Do’s And Don’ts for Incoming 6th Graders

A message of advice for incoming 6th graders about middle school.

Alex Van Duyne, Staff Writer

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Dear incoming or current 6th grader,

Middle school can be anything between a train wreck and the best years of your life. As an 8th grader, I’d consider myself somewhere in the middle. Despite this, there are a ton of things I wish I knew that I was never told. With all this said, please don’t finish reading this being more worried about your next 3 years, because middle school isn’t something to be afraid of.

No matter what you look like, who your friends are, or what your story is, the things to do and not do are the same.

Don’t: Get caught up in that lonely feeling

Many of you 6th graders reading this might not have any friends from your elementary school coming with you to the same middle school. This is totally ok! There’s going to be other students like you that want to make friends. Personally, I didn’t have to go through this problem of finding friends because I had some from elementary. Friends are extremely important in middle school. Finding good friends is difficult, but once you find the right group of friends, it’ll be worth it. Romantic relationships should not be your concern in middle school because sadly, they most likely won’t last longer than a few months. You don’t need to be heartbroken at 13. You’re still growing as a person, and it’s better to grow with real friends.

Do: Find friends that make you happy

As a mentioned in the “Don’t” section, finding friends is important. Hanging out with the right group of people is a challenge. You might not know that many people going into a different school and a different environment. Whatever you do, don’t stay friends with anyone that makes you unhappy. Your middle school years will probably be emotional as is, and the last thing you need is drama. You don’t need fake friends, even if they’re making you popular. You don’t need that friend that talks badly about you behind your back, even if they are kind to you when you’re there with them. And please, don’t be the friend I’m telling you not to hang out with. Have respect for other students, no matter who they are.

Don’t: Stress over grades too much

Grades, grades, grades. It’s only middle school, but grades are something that’s already here to stress you out. Yes, grades are important. No, they aren’t more important that your overall well being. There’s lots more to your middle school years than grades, like extracurricular activities. Extracurriculars are a chance to find a passion for something whether it’s a sport, an art, or another activity. Something I wish I knew about grades was that your mental health should come before your grades. When you need sleep, get sleep. Make a balance between your studies and time for yourself.

Do: Your best in your classes

What I previously said doesn’t mean go and fail all of your classes. Doing the best you can in your classes feels good, especially if you get a good grade.  Middle school, unlike elementary school, has different periods where each period you’re doing a different subject. It can be hard to concentrate, and you might find yourself just staring off into space or looking at the clock. You have a choice to fool around in class, or actually get things done. Always be taking notes. Ask for help. When there’s a test, make sure you know the material. If you don’t do that well during one semester, don’t give up, especially during your last year.

Don’t: Lose who you are to try to fit in

This is the most important thing that you should know going into middle school. People can be rude in middle school, much more than elementary. People are judgemental, and make you want to change yourself. Against everything people might have to say about you, please keep doing your thing. If you aren’t hurting other people, it’s completely ok to be different than others. Even if they’re more popular than you, know that popularity isn’t what middle school is about. You’re a very special individual and different than everyone. Let that shine. Again, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, dress how you want (but stay in the dress code), have your own interests, and do what makes you happy.

Do: Take care of yourself

Throughout your entire life including middle school, you’re going to make new friends. You’re going to have lots of people in your life that you interact with. The only person you’ll have forever is yourself. Right now, I don’t know your mental state. I don’t know if you love yourself, but I’m telling you right now you should. Keep respecting others, but also respect yourself. Take time to reflect on your thoughts and actions. If you need to talk to someone, talk to your parents. Talk to a counselor. Talk to a trusted adult. Learn to put yourself first, even if no one else is putting you first.

Middle school may seem very overwhelming to you, and I hope you aren’t even more overwhelmed by reading through this advice. I hope the best for you in middle school. I hope the drama doesn’t catch up with you. I hope you find a extracurricular that makes you happy and helps you run away from stress derived  from your grades. All these do’s and don’ts may sound harsh, so please take what I had to say into consideration, but make your middle school years your own.

Alex Van Duyne, Staff Writer
Alex Van Duyne is an 8th grader here at Dana Middle School. She is an only child and her elementary school was South Shores. If she could travel back to any grade she would travel back to preschool, “I would go to preschool because we didn’t do anything and I didn’t care, and I could...
2 Comments

2 Responses to “Do’s And Don’ts for Incoming 6th Graders”

  1. SpartanCreeper55 on June 7th, 2018 9:04 am

    Great article! That helped alot!

  2. Nick Hildebrand on September 14th, 2018 10:19 pm

    I think so too!

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