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Middle School! Yep, your child is starting middle school which is often touted as the “awkward years” and I’m sure your kiddo is a little nervous. Make sense, it’s a new experience and dealing with change is never easy. I’m also not going to lie, middle school is not always easy. Middle School can be tough but so is life. It’s okay, those are often the things that push us and grow us the most and that mold us into who we are. As parents, we are quick to tell our children that Middle School was some of the toughest years of our lives and how we couldn’t wait to get out. I get it but why?
I don’t know about you but, I want my girls to create their own memories and not make assumptions based on my experiences. Of course, I get it because my Middle School years were kinda blah as well! I didn’t make the cheer squad, I failed math, my first heartbreak, friendships were constantly changing and BRACES lol. Of course, I always keep things honest with my girls but I try really hard not to focus on the negative things. I want them to have their own experiences, I want them to enjoy middle school because looking back it’s an awesome time of life and personal growth! Grab your nervous 6th Graders and let’s look at why Middle School is in fact, AWESOME!
READ ALSO: DEALING WITH SCHOOL DRAMA
After 6+ years in the same school with all the same people and teachers, a fresh start is great! This is your time to make a good first impression, put your best foot forward. Make goals and dream big! You have created your foundation with elementary school now where is that going to take you, what are you going to do with it? You have a fresh start, now shine!
The move from elementary school to a huge new middle school is a bit intimidating at first but ultimately, it’s pretty cool. You have more space, you get a locker, you get a little time between classes to socialize and gather your thoughts.
Many Middle Schools have multiple elementary schools feeding into it. Middle School is a great opportunity to meet new friends. It is normal to be a little shy at first but know that everyone is feeling the same way, they are just hoping you will make the first move. So, take a chance, I’m sure it will be worth it!
It is also a time where lifelong friendships are strengthened. There will be ups and downs and downs as you all grow and change but in hindsight, you will see that it was all necessary to build the quality relationships that you bring into high school.
Teachers are More Lenient and Understanding
Teachers will no longer treat you like children. Middle School Teachers are excited that you are past that stage and they are there to help you grow into an adult. They understand that it’s a process and you are learning and they are there to support you and guide you. It’s a breath of fresh air for a new middle schooler.
Along with Teachers treating you more grown up, you are getting WAY more freedom! I mean, let’s just start with being allowed to talk in the halls and gone are the expectations of standing in a straight line. That alone is huge right! No one wants to babysit you in Middle School so although there are still rules and repercussions, the reigns have been loosened.
In the classroom, you will see that there is always assigned seating, they allow more group work and even a little chit chat during class. They are giving you the freedom with the expectation that you will still keep things on task without them having to remind you. I think this helps you to learn how to better work with others and expand your creativity.
Yes, responsibility is a good thing! With this new freedom, be careful not to get too free! You will be expected to be more responsible and over time, you will likely enjoy it. In Middle School, it typically starts with your own iPad and a locker which is way better than the shared supplies in elementary school right? The more responsible you are with the freedom you have been given, the more freedom you will get so really, it’s a win-win. Here are some skills that you should already be doing to get you on your way to independence.
In elementary school, you most likely had one main teacher and you were with the same peers all year long. Sure, you may have had other teachers for your specials/electives but for the most part, they like to keep things simple for you. Now though, it’s way more fun! You likely get to choose your electives, you have several different teachers and your classmates are changing regularly. Classes typically change (at least some of them) every quarter, you will love the variety! Keep in mind though, it is a bit more to juggle so make sure you have a planner to stay organized.
There is a Sport or Club for Everyone
Staying involved is so important, it will keep you entertained, busy, and out of trouble. Sports and clubs will help you grow physically, mentally and emotionally! They will guide you to your passions and they are awesome opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests! In Middle School, there is SO MUCH to choose from! You will probably find that you can’t quite do everything you want because over-scheduling is never good but you learn what that looks like for you.
School Spirit / Camaraderie
The school camaraderie that is built behinds these sport and clubs is a blast! Even if you are not involved in them they have a way of bringing a school together! You will likely have spirit days and maybe grade vs grade competitions. These are often the years where schools start playing other schools in sports which is always fun to be part of. It will give you a taste of what’s to come in high school!
What I love about Middle School Dances is that there is no pressure on who you go with. Sure, some people will have a date that they go with or meet there but a lot of people just go with their friends. The goal is a fun time hosted by the school. There are often other activities aside from the dance so that everyone is enjoying themselves. There really isn’t any expectation to dance so don’t worry I will say though, those of us that are dancers really have no idea what we are doing. We are all just having fun so don’t be afraid to show your stuff on the dance floor!
You Can Still Be a Kid
This is what makes middle school so much different than any other time of your life. You are still a kid so although you are expected to start growing up a little bit more, adults still understand that you are a kid so embrace it! Don’t be so quick to grow up! Enjoy these years. With all the changes that happen, you will look back and appreciate these times so don’t rush them. Be yourself, stay positive and embrace the “awkward years”. They are some of the years that mold you most and make you who you are.
Share this with your friends and have a blast in middle school! It is an awesome time of learning, growth and figuring out this crazy world and how you will perfectly fit in it (because you will). If you go in with an open mind, you will see how AWESOME Middle School really is!