Middle school: the start, the growth, the end

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Middle school: the start, the growth, the end

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We’ve always been told that these are the most important years, in terms of growth, of our lives; that in these three years, we grow mentally, emotionally, and physically. It’s also said that it’s one of the hardest times in our lives. Middle school is filled with cliques and drama, with stress and anxiety, but this won’t be “our forever.” We will move on from 6th grade to 7th grade, from 7th grade to 8th grade, and we will be okay… easier said than done, right?

I came to GBMS from the tiny school on the beach, where there are twenty kids in each class and every single teacher knows every student by name, probably even their favorite color. To say that middle school was a hard transition  would be an understatement. I was absolutely terrified of this school. I barely knew anyone except for the few kids I’d spent practically my whole life with. I’ve never done well with change, but for my whole 6th grade year, everything felt unfamiliar. I was anxious and sad almost every day, and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I even considered online schooling. Looking back, I had great teachers and great classes; they just scared me. I refused to buy a yearbook that year because I, “didn’t want to remember a single thing,” I keep my 6th grade diary hidden in a box, and I don’t think I ever want to read it again.

Come my 7th grade year, I was determined to not let things be like the last. I underwent a complete attitude adjustment. I was no longer going to allow change to have that strong of an effect on me; adjustments are necessary, healthy, and must be accepted. I knew that I had it in me and trusted in my faith enough to do this. While I still dealt with anxiety, it was an absolute walk in the park compared to the previous year. I became more and more comfortable with the halls, the people, and the teachers. I started talking to more people and making more friends who would later become my best friends. My classes were great, and I didn’t have to worry about not having someone to partner with on an assignment anymore. I felt relief, that maybe this didn’t have to be such a difficult time.

I’m now in 8th grade, and life has gotten ten times easier. I’ve gotten maybe a little too comfortable here. I have normal struggles, I stress over grades and I stress over the future, but I am secure in my present. I am enjoying my present, and I wish that I’d enjoyed my past a little more. Carly Churchward, 8th grade, also says that since 6th grade, “It’s been more fun, and I’ve made more friends. I’ve done more activities in the school. I’m really going to miss some of the teachers, though.” I think I got lucky, because I never had any identity-crisis or felt any pressure to be anyone that I wasn’t. I’ve kept my head on my shoulders these past few years, which sadly, is more than some can say. It’s important to know yourself as a person before you conform to who someone else wants you to be, because once that phase is over— how do you know what to get back to? Every young person should understand that.  

Wildly enough, and probably insane to my 6th grade self, this school has taught me so much about myself and about others, and I’m so thankful. These three years go by so fast. I know that I wanted them to, and I know that other kids probably did and do, too. Now that it’s almost over, high school tours and registration have started— I wish I’d told myself to slow down, to just be still and let it all sink in. It’s true, middle school is hard and it’s confusing, but it’s time we will never get back, leisure we will never have again. I wish I could tell my younger self that it gets easier, that change happens, and eventually we learn to deal. While I can’t go back, current 6th and 7th graders still have the chance to change their attitudes towards this time! Be grateful for the long days, for the fifty-minute classes that feel like hours. It flies by fast. 

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