In elementary school, I always knew exactly what to expect. I had recess, only a few tests every nine weeks, and P.E. every other day. It was butterflies and rainbows – even if I didn’t know it then. But those days are over. Now I have the sweat, excitement and tears of middle school. Moving from fifth grade to sixth can be tough, but here are five steps to keep your transition into middle school from being a total nightmare.
Memorize Your Locker Combination
I can’t emphasize this enough: memorize your locker combination. Those 3 little numbers can make a huge difference on your 6th grade year. When you get your combination and locker number, be sure to write them somewhere discreet in your binder, so you’ll always have them handy just in case you forget. Then get busy practicing. Practice truly does make perfect, and you need to be able to get in and out of your locker quickly. Teachers will mark you tardy if you’re late to class. If you are having trouble with your locker, ask a teacher for help. They don’t mind, besides it’s kind of their job to help. Lastly, never ever share your combo even with your BFF because if they ever get mad at you, bad things could happen to your locker and your stuff.
Gym Class is a Real Class
P.E. is much different in middle school. First of all, you get a grade, and secondly, you have to dress out (wear different clothing for P.E.) We call ours a gym suit. Dressing out for the first time can be a little embarrassing because you have to change in front of a bunch of strangers. But a couple of things can make this part of the day a little better. Make sure you wash your gym suit on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than smelling like sweat all day. Thankfully you can keep deodorant in your gym locker to help with that. Also, try your hardest to get dressed before the bell rings. You don’t want to be the kid everyone is staring at for wearing a gym suit in math. Lastly, even if you don’t like what the coaches are making you do, give 110 percent. It may help your chances of getting on a team next year if the coach already likes you.
Switching Classes Can Be a Pain
Switching classes can be a pain especially when you don’t know where you’re going. Before the first day of school, try to walk through your schedule, so you’ll know where your classes are. Your classes may not be all together, especially when it comes to electives. No matter how far you’re going, you only get 5 minutes or less to make it to your class and your locker on time. It can be especially horrible if your teacher is still talking when the bell rings and holds the class back or if your locker gets jammed. After the first couple of weeks, it will get easier because you’ll have your schedule memorized. Until then, keep an extra copy of your schedule with you and try to go to your locker as few times as possible.
Be Prepared for More Rigorous Testing
If you thought you tested a lot in elementary, just wait until 6th grade. Testing can be pretty hard if you don’t have the right tools. Here are some things that have made testing a little easier for me:
Pencils: Make sure you always have at least three sharpened pencils with you. Teachers don’t always let you get up to resharpen.
A book: Reading is something great to do once you turn in your test. If you aren’t a reader then bring paper to doodle on.
Gum or mints (whichever your school allows) These two things help me stay awake while testing because let’s face it, it’s boring!
Sleep- If you want a good grade on your test, make sure you get some rest. It’s hard to remember anything when you’re falling asleep.
Study- Try to study throughout the week leading up to the test. Cramming the night before may help you pass, but not get a good grade.
Eraser- You will need one for the mistakes you’re bound to make
The Cafeteria is Bigger if Not Better
Most kids – including me – love lunch, but there are a few things to avoid. First, do not buy lunch if you don’t have to the first week or so. This is because everyone will want to try out the new cafeteria, and the lines are so long you’ll have no time to eat. But the worst thing you can do in the cafeteria is cut the line. It annoys everyone – even your friends because the line is already too long. Also, many schools give you a lunch number to make purchases. If yours has one, memorize it. It holds up the entire line if you don’t know yours. Finally, don’t spend all your time talking during lunch – remember to eat. Whatever you don’t finish, you’ll have to throw away because most schools have consequences if you sneak food out of the cafeteria.
I hope these pointers help you make your first year of middle school as stress free and awesome as possible.
Keep Calm and Write On,
Question: What advice do you have for kids going to middle school?