Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dear Awkward Middle Schooler...

What's small, eats a lot, and can't find its place in the world?

That's right. A middle schooler.

I personally prefer not to look back upon a time where I thought wearing big skater shoes would make me look cool (how wrong I was; they only made me trip on my own two feet.) This post, however, is inspired by a project I am doing with a club at my school which involves making "good luck" cards for the graduating eighth graders at a local middle school. Four years later after my own adventures in middle school, I am no longer that bundle of horrible fashion choices (at least I think) and awkwardness who was afraid of high school. Here's what I learned and what I wish I would have known:

1. The cafeteria food is better. There are way more options, but that also means you can choose to have chicken fingers every day. By last period, you'll find yourself struggling to fall asleep as your body digests all the fat chicken fingers has to offer. Try bringing a sandwich every once in a while.

2. There are tons of clubs to join. Pick three that really interest you (okay, and maybe one that just looks good on college applications) and stick with them. You may be president of a club within a year or two if you choose to be.

3. Don't stack up on AP classes your freshman year. Transition into sophomore year with one or two max, but don't over-do it. You want to enjoy high school outside of textbooks, too.

4. Know which teachers to be friends with. When it comes to recommendation letters, teachers will write killer letters if you've made an impression on them.

5. Get involved. It makes you feel like you're a part of the institution that keeps you locked up in sub-zero classrooms 35 hours, 5 days a week. In other words, being involved makes it less painful.

What advice would you offer to an eighth grader? What advice do you wish you received in middle school?