Middle-School For Dummies: A How-To Guide

M.S. 890 on Coney Island Avenue. Liena Zagare/Bklyner

By Siena Taylor, Student at M.S. 890

The transition between elementary school to middle school is a strange, strange thing. One day, you’re a 5th grader without a care in the world, and the next morning you wake up in your bed with four pimples, twelve middle school applications, and everyone treats you like you’re older and more mature. But you’re not! You’re just a little ten year old with no direction in life. Soon you’ll be a directionless middle schooler instead of a directionless fifth grader. We’ve all been there, it’s okay. But here’s some advice so you don’t make a fool of yourself in middle school.

So, in-case your teacher constantly pounded into your head that sixth grade would be torture, don’t worry! They’re lying. The independence you get when you graduate can either be great or horrible depending on how you use it. If you always forget things like where a certain class is, or when an assignment is due, you’ll probably suffer for a few weeks into the school year. If your teachers are kind enough, they’ll leave reminders for your class. For me, not having a teacher bark at me to turn in my paper super early was a big weight lifted off my shoulders when I came to middle school.

Don’t talk to the seventh and eighth graders. Don’t do it. Don’t you dare. Whatever you think they’ll be like, throw it out the window. Seventh graders are nasty, unholy creatures filled with hormones who think they’re better and smarter than you because they’ve been here longer. DON’T DO IT. Unless you manage to befriend a large group of them or eighth graders, avoid them at all costs. When you move up a grade, it’ll be your turn to terrorize the younger students, so just be patient.

Also, as a little note, please be kind to your teachers. You can treat everyone else like trash at the end of the day, but just respect your teachers. They’re genuinely trying to teach you! Also, they probably don’t get paid enough for the work they do. You’ll never know what’s going on in their personal life, or the hours they spend on lesson plans. Please, just sit down, be quiet, and do your homework.

Finally, don’t be something you’re not. I’m not saying to be yourself, cause maybe you don’t really know who you are. That’s alright, cause everyone is confused and is trying to act cooler than they are. But if you slather yourself in eyeliner, throw on some skinny jeans and dye your hair an #edgy color, everybody knows you’re trying to be ‘unique’. Everybody thinks you’re really dumb, except for the kids who did the same thing. Same advice goes to people who try to act really smart and pretend to read all day, and to the kids who act way richer than they actually are. Everybody knows you’re faking it, and we can smell the desperation to find the approval of your peers. If you live every day trying to play a role, you won’t ever really find out what kind of person you are. Just enjoy middle school for what it is, and do your best to skip past your emo phase.

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