What advice would you give to middle school students?

Michelle Ganassi

Assistant city editor for the Daily American in Somerset PA. 

Hi, this is Mike. This article was produced in 2016. The article contains High School student’s advice to Junior High students on how to thrive in Junior High.  The name of the school attended is right under the advice giver’s name. ENJOY.

Question of the Week: What advice would you give to middle school students?
Daily American, May 18, 2016
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By Emma Rugg
For me, high school was difficult because I made it that way. I pushed myself to be the best I could be. When you work hard, it shows. If you are passing with Ds and Cs, that shows how hard you really worked.
I have managed to keep a 95-percent average for the majority of the year and I am proud of the work I have done.
So with that being said, my advice to middle school students in my school is: do not let the fact that you’re from Turkeyfoot get in the way.
The school you go to will not dictate how you do in school, you will. Push yourself. Take hard classes. Pass those hard classes.
Make time for studying. Be a nerd. In the end, when you are getting your diploma it will be because of what you achieved in school academically not because of how much fun you had or how many friends or boyfriends you had.
To the girls, do not get caught up in drama. Just because you do not have a boyfriend now does not mean you will never have one. Make school your priority because, news flash, that is what you are there for. One of my favorite teachers, Amanda Shaffer, seems to be constantly preaching that message to girls in school. But she is right.
She worked hard to get where she is and I want to be like her in that sense. Do what is important to you first, get your diploma, get your degree, pursue a career, learn to support yourself, and then you can worry about the other things. Basically do what Shaffer says and do not question it.
By Scout Best
Middle school is definitely a time when many young people go through the process of establishing an identity. My advice for you middle schoolers is to always stay true to yourself.
With peer pressure and an endless flood of images and articles from the media and internet, it’s easy to lose track of who you are.
Stay the course. Also, select a good group of friends. It can be easy to fall into toxic friendships that may make you doubt your values and goals. A friendship should be a mutual and supportive relationship.
One more thing: maintain healthy habits. Exercise, sleep well, drink eight glasses of water a day and always eat your vegetables. Hope my two cents helps.

By Phillip Walter
Berlin Brothersvalley
Moving into high school is a big transition to be sure, but it shouldn’t stress you out or change your personality. Sure, high school will change you, but these changes should not be forced or make you feel uncomfortable.
In these four years, you will make many choices that will influence the rest of your life choices ranging from choosing a college to simply choosing your classes.
Every choice you make will be important, no matter how small. The friends you make will be there for you in your high school years, and you will feel sad when you depart as seniors.
Some people you may never see again, and some may stay a part of your life. This is the time to think about a beginning. You are young and will enter the prime of your life soon. These next four years for you will be full of challenges and also of fun. Enjoy every moment of it.

By Rionna Putman
Middle school is a hard time. We have all been there and thankfully survived and made it to high school. If I were to give advice to any middle schoolers to make their lives a little easier, here’s the advice I would provide.
First, just be yourself, everyone else is already taken. You’re going to be judged no matter what, so instead of trying to impress the haters, just be yourself.
I’ve learned from personal experiences that the haters are just jealous because they feel insecure about themselves. They will see you being yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin and they will wish they could do the same.
For me, high school is so much better. I haven’t had much trouble with drama, aside from just keeping to myself, students are more focused on sports, band and school work to be causing drama. Just remember to be yourself and everything should turn out just fine in the end.

By Megan Law
While middle school students can benefit from a plethora of helpful hints passed down by an older friend, sibling, cousin, or schoolmate, the most valuable piece of advice that I can offer to younger students would be to be kind to each other.
Adolescence is not a glamorous time for anybody. Middle schoolers are just beginning to learn about themselves. Oftentimes they have just entered a new, larger school where they may not know many students or teachers.
They are experimenting with new friend groups and they are expanding their interests. This period of self-development can be a difficult transition to go through, and the critical eyes of classmates make the changes even more uncomfortable.
Being kind does not require large sums of money nor does it involve a great deal of effort, yet it seems like individuals often do not go out of their way to encourage each other.
If you notice someone’s self-esteem running low (which you probably will), simply telling a peer you like his hairstyle or her new backpack can brighten the day of the compliment’s recipient.
If you see a panic-stricken student nervously scanning the cafeteria for a seat, wave them over to your table. If you notice the infamous school bully approaching a more vulnerable classmate, stand up for each other.
Pay it forward because you may even need a peer to stand up for you one day.
Even though being a pre-teen can sometimes feel unbearable, there is comfort to be found in small, kind gestures.

By Brianna Guaetta
Thinking about my years as a middle school student at Windber Area School District, there is a lot of advice that I wish I could have given myself to help me survive the next few years.
At the pre-teen and early teenage stage, many students fall prey to peer pressure, looks, and especially gossip.
Looking back, I wish I could have told myself to not give in to the pressure. In a few years, the gossip won’t matter. The rumors spreading throughout the school mean nothing. People will forget about it and the feelings will fade.
I wish I could have told myself to do my absolute best and be the kindest person that I could have been to my teachers and my peers. Upon reflection, I wish I also could have told myself that all of the awkwardness would fade if I could just be patient.
My advice to middle school students now is to just be yourself. Trying to be someone you’re not never turns out well and only leads to more struggle in the following years.
The years as a middle school student are some of the most interesting years to reflect upon. No matter who you are, everyone will always feel some type of regret when looking back, whether it be the hairstyle you supported or the way you dressed or even the way you behaved.
But people also feel joy and laughter when thinking about the memories they created in middle school.
I just want to tell middle school students now to enjoy every minute of it and that even though all you want to do is grow up and enter high school, you’ll regret wanting to grow up so fast and missing important parts of your childhood.

