The Middle {School}

Middle school.  The bane of everyone’s existence.  The time of your life when you’re awkward, insecure, and you make poor decisions about your life due to the unfortunate circumstance that is your underdeveloped brain and your new-found independence.  Leaving adolescence behind, you’re full of fear and hormones, and you just don’t know what to do with it all.  You can’t wait for the holy grail that is high school.

You’re old enough to watch PG-13 movies now {or maybe your parents aren’t overprotective helicopter parents like I am and you’ve been watching them for years already,} you can get dropped off and go places on your own, and you can start perfecting your flirting skills.  That is if you’re secure enough in your awkwardness to do so.

Middle School
She wrote herself a note inside her locker 🙂

My daughter is getting ready to make the transition from elementary school to middle school.  She is getting screwed in more ways than one.  We moved last year, so she started 5th grade at a new school.  We knew they were thinking about making a change so that 6th graders would move to middle school, but we didn’t know they had implemented the change to start this school year.  That means she only had one year at her new school.

She had a great year meeting new friends and then we were faced with the decision about what to do about middle school.  I gave her a choice, either change middle school now and be set up for a middle school, high school path as long as nothing else changes.  Because, let’s face it, a lot can change in seven years.  Or, go to the middle school your friends are going to, but you have to change at high school.  She chose to change now in middle school.

Knowing how bad middle school sucks, I asked her at least 100 times if she was sure that was what she wanted to do.  100 times she told me yes.  She is starting at a middle school where she will know one person.

I have fears for her.  I’m scared she will get caught up in the wrong crowd.  She’s a really good kid, so this is most likely an irrational fear, which most fears are, but you never know.  We all know the wrong crowd is where shit goes bad in life.  I’m concerned that she’s super unorganized, and she’s horrible with time management, and what if she doesn’t have anyone to eat lunch with?  But I know she’ll figure it out.

It made me think, how is middle school any different from adulthood?  I realized some of my fears for myself center around friends, being unorganized, and handling a work/life balance.  I don’t have shitty friends, but I’ve definitely had to weed people out over the years.  It’s easier to do as an adult than as a tween, I mean, unless you’re a people pleaser, then it’s just as hard as an adult than as a tween.

I’m typically a very organized person, but I have days when I’m not.  And what happens then?  I feel out of control and uncentered.  The same feelings you have as an unorganized middle schooler.

Then there’s time management with work/life balance.  It’s hard to do it all.  I have to organize my own schedule, organize my daughter’s schedule,  make time for my friends, try and work on my spiritual and mental self, hang out with my family, make time to travel because right now it’s the only thing keeping me sane, escort my daughter to and from her dad’s house in another state, binge watch Netflix {I’m currently watching Parks and Rec and I can’t believe I didn’t jump on this bandwagon sooner,} catch up on movies I wanted to see two years ago, play with my cat, have hobbies that make me happy, clean, read books, and start new work ventures.

And on top of that, I’m getting fucking old, so I have upkeep.  I must color my hair, get my face resurfaced periodically and then do home care on it the rest of the time, get waxed, do my nails, and if there’s time for stressed out muscles to be massaged, that.  I have to eat healthy and work out, without working out because I hate working out.  It’s a lot and it can get overwhelming.

Middle School
May you soar high in middle school and beyond, brave girl

The funny thing is, if I ask my daughter what she’s afraid of in middle school, it’s only centered around her locker.  She’s convinced she’s small enough to fit in one, so she’s scared she’s going to get shoved into a locker only to be forgotten forever.  She’s also scared she won’t know how to open it.

In the end, she’s scared of the unknown, and of change, and isn’t that what some of us as adults are scared of, too?  Unfortunately, what I’m telling you, is nothing’s really changed since middle school.  All of our fears are the same, but our adult brains are fully developed so we can make rational decisions; some of us anyway.  The good news is we all survived middle school and we’ll all survive life.

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  1. Sally says

    Wonderful As a middle school teacher I can relate. She’s on target with the locker fear. I am confronted annually with, “what if I can’t open my locker?”. At the end of the day you are her mother and she will do fine.

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