Dear 6th Graders: Tween Girl Advice on the Transition to Middle School
Last year I was going into 6th grade. It was terrifying going into a new school with new people, lockers, and changing classes every HOUR AND A HALF! Everyone knows that the stories about middle school are not good and not comforting. For example, all the ex-middle-schoolers say middle school is this dark, dangerous dungeon that no one can get out of. I mean, seriously. Bullies, algebra, the popular kids who make everyone feel bad about themselves, the tardy bell, the much-dreaded detention. It doesn’t sound fun, right? Well honestly, it’s not that bad. During the first few weeks, I had three concerns.
My Middle School Anxiety
1. What if all of my friends drift away from me? Then I would be a loner and NO ONE likes being a loner.
2. What if I can’t find my classes or I’m late to all of them? It would be sooooo embarrassing!
3. Are there as many bullies in middle school as everyone says? And if so, what if my friends and I get bullied?
Most of these concerns never materialized or were very low key. Here’s what ended up happening.
Concern #1: What if My Friends Drift Away and I End Up Being a Loner?
This year I’m not a loner, thank goodness, and I wasn’t last year, either. Some of my friends went down a different path than I, but we still talk and hang out sometimes. We’re not close anymore but I’m glad we’re still friends. In 5th grade, almost all of my friends and I were really close, and now I don’t really have any BFFs or super-close friends. That’s just middle school. So don’t worry about it ʾcause it turns out fine.
Concern #2: What If I Can’t Find My Classes or I’m Late to All of Them?
I was only late to one of my classes last year. Hallelujah! It was really weird that I missed that one class because the history class I was supposed to go to was right next to my locker, but I went to my Spanish class instead, which was across the whole entire school. It was REALLY embarrassing. But yet it wasn’t that bad because the Spanish teacher gave me a hall pass and asked me if I wanted one of her students to walk me to class.
Don’t worry about being late to classes because you only make that mistake once and when you do the embarrassment is short lived.
Concern #3: What If My Friends and I Get Bullied?
I don’t think there are any bullies in my middle school. I know that’s not true in other schools. None of my friends or I have been bullied. I’m really happy about that. But just in case, I have my whole plan laid out if someone gets bullied and I see it. You may want to take notes in case you see someone being bullied.
How to Stop a Bully in Middle School
- I’m going to walk up to the bully and tell him or her to quit it.
- If he or she continues, I’ll again say, “Stop.”
- If he or she still doesn’t stop, I’ll use no-harm ju-jitsu just to stop him or her for the moment.*
- Then I’m going to tell the guidance counselor.
*If you don’t know ju-jitsu or you don’t know how to stop a bully without harming him or her, skip this step and move on.
For more ways to handle bullying, see www.stopbullying.gov.
If in any of these steps the bully turns on me or my friends, I am going to break out in a level of crazy and defensiveness that the world has never seen. After all, one of my main mottos is, “You mess with me or my friends, and your nightmares will be your happy place.” Nice, right?
But seriously, it would be awesome to stand up to a bully and actually have him stop bullying. I would be stopping bullying on the spot and that would make me feel like a HERO.
Being Bullied & Being Yourself in Middle School
Don’t think that if you change what you like and change what you look like that your whole social life will change. If a bully targets you because you’re you, stand up to him or her and tell a teacher or a guidance counselor you trust.
Don’t change just because you are different. If you want to change you because YOU decide to, that’s OK. Just promise me you won’t change because a bully or “friends” decided you have to. OK, I probably sound like something they would put in an adolescent bullying or bully awareness video.
Learn from My Mistakes: Middle School Isn’t That Bad
You’ve got to live and learn, right? All of your mistakes go into your life-long knowledge of the Universe. I could write a 300-page essay on the mistakes I’ve made, and I’m only 1 week into my second year of middle school. But hopefully I can pass my knowledge on to other people so they can learn from my mistakes.
Enjoy middle school!
About the Author
Kyra is going on 13 and is in the 7th grade. Her love list includes reading, CHOCOLATE, exercise (because it makes her feel great), and hanging out with friends (nothing can stop her from having a good time).
She is a junior black belt whose favorite TV shows include Kickin’ It. She has one sister (Jaden) and two dogs (Jasper and Kiesha). She gladly will take questions, comments, and chocolate.