D.J. Figueroa is a 7th grade student at Harper’s Choice Middle School, who attended Clemens Crossing Elementary School. He is the oldest child in his family with three siblings. DJ has a passion for technology and is currently planning to apply to M.I.T. for college.
To most 5th graders, their idea of middle school isn’t the same as reality. Some people think it’s too big of a step forward, thinking that they will suffer and not be able to get through the year, or even a quarter. I was one of those people. I was worried that I would have too much homework and that I would be late to class a lot from a jammed locker. Even though I had my doubts, I got through my first year of middle school just fine. I can’t guarantee that it’ll be the same for you, as each school is slightly different, but I can say one thing: Middle school is not as big of a change as you might think. Sure, you have lockers, more classes, bells, online grades and such, but that’s just part of it. In my personal opinion, middle school is just like any normal transition from one grade to another. Here are some things to help with your journey into middle school.
Be organized. In middle school, it’s extremely important to keep your binder organized. Personally, I’ve seen a few of my classmates with unorganized binders. Once, during some free time we had, there was one person who had a “mountain” of papers in their binder, and they had to get a teacher to sort all of the papers out. This student got lucky because most teachers will not be able to do that with you. Your free time is precious because it can be used to catch up on your work. Besides, who wants to have to waste their free time on sorting papers? I know I wouldn’t. In order to stay organized, put papers in the right place in your binder, right when you receive them. It sounds minor, but if you don’t bother to put papers where they go, it will be a pain to deal with later on in the school year.
Be on time. No matter what class you are heading to, you should always make sure to be on time. At most schools, you have a three-minute time period to get from one class to another, which should be plenty of time. For example, at my school, if you don’t make it to class in that three-minute window, you will receive an infraction. The two biggest challenges in arriving on time is how far your classes are from each other and how long it takes for you to get your items out of your locker. If your classes are far apart, consider taking what you need for both classes together to save time between them. If you are late because of your locker most of the time, make sure it is nice and organized, so you can just grab and go to your next class on time.
Get involved with extracurricular activities. Find out what programs are at your school, and join the ones that interest you. There are multiple activities to take advantage of throughout your school day, so there is likely something for everyone. Extracurricular activities are a good way for learning more about the topics you are interested in, and they help develop your talents. Most, if not all programs, are free, so you should join one! However, if you miss a certain class for that activity, you are still responsible learning the material as well as any work that was expected during that lesson, so just choose wisely.
Middle school has been a great experience for me. I learned a lot, and I got along just fine. The classes are more challenging, but they can be a lot more fun. I found it pretty nice that I got to change rooms throughout the day. Although having a schedule is new, it only took me roughly a week to remember my schedule without actually looking at it. Some schools even allow you to use your devices, such as a DS or cell phone during lunch. So while you have more responsibility and higher expectations in middle school, there are also greater rewards.