For every other day, just give them an encouraging smile and ask them how their day’s been. It goes a long way.
You don’t want to be that kid that always makes the teacher have a bad mood. It’s fine making a few jokes here and there, teachers want to laugh too.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned through the years;
- Teachers will likely smile back if you smile first.
- They have personal lives too, if you have a question ask your classmates before emailing them.
- Be an icebreaker. If the teacher asks a question and it’s dead silent, raise your hand. Teachers DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE WRONG, as long you’re trying.
- Try to raise your hand once every period. More than 2 times signifies a teacher’s pet. But once or twice establishes the fact that you know what you’re doing. And you’ll leave a positive impression on your teacher. (If you’re online, type it in or unmute when they allow it.)
- Do ungraded assignments, it may payout in the end.
- Get them a gift for Christmas/New Year’s. A card or a drawing works. It’s the thought that counts.
- Respect them, restrain from talking back, or your grades will take the hit for it.
- Don’t be a know-it-all. Have a seat, and take notes.
Are you ready? Because you’re starting 3 years of your life full of learning and mistakes. It’s okay to be afraid, everything’s going to turn out fine. In 10 years, you’ll likely forget about it.
So live these years with passion, because soon you’ll be stressing over everything.
Puberty is going to knock you out, and if doesn’t then, high school’s always there. Everyone is going to change, and they might not be who you thought they are.
Middle school is a place for everyone to lay the foundation for finding themselves.
Tell me in the comments, if you have any tips for upcoming middle schoolers! If this helped you please share it, I would appreciate it! 🙂