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Are you having trouble in a certain subject or with a certain teacher at school? Are you nervous about an upcoming project, or going to a new school? Read what our Mentors and experts have to say about this topic.
   
Advice Topics:

Advice Questions about School & Grades:

  • GOI try to be fairly well organized. I keep both a weekly planner and monthly calendar. The only problem is this: I often forget to update both of them. In fact, I sometimes even forget that I actually have them. I am determined to write everything down in them and don't like the idea of keeping appointments and stuff in my head. Do you have any advice on how to remember to regularly update my planner and calendar?

  • GOI need to break my bad habit of procrastinating! I don't want to procrastinate when I hit 8th grade. How can I stop?

  • GOI'm having a problem. I'm missing assignments and permission slips and such, and I don't know why! My teacher says it's because I'm not very organized. How do I become organized?

  • GOI am starting a puberty chapter in my science class. The thing is that the puberty class has some videos about puberty. Worst of all, the boys and girls are going to watch and learn about it together. What should I do?

  • GOI am starting 7th grade next year, and I am real nervous about lockers. I know they can be a convenience, but how do I open a locker and how can I remember the combination? Any advice?

  • GOI'm starting middle school this year! I'm mostly excited, but a little nervous because I don't know anyone in my homeroom class yet. It seems like all my other friends are in the same homeroom class, and I'm kind of afraid that if they spend a lot of time together, they will forget about me and not want to be my friend anymore. Any advice? Thanks!

  • GOI'm going to middle school next year and I KNOW I'll hate every second of it! For some reason, since I've been reading books about it, I think girls will start talking about dating and boys will start asking girls out. It'll drive me nuts! And plus, NO RECESS! And what really doesn't help is that I'm in the Gifted Program and the Board of Education decided the middle school and elementary school should be put together for safety and convenience. So, I'll be tortured with NO recess while I watch little kids playing on the playground! How come there can't be recess in middle school? What should I do?

  • GOGrades mean a lot to people at my school. Kids are always saying things like, "What did you get for your science grade?" Everyone's so competitive and curious, it drives me crazy. What can I do?

  • GOI got my report card today, and my parents won't leave me alone. I got a D and two C's in math, and they expected me to get straight A's! They are screaming at me about how I don't work hard enough and that I'm spending too much time working on my writing, which I got an A+ in. They just don't understand because they both scored A+'s in every math subject there is, but they failed at any literature subjects. It's not like I don't try, it's just that it's harder then they think it is. They aren't the only ones pressuring me though. Now the entire school is hating me because I destroyed our straight A math roll. It's unfair. Everybody else is great at math and not literature, and it's the complete opposite for me! I want to let everyone else know that writing is still a talent, whether they like it or not, but they won't listen! What should I do?

  • GOI am going to a secondary school the size of a small airport. I'm disorganized and not a morning person. My bus will come at 6:40 in the morning! Any advice for organization, getting a good night's sleep, and how to deal with 7th grade?

  • GOIt's the end of the year, and everyone knows what that means...finals! And what comes with such testing is stress. My grades are all A's right now, and I know if I do poorly on the finals, I'll mess my grades up. I'd love to finish middle school with straight A's, but it's difficult! I took my first midterms this year, and I did okay on those. What can I do to lower my stress level and end middle school with a bang?

  • GOMy parents are grade freaks! Getting a B will usually get them disappointed in me. I stress because I know if I get a B I'll be in trouble. Getting a C will usually get them yelling at me. And I don't want to know what will happen if I get a D or and F. Then by getting such good grades to please my parents, kids pick on me! It's really stressful and puts a lot of pressure on me! Please, please, please help!

  • GOI'm going into 7th grade and I was so excited when I got my schedule but when I found out who was next to me (for lockers) I was freaking out, it was this girl who I REALLY don't like. To make it worse she's in pretty much all of my classes! She's with the popular crowd and if you mess with them things get ugly fast. What should I do?

  • GOI've read all your links about going into new schools, time management, if teachers don't like you, etc. It's helped a lot, but I'm still a little scared. At my school they have uniforms. But the uniforms are really dorky, and there are more boys than girls; it's a private school and I've lived in public schools all my life, I don't think I'm going to fit in!!!! It's also a lot smaller than my old school. Do you think gossip and rumors would travel faster because it's small? Could you give me some more tips on this kind of situation?

  • GOI am a smart person who studies, but when it comes to test day I know everything until the test hits my desk. How can I prevent losing all the information I studied all week?

  • GOThis year I just started high school. I dread going. Every morning before school, I feel sick and after school I worry about the next day. I don't want to go and feel like I would do anything to get out of it. I can't really be specific about what I'm afraid of! Getting lost in such a big school, being late, forgetting to do homework or study, and all sorts of things. I've been given advice about handling stress and have been told a million times everything will turn out okay, yet I still feel sick and nervous every school day. What can I do to make my "school sickness" go away? Please respond!