By Hattie Luster
As I near the end of my high school career, there are many words of wisdom I could give to younger individuals regarding the years following the conclusion of middle school.
I think the most valuable information I could give middle school students would be to always apply yourself, no matter what you’re doing.
I have seen innumerable individuals pass through high school without working to their full potential. It is disappointing to see so many students simply going through the motions of high school without applying themselves.
Even if you find yourself in a class that you may not particularly enjoy, it is imperative that you do your best in that class.
I have been faced with plenty of classes that I am not naturally proficient in. When faced with these classes, I must push my mind to do my best in any situation. With an attitude of determination, I believe that every student’s prospects are limitless.

By Abby Cover
Conemaugh Township
Middle school isn’t always the easiest time. It’s an awkward stage that most likely will include braces, acne and pointless drama.
This is a period of time where you discover who you are or who you want to be. Various insecurities may form, but middle school students and teenagers need to learn how to be confident in who they are.
The quicker this skill can be learned, the more successful you will be.
One piece of advice I have for middle school students is, do not let anyone tell you to be something you aren’t.
Even though this sounds cliche, stay true to yourself. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned not only in middle school but in high school as well.
Guard your hearts. Not everyone is who they say they are, even if they act like your best friend. Hopefully, you’ll quickly discover who is truly sincere and who you want to surround yourself with.
Trust me, your seventh grade crush won’t matter when you’re 18, and those not-so-flattering braces that cost your parents thousands of dollars will pay off in the long run.
No one was even looking at that pimple you were constantly self conscious about, and who cares if that catty girl made fun of your new backpack. Be you and don’t worry about anyone else.

By Lindsay Doyle
Salisbury-Elk Lick
The most important advice that I can give to middle school students is simply don’t take everything so seriously.
Always remember that the memories that you make in high school are going to be some of your favorites so don’t waste time stressing about things that won’t matter in five years.
The second most important piece of advice that I could give underclassmen is to always be there for your classmates with an open mind and an open heart.
They are your family for the next four years, and chances are, they have been your family for the last eight years. My classmates and I have formed a bond that I feel so blessed to have because at the end of the day, our “family” may be dysfunctional, but we’re still family.
Of course when talking about advice for students, I should touch on school work. Always stay on top of things. Procrastination will be your biggest downfall if you let it.
Don’t take your time spent in high school for granted. No matter how many times we all say, “I want out of here,” when the day comes that they ask you to leave, it’s actually going to be hard to say goodbye.
By Megan Friedline
North Star
Where do I begin? There is so much I want to say to all middle schoolers, but which piece is the right one? I think the right advice is something you yourself have to accept.
Okay, so maybe you want more of the common advice like, be yourself or think of the future. Personally, my favorite is the be yourself advice.
It can be hard to figure out who you are when you haven’t yet figured it out. I know I didn’t right away, I mean I am still only halfway there to discovering myself. However, don’t let that discourage you. I’ve lived my school career being a flower on the wall, watching everyone else and never involving myself.
People seemed to drift to what society deemed a worthy person. That cool athlete, pretty girl or hot guy. Don’t, just don’t, if you have to force yourself to hang out with people, know they are probably not the people you want to hang out with.
Sometimes the people you avoided because they didn’t fit the mold were the best friends you had been missing all along. I know I did.

By Lindsay Walker
North Star
The best advice I have ever received was given to me by my mother when I was in elementary school. I was worried about making friends because I thought I wasn’t cool or popular enough.
She then sat me down and gave me the advice that I have tried to follow since that day: if you are yourself, the people who are worth being friends with will come into your life when the time is right.
I believe that this advice is one of the most important things I could share with middle school students who are entering high school.
During the often difficult and uncomfortable years of high school, it is crucial to be yourself. The pressure to conform will always exist but will be easier to bare if you are secure in who you are, and are surrounded with people who love and care for who you are, not who you pretend to be.

By Karina Putman
Our school really does not have a middle school. It goes directly from elementary to high school, but I am assuming that middle school is sixth through eighth grade.
The advice I would give them would not differ too much from the advice I would give any student regardless of grade level.
All you need to do is work hard to be successful. Some people may be blessed with the ability to not work hard and achieve the best result, but a majority of us are not that lucky.
You have to work hard for everything you want and that includes grades. If you put your all into something, it will show. Pretty soon not only your grades will be ameliorated but just about everything else you do will be because, let’s face it, success is addicting.
As stated earlier, you have to work for what you want and eventually, those A’s on your report card will be prizes and things you strive for, and again, you must work for what you want. Just work hard and you will achieve anything your heart desires.

By Melissa Whetsell
My advice for middle school students would be to never give up and always be yourself. As a senior, I know it is hard to transition from elementary school to middle school.
It can be scary and hard for kids to adjust to different rules. It can also be hard for kids to adjust to the older kids. They might try to act like the older kids or do things they shouldn’t to impress others.
You have to be yourself. You cannot try to fit into a group that really is not for you. You have to be happy for who you are. Sometimes things might not go as you wanted them to, but you can never give up.
If you keep trying you will succeed. Always keep an open mind. Even if you think that someone is weird or different, you still have to let them be themselves. Everyone is different. You have to accept people for who they are.


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