AKA, things I wish I could get across to my 7th grade students about the particular hell that is middle school
  1. Take band or orchestra or choir regardless of whether it's seen as nerdy or geeky or "not cool."
    I avoided taking band in 6th grade because I felt like I was already nerdy enough and didn't need to add another target to my back. Sigh. Eleven year olds don't make the best decisions.
  2. Those mean girls and bullies pick on you because they are insecure and see something in you that they feel they are lacking.
    In the moment, this means very little if you're their punching bag, but it's still true. The girls that teased me so much that I missed so much school due to stomach aches of dread that I almost had to take summer school despite straight As had their own struggles. They were still awful, but it was less about me than it felt.
  3. You will one day look back at your middle school crushes and cringe.
    My only "boyfriend" in middle school broke up with me because I was, in his words, too smart. And don't get me started on the center-parted bowl cut that all the cool kids had back in the early to mid 90s.
  4. Your friends are wonderful, but it's also okay if those relationships fade over time.
    Some friends are exactly what we need for a specific time frame of our lives. BFFs aren't always forever, but that doesn't mean the relationship wasn't what you needed then.
  5. Set up good study habits when you have the extra grace from your teachers in middle school.
    High school teachers, professors, and bosses aren't nearly as forgiving.
  6. Sometimes, being twelve or thirteen sucks. A lot. But it gets so much better.
  7. You may be lonely in part because you haven't found that place where you belong, and while it can be painful, it can also be worth the wait.