  • GOI'm finally going into high school. But when you're going into high school, you seem to be influenced to do things. I have a few friends who say that I spend too much time with my nose in a book and that I seemed depressed and I need to start dating. Truth be told, I have had a couple of guys look at me and ask me out. My parents don't think that I should rush into things, and I completely agree with them on that. But with me getting older, I'm wanting to get my first kiss and meet a nice guy that likes me back. But I need to keep my grades up, so I can go and visit my dad over the holidays, so I feel as if I don't have enough time for it all. Please...can you give me any advice on how I can work this out?

  • GOI have this really big problem about oral presentations in front of the class. I usually get so nervous that I cry, and it is very embarrassing! I NEED YOUR HELP!!! PLEASE!!

  • GOI'm in the sixth grade in elementary school and going to the seventh in a junior high school. What I am worried about is that I want to do volleyball and track, but I don't want to lower my grades by taking all my time doing sports. Right now I'm an A Honor Roll student, but last year I got into karate and my grades started lowering and lowering until I quit. So what should I do? I don't want to get a bad start. Thanks!

  • GOI'm in 5th grade and I really HATE doing any kind of homework! My mom is on my case about it all the time. I forget my books when I have to have them to study for tests the next day. I don't write down my assignments like I need to. She is always telling me to do these things but it seems like I can't remember any of it at the end of the day. I would rather be drawing or playing. She asks nicely for me to bring my books home, but I forget and then she gets upset, grounds me or takes the things I like away from me. I learn for a couple of days but then it's right back to forgetting.

  • GO"At school, we are learning about the male reproductive system. It's hard for me because I don't feel very comfortable, especially when the teacher says the body parts. What should I do? I know I have to know this lesson because there is a test."

  • GOI am in 7th grade, and I am in pre-algebra. At first, it was okay, but now we're getting into stuff like finding the surface area of a triangular prism, and I have no clue how to do that! I have always gotten straight A's, but we just took a test and I got 47% right! I told my mom and dad that I don't understand this, and that I need to go to regular 7th grade math, but they haven't done anything about it! I've even asked everyone in my family for help, but no one can do this math! What should I do?

  • GOI've always been really good in school with honors classes, and so have my friends, but now I am going to high school and I am afraid everything will become too hard, and I wont be able to have a balance between my social and school life with my family and work too. How will I be able to deal with all that? Please help.

  • GO"I always wait till the last minute to do a project. We have two weeks to do our report, then its due on Wednesday. I'm always up late Tuesday night finishing it. Please help me!"

  • GOInstead of hating my teachers, I really like them. My math teacher is really nice. I like her a lot. And she told my dad (who is a teacher at the same school) that I was kind-of a teachers pet to her. I go up to her classroom almost every day after school for one reason or another just to be there. See, there was this one teacher last year who helped me with this big problem with my friends, and my teacher this year has kind of the same personality. I keep on thinking about how I never want this school year to end because I like this teacher so much. It's kind of a hard situation. I guess what I am really asking is: is it okay to like a teacher this much? Should I let her know how much she means to me now, at the end of the year, or not tell her at all? Thanks for listening.

  • GO"I always turn in my math assignments, but my teacher always says that I didn't. What should I do?"

  • GO"I am a horrible math student. I really try, and I understand it when the teacher explains it, yet I always forget. Plus, I got a C. My dad says he'll ground me if I don't get a B. Anyway, he tries to help me with my homework, but he doesn't know how to do it either. How can I remember how to do the problems?"

  • GO"In my school, sixth grade is a part of elementary school. I heard scary stories about middle school, and my sister is no help. I am scared the eighth graders will use their size to bully me."

  • GOSamantha and Alexandria are both nervous about the jump from elementary school to middle school.


Dear IML,
Grades mean a lot to people at my school. Kids are always saying things like, "What did you get for your science grade?" Everyone's so competitive and curious, it drives me crazy. What can I do?
--Tyler, 12

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Tyler!
Our schools sound so similar. I transferred from a slower-paced school to a fast one, and I fell behind. Kids would make fun of me for getting bad marks. So eventually, I stopped telling people my marks, and they stopped making fun of me. You might start by telling your friends how this bothers you. If they care about you, they might stop or tell other people to stop. You can also just flat out tell a person, "Thanks for asking, but grades are personal to me and I'd rather not share that info." I hope competition slows down at your school :)
--Alison, IML Mentor

Dear Tyler,
I think that when you start middle school, grades start to matter a lot more to people and a little friendly competition can go too far. It's unfortunate that kids worry so much about beating each other with the grades rather than actually learning for the love of learning. I get how you feel when you get a test back and you haven't done well, then you look at your friend's paper and they have a big old A right on the front...it stinks. The way to keep yourself out of it is to make a decision to either bear with it and hope it changes, or start telling people you don't share grades. Now that means that on top of not sharing your grades with other people, you never ask what others got either! For people to respect you, you gotta make sure that you don't let your own curiosity get the best of you. Don't worry if you don't do as well as one of your friends on a test or quiz...one grade isn't the end of the world. Just work as hard as you can, and try to learn because you love it, rather than trying to live up to your friends' grades! Good luck!
--Stormie, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
I got my report card today, and my parents won't leave me alone. I got a D and two C's in math, and they expected me to get straight A's! They are screaming at me about how I don't work hard enough and that I'm spending too much time working on my writing, which I got an A+ in. They just don't understand because they both scored A+'s in every math subject there is, but they failed at any literature subjects. It's not like I don't try, it's just that it's harder then they think it is. They aren't the only ones pressuring me though. Now the entire school is hating me because I destroyed our straight A math roll. It's unfair. Everybody else is great at math and not literature, and it's the complete opposite for me! I want to let everyone else know that writing is still a talent, whether they like it or not, but they won't listen! What should I do?
--D.M.L., 12

