Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How to Survive Middle School (04/20/16 part 2)

This is an extra post to make up for missing last week.

I am mostly writing to those in or about to enter middle school. I haven't changed the way I write to try to talk down to what others may think is your level of reading or maturity. You're really no different than me, so I treat you as a peer, although you are slightly younger.

Everyone is allowed their own phrase that they would tell their younger self if they went back in time. I would guess that most people who are out of middle school would return to tell themselves something about life that they didn't realize back then. Some may say specific things about a certain person, and others may advise against doing a certain dumb thing that backfired. (Admit it, we all have those moments!) People like me may have more broad ideas and concepts that our younger selves didn't understand that we would explain.

But why fantasize about time travel when there's a whole bunch of people who are going through the same struggle right now whom I could help with my own experiences?

Middle school isn't all bad. People may have a bad experience in middle school that makes them cringe, so many of us beyond middle school may say negative things about the time. At the time, I really didn't feel like it was all that bad. I guess I still mostly agree.

The main problem comes with the new ideas of maturity and growing up. Kids who were friends for years may suddenly find themselves drifting apart because of the differences in how quickly they are maturing. One may want to sit and talk while another still wants to run around and have fun the old way. Also, the topic of dating and romance starts becoming more accepted like it is in college and beyond rather than the little crush you had on your neighbor when you were three. No pressure!

Then there's the issue of bodies. Ugh, I hate that word! "Bodies" reminds me of either corpses or anything about you that starts becoming awkward in middle school. Is there acne on your face? Do your armpits smell strongly of odor or an abundance of Axe? (Trust me, boys, using half the can at a time is not the best way to impress the ladies.) Does your face turn red at the mention of something you clearly don't want to talk about? (Cough, cough... me.) That's the fun of "bodies", and that's what you hear a lot about in middle school. I won't mention the rest, since that is still yours to experience.

But what would I really tell myself? It wouldn't be anything to do with my appearance or a backstabbing "friend". I would tell myself not to lose a great friendship with someone because he was a boy. I'm not the type of person who's naturally inclined to make friends with the opposite gender very easily, and I'm usually afraid that people will take a healthy friendship the wrong way. If there's something I hate more than the word "bodies", then it's when people imply that I should be in a relationship with someone. When I was in middle school, I missed out on a great relationship because I was afraid of what people might think. Please, no one do that. It's not fun.

One more thing- if surviving middle school is always awkward with everyone uncomfortable in their own skin and just starting to be treated like an adult, what you really need is a good friend. Find someone you can trust with your secrets, and make the effort to have fun with them. Don't neglect this person to try to force friendships that you know deep down will fail. Surviving middle school is all about having fun with people you can trust. You don't need to date someone to find that. You don't have to be super popular. If you are, that's great! Use it for good. The rest of us could use a bit of your help. :)

Don't freak out, it's not that bad. Figure out what you like and how you think. The better you know yourself, the more comfortable you'll be with yourself, and the more you'll enjoy being with yourself. Just have fun. Oh, and don't forget to master the art of sarcasm. It's not like you'll need it or anything... ;)


  1. Again...required reading for 5th up! Love your wisdom, love you!

    1. Thank you! I'd love to see what they think about it.

  2. Again...required reading for 5th up! Love your wisdom, love you!