My Advice for New 6th Graders
What to know going into middle school
It has been five years since my first day of 6th grade, but I'm living it all over again because my younger sister will be going to middle school in less than a month. My years in middle school weren't the best and I would gladly go back and change some things. The change between elementary school and middle school is pretty big when you think about it and going from being in one class a day to six can be a culture shock. A lot of things change in middle school and it is the gateway to high school, which is a whole other story, so I feel like 5th graders need to be a little more prepared. I am a girl so my advice is directed more to girls, but overall it's inclusive.
It's Not High school
Before I went to middle school I watched a bunch of high school movies and TV shows in hopes that it would prepare me for the upcoming fall. Little did I know I was wrong. One thing I learned in middle school is that it is not high school, and what I mean by that is it's not that serious and it's obviously not like the TV shows. Sure there are similarities, but middle school is really a smaller version of high school. In middle school you probably won't get your first boyfriend or girlfriend, and school dances are just little hang outs that are nothing like homecoming and Prom. You still don't have the freedom of being treated like a young adult which is good. I know the only thing I thought about was growing up in middle school, but you should take advantage of your mom making you lunch and enjoy being a preteen.
Make A Friend
One thing I regret from middle school was that I wanted to be in a group of friends rather than having one good friend. Remember quality over quantity, and it's better to have an amazing friend you can count on rather than five mediocre ones. It's important in middle school to build relationships rather than a table of friends. I know it may seem cool to have a table of good looking friends, but having one or two best friends is the way to go. Think about it like this when you read book or watch young adult movies normally the main character only has one best friend who is always there for them. Also if you're a bit antisocial like myself it's okay to eat lunch in a teacher's classroom if they let you, and who knows they might give you an extra treat.
Keep A Planner
The change between elementary school and middle school can be stressful because you do get thrown into five more classes and passing periods. Homework is most likely going to be due everyday so in order to prevent being overwhelmed you should keep a planner where you write your homework. Writing stuff down in a planner can also be very therapeutic and fun. Some places that have nice and cute planners are Michael's and Barnes and Nobles. If you do extra circular activities and a lot outside of school this is perfect for you.
If you're like me and you love going back to school shopping this advice is going to be hard to read. Unlike elementary school the parents don't get a list from the teacher before school starts so you have to guess what to get. In middle school there are so many teachers and they each are picky and want specific things for their students. What usually happens is on the first day they give you a syllabus with what materials to bring and you already have a backpack full of new Target school supplies. To prevent having to go school shopping all over again because you have the wrong stuff I recommend not doing a lot of school shopping before you get a syllabus. I don't mean get nothing at all, but just get the necessities like pencils, a binder, and paper. You can then get the extra materials needed for your classes after you're informed what they are.
This advice is just for the girls, and probably one of the most important ones. As middle school approaches the infamous period also come along and the thought can be quite scary. On average girls get their period at the age of 12, but of course the age isn't the same for everyone. For all girls who are going into middle school and still haven't gotten their period I recommend carrying a period or hygiene kit with them everyday just in case. In the period kit there should be a pad, clean set of underwear, liners, and anything else you want to add. I also recommend talking to someone like your sister or any woman about the changes going on in your body. If you're not comfortable talking to a person google can be your best friend and there are many services that give advice to young girls going through the same thing as you.
Don't Stress Out
Like I said before middle school isn't as serious as it seems, so don't stress about everything that happens. Middle school is just a step towards finding yourself so yes grades are important, but having fun and enjoying not stressing out about college is important too. Join clubs, sports, and most importantly don't go into middle school with extra high expectations because you will be disappointed.