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What's the biggest difference between elementary school and middle school? What's the best way to deal with it?

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Middle School: Stan and Sarah Stan has just graduated from fifth grade and he's more nervous than excited. First of all, his two best friends are attending sixth grade at a different middle school across town. Stan's not sure how he's going to make new friends in middle school. He's also a little
Topics on Middle School:
Movin' On Up
What's Different
The Student Body
Stan and Sarah
A Principal's Advice
From the Mentors
worried about his class schedule and the new routine. Here's what he says:

Boy and girl "Middle school seems like a total foreign country to me. It's going to be strange having a new teacher for each subject. Even though I'm not looking forward to all the tests and exams, I'm not that scared of having harder classes. I just hope I don't get lost during my first week 'cause my middle school is pretty huge. Actually, I'm pretty pumped to start taking Spanish for the first time! I'm also psyched to have my locker, and be more responsible for myself. I'm not a baby anymore, and I can handle it! I just don't see how I'm supposed to make new friends without any recess. My middle school doesn't even have a playground! Where are we supposed to hang out? I met my two best friends in second grade on the swing-set. Where do I meet new friends now?"

Do Stan's concerns sound familiar to you? We interviewed Sarah right after she completed her first year of middle school. She totally understands all of Stan's fears and anxiety. In fact, at the beginning of this year she didn't know ANYONE at her new middle school. By the time the year was over, Sarah had a whole new group of friends and fit in just fine. Here's what she says:

"Wow, I was so nervous during my first few weeks at middle school. I got so lost on the first day and then I misread my schedule and went to the wrong class! But then I realized that there were a ton of other people just like me who were totally new to the school, and we all helped each other out. One girl asked me for directions to French class. We started talking and now she's my best friend. I was worried that I wouldn't meet anyone, but there are so many places to make new friends. We don't play on the jungle gyms like in elementary school. Now I 'play' on the volleyball team and we're all like a giant family! I also made friends hanging out in the quad and in the cafeteria at lunch. If you're going into middle school, just understand that it's okay to be scared. EVERYONE is! I never thought I'd make so many friends or survive exams. But if I can live through it all, then you can too!"

Next up: we take it from an expert with A Principal's Advice.


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