The IML Mentors respond:

Hi D.M.L.,
I totally understand your frustration. I myself am not the math whiz that my mother would love for me to be, and I happen to want to be a journalist when I grow up...so yay for writing! I think that parents just react when they see bad grades; they know how smart you are so they expect a lot from you. Sometimes it's especially hard for them to see their kids struggle with things that come easily to them. Try to explain to them how important writing is. Maybe they don't see the point in writing...show them. Tell them about how you feel when you write, or great writers, or even just show them a newspaper and point out the importance of your talents. Now at the same time, it's sooo important to keep up your grades. I'm applying to colleges right now and I wish I had straight A's more than anything in the world. I'm not saying it's easy to be good at every subject, I totally struggle with certain subjects myself, but it is important to try your best. Maybe if studying on your own isn't working, ask your parents for help, study with a friend, or approach your teacher after class one day and ask for some extra help. If you take the lead on this, even if you don't get an A but maybe work your way up to a B, your parents will be so happy and proud to see an improvement. Writing is in my opinion the best subject of all...but that doesn't mean that you and I can just pretend math doesn't count...at least not until we're adults! I know it's hard but just give it a try; maybe a different study method will open doors up for you and you'll find you have a knack for math also!
--Stormie, IML Mentor

Dear D.M.L,
To start things off, nobody's perfect. I'm not very good at math either, so we're both together on this one. Do not stop writing because everyone wants you to do math. I think writing is awesome and I would so rather write than do math. You should try to explain to your parents that you enjoy writing and math just isn't your thing. As for the kids at school, don't even bother listening to them. If they truly are bothering you, talk to a principal or guidance counselor. If it's important to you to get your math grades up, think about getting a tutor for that subject.
--Alison, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
I am going to a secondary school the size of a small airport. I'm disorganized and not a morning person. My bus will come at 6:40 in the morning! Any advice for organization, getting a good night's sleep, and how to deal with 7th grade?
--Madeleine, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Madeleine!
Just like you, I'm definitely not a morning person. I usually get up with about a half an hour to get ready for school. It can be really difficult, but once you get into the habit of waking up early it won't seem as bad as it used to be. I myself am very unorganized, but my parents usually help me get organized. Here are my suggestions based on things that have worked for me: First off, make sure your book bag is always clean of papers. If you use a crayon box to hold your things, you might want to get one with compartments so you can keep things all together. If you use one of the zipper pouches, bundle all your different things with rubber bands. That way, when you need a pencil you won't have to dig through your box or pouch until you find one. For your subjects, get a one-inch binder for all your different subjects. This might not be on your school supplies list, but it will be easier to commute. If you have one big binder, buy some tab dividers so you will know where each subject starts. I use dividers that you can erase or slide a new piece of paper into so I don't have to buy new ones every year. If you get a lot of binders, try to get the ones with the built-in folder so you will know exactly where your homework is. If your school has lockers, consider buying a shelf so you won't have to get on your knees to get your things. Also, you might want to get some kind of magnetic box (you can get one at big office supply stores called a wirebox) to keep extra supplies in case you forget your supplies. This will help you so you don't have to borrow or buy a new one. Usually you get an agenda notebook on the first day of school. My advice is: Carry it everywhere you go! Make sure you have all your assignments copied down. You can also make note of all the things you need to take home for that assignment. The final thing I recommend is not to overcram your book bag. You can get hurt if you make it too heavy! What I do is put the light things in my book bag, then I carry the heavy things (bulky binders, big text books, etc). I hope everything turns out great for you, and I hope you like your new school! Good Luck!
--Alison, IML Mentor

Dear Madeleine:
A new school is always brings about a combination of anxiousness, excitement, and a bit of nervousness. I think it's great that you're already thinking ahead; it really shows that you're capable of being responsible for yourself, which is awesome. I think that the most important part of school is making sure that you don't over-extend yourself. Sleep is totally necessary. I think one tip would be to make your "bedtime" earlier than it is right now. I recently had to adjust the time I went to bed when I went on a mission trip. The first few day I couldn't believe I was going to bed right at 10pm every night, but by the third night when I realized that I would be waking up at like 5 in the morning I stopped thinking a bedtime was funny! It turns out I was so tired that I just fell right asleep anyway. When it comes to dealing with 7th grade, my best advice would be to try to be confident. It's really tough at your age to be totally okay with your body, your fashion choices, your friends...I think it's because it's right at this age a lot of people are growing into themselves, so you might find you or your new friends will be going through not only physical but emotional changes. Just try to embrace who you're going to be, try to be happy with it no matter what...and remember that confidence radiates and totally draws people to you. When people are real, they're more pleasant to be around for sure!
--Stormie, IML Mentor

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