As I look around my first hour, I see tired faces and dreary expressions. But at the utterance of one word, some ones day is brightened and another has been sent into a crisis. Summer. As the end of the year (and middle school for some) draws nearer, it’s giving me more time to reflect back on my “middle school career”. How one place shaped me and my class so much?
As a student, middle school has been relatively easy. Perhaps that’s just because of the way I learn and process things. Teachers care about students, but 8th grade has been the only year where I liked all of my teachers. In my previous years, I was kept on the same pace as my class, and the grade was mostly counted based on what you scored for a test. While thrived in this environment, it got boring soon as I would be done significantly ahead of my peers. This year (and as I’m told high school will be) depending on the classes I take I work at an accelerated pace, or at whatever speed I complete my work. Classes take grades based more off of busy work then tests, which has been stressful trying to complete work for every class, but gives you a higher chance of making a good grade if you score badly on one thing. Due to this, I’m watching my peers either do good, or sink under the weight of self guided education.
Techsperts is one of these self guided classes. When I first joined in 6th grade after hearing about it during the summer program, I was ecstatic to work with books on the regular and also play a role in my school environment. As the year progressed, we mostly designed book fairs, wrote blogs, and helped with small events and ordeals. When we tried to plan big things like officially making the back room a makerspace, kindness day, and leave your mark projects, things got pushed aside by others or just didn’t work out. It’s also hard to complete projects when I’m the only person who is putting in effort. However, techsperts has also been a valuable experience for me to practice leadership, plan events, and learn more about my teachers and peers.
My advice for new students is divided into three sections: basics, tips, and tea. Basics are things that are common sense of that everyone should know.
- DO NOT walk in groups in the hallway and block it for everyone else. Walk fast too, people have places to be.
- Please don’t randomly scream or squeal, not only is it annoying, it just adds to the chaos of life.
- When your walking in places, hold open the door for people instead of letting the door hit them.
- If your going to keep a bunch of stuff in your locker, at least keep it organized. I always have a plastic bag in mine to put trash in so it doesn’t pile up and make a mess. A friend of mine has lots of clothes in her locker, so she brings in a basket so she can throw them in the bottom of her locker, and take them home when she needs to.
- Start projects the day you get them! A lot of school is busy work, but it’s busy work that counts for a grade. Once things start to pile up, it gets much harder to turn things in on time. If you finish things before things ahead of time, you can start on work for other classes.
- Use time management!!! I cannot stress this enough! Buy a planner, set reminders on your phone, whatever helps you stay organized, do it! This is really helpful if you are doing sports on top of you school work.
- Some of your friends will leave you, and that’s ok. You WILL make new ones, and there’s still so much left of your life. Get out there make some memories with some new people!
- Don’t be petty, or be rude to people. (Yes, this does include your teachers). Even if they were rude to you, these people will be around you for the rest of your school education. Make friends, not enemies. Don’t be rude to people to seem cool either, in the end most people don’t like the rude kids anyways.
- There’s going to be many times where you feel lonely, or unmotivated, or just unhappy in general. School is going to be the last place you want be. But in the end, just find something that motivates you. It doesn’t matter if it’s something dumb, like seeing your friends, or what tie Mr. Ruby wears, or if it’s something long term, like me thinking of my dream job. Whatever keeps you going.
My middle school career hasn’t been ideal, but it’s mine, and packed full of memories. Whether it’s crying on the bathroom floor after math class, or dancing in the learning commons with Ms. Travis. Even if there isn’t a visible sign of it, I know I’ve been here. And I know I’m going to keep going, and I know you will too. So here’s to the end of my middle school experience and the beginning of someone else’s.