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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: From the Mentors

From Ashlee
Middle school...oh, the memories! Here are the pluses:

Topics on Middle School:
Movin' On Up
What's Different
The Student Body
Stan and Sarah
A Principal's Advice
From the Mentors
  • Independence .
  • A lot more people means possibilities for a lot more friends.
  • More than one teacher, so if you don't like him/her, you're only stuck there about an hour each day. Besides, most teachers are great. I am still great friends with a lot of the teachers I had in middle school.
  • Dances. These become very big in middle school, and are usually a blast!
  • Sports. Something most elementary schools lack is inter-school competitions.

Here are my minuses:

  • The first day is nerve-wracking. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, because everyone else is just as nervous as you...even your teachers!
  • No recess. This was a big let-down from elementary school for me. But I realized I was becoming a young adult, and that study hall can be just as fun.

This is my little middle school story: On the first day, I was totally nervous. Standing at the bus stop, I was with one guy that seemed like he was two feet taller than I was -- a "big middle school guy." I got on the bus not knowing more than three people, and they weren't even my friends. When I got to school, I felt like it was a zoo! So many halls and classes, and I didn't know my way around or any of these people. Ay! I found my homeroom and there were two of my good friends, which was comforting. My homeroom teacher, who also turned out to be my English teacher the year after and a great friend to this day, made everything really easy for everyone. She explained everything and answered any and every question. Eventually, I made so many new friends in all my classes, it was great. And one of my biggest recommendations...get involved! Student council, sports, clubs, everything. The only losers are the ones who let life, liberty, and the pursuit of fun pass them by. Besides, you'll meet more people and teachers, go on lots of field trips, and all sorts of other good stuff. All and all, a big part of me wishes I were still in middle school. :-)

From Danielle:
Middle school was a big transition for me. I went from a class of 23 to a class of 80. At first I was really scared because I had been with the same kids for most of my life, and now only one of my friends was coming to the new school with me. It ended up being great! I met a bunch of incredible people and have so many more friends. There was also a difference in workload. In elementary school, I had about an hour of homework a night, and in middle school it became about two hours. It scared me a bit, but I got used to it, and that definitely prepared me for high school. Teachers were also very different. I was used to having one teacher who taught every subject, but in middle school there was one teacher per subject. I didn't know how I was going to like all of them. I was really scared before going to middle school, but I met a lot of cool people, cool teachers, and I learned a lot of great information.

From Jaron:
The leap from elementary school to middle school is a big one, I have to admit! But think about it: you get to be with the older kids now, and even you are growing up! Everyone does it, and it's a very fun thing. Middle school is really there to get you ready and prepared for high school, and it gives you time to get more friends and meet new people. You get much more responsibility since you are more grown up, and we all know being allowed to do more things is great. Hey, next thing you know, it's time to get your license and drive! Enjoy middle school while it lasts!

From Leah:
My biggest difficulty was that middle school started 45 minutes later than my elementary school and got out an hour later. I still had to be there just as early, because my parents worked! Making new friends can be challenging, and so can getting used to switching classes. I ended up liking the different classes because at my middle school we had what is called "block scheduling," where you have only half of your classes each day. If you are going to be entering middle school in the fall, be excited! You'll have fun like you did in elementary, and lots of new adventures. If you're having difficulty adjusting, just remember that everyone has had to go from elementary to middle school. You're not alone! Give it some time, get help when you need it, and hang in there.


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