Hello friends! Although it seems as if summer has just begun, we will (hopefully/possibly) be back in school soon. Bummer, right? Now, if you’ve read my blog before you may know that I’m a teen who writes advice for her peers, but we are going to switch that up a little bit today.
Today, I’m talking to my friends who are entering, or still in middle school. A big hello to you all! I want to tell you that I was exactly like you five years ago when I was entering middle school, I was nervous and wanted to do as much research as possible to prepare myself, but let me tell you: there really isn’t anything to be nervous about. The challenge isn’t the school part of middle school, but the personal aspect.
I also know how annoying and condescending some advice blogs can be, so I’m going to try my best to steer clear of that because I know that you are all smart and capable humans. Okay, now I’m rambling, so let’s get to the point: This is what I would tell my middle school self if I had the chance. All of the following advice is from my personal experience and my honest feelings, so it may differ for you! Anyhow, I hope this will help you throughout your middle school journey!!
You’re still young
I remember feeling so old graduating 5th grade, but the truth was that I was just a tiny 11 year old. Don’t be offended by that, but also know that you’re still young. Heck, my college friends are still babies! So, what I’m trying to say is to take it slow and have fun! Don’t feel rushed to get all of your “firsts” especially because books and movies lie: it’s not weird to get your first kiss in high school (or even college). Think things about swearing, do you want to do it? Or do you just do it because your friends do? Make smart choices because they can impact you for a very long time. Also, don’t feel pressured to give things up that you love, like toys. Your future self will be really happy that you had the longest childhood fun possible.
Don’t stress over tests/grades
This is not a parental favorite, but I’m going to tell you a secret: middle school grades don’t matter! Now, when I’m saying that I don’t mean to give zero effort because then you will be behind in High School. What I really want you to know is that the 6th grade social studies test that you’ve had 3 mental breakdowns over isn’t worth it. Generally, you shouldn’t sacrifice your mental health for amazing grades, but especially in middle school. Put a good amount of effort into your work, but know when to stop. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a 100% on an assignment.
Allow yourself to grow
Okay, yes, this is a wee bit hypocritical, but it’s so important. These three or four years that you spend in middle school are filled with loads of change. You go in as a little kid and come out as a teenager. With that being said, it’s not practical to stay the same throughout those years. Change will happen; it will be painful, but you will overcome it. I was absolutely terrified of changing and growing, I was afraid to branch off, make new friends, and got incredibly jealous when my friends made new friends. Learn from my mistakes, embrace change; it will not be easy, but it’s worth it.
Focus on yourself
Keep yourself out of drama, sure, keep up with it; after all it’s a fun part of school, but try not be the center of it all. It adds way too much stress to your life, and it’s not worth it. Being “popular” may sound great, but it really just means that you have a big group of (most likely annoying/mean) friends or that for some reason your peers decided that they were lesser than you – it’s really not all that it’s cracked up to be. Your classmates will all form their own opinions about you, and it will be rough, but focus on yourself – only you know your true self, so their opinions are irrelevant. Now, let’s talk about “relationships!” Honestly, do whatever the heck you want. As long as you’re safe and not taking it wildly seriously, it’s not a big deal. Don’t feel pressured to have crushes or go on “dates,” and support your friends if they decide to do so safely and healthily. The whole thing is incredibly awkward, but it’s part of growing up, (and it’s fun to watch your friends schedule awkward hugs with their crushes or “boy/girl friends.”)
Gossip is ever changing
Do any of my high schoolers reading this feel like drama was a lot more apparent in middle school than now? I certainly do, and I hope that can provide you with some comfort; eventually, the gossip will die down and your life will not revolve around it. It’s very important to remember that it will change on a daily basis. Sure, Todd loves Jade today, but maybe he’ll like Sasha tomorrow, and soon enough no one will even remember when Todd and Jade could have been a thing! Just because you heard a rumor about someone does not make it true, give them a chance and form your own opinions about them.
It can suck
Yep. Middle school can suck. You’re going through some big changes, switching schools, meeting new people, and there are so many things that can go “wrong” along the way. I had some many awful experiences during my “middle school years.” Remember that things will get better and that you’ve got this! As scary and awkward as it seems, don’t stray away from resources that your school may offer, like peer mediation/guidance, your very friendly school counselor or nurse and teachers – they are all there to help you! There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. I’ve seen so many people absolutely torn apart and broken down during these years, and it’s so sad, so please get help when you need it.
How do you feel now? I know that of the things I mentioned could be a little scary and overwhelming. If you have any questions or need any advice you can shoot me and email over at email@example.com, DM me over on Instagram (@meghans.teen.life), or leave a comment – I’m always happy to help!! Have a fantastic rest of your summer and good luck in middle school!