Being a student in middle school, it can be difficult to grasp the fact that high school seems right around the corner. Many middle schoolers ask, “does what we do in middle school affect our high school and college experience?”—and in the bigger picture, our life?
Many students worry about their future in high school and college. The pressure of doing well on your ACT and SAT tests can be overwhelming. Students worry that if they don’t do well in middle school, high school will be even tougher, which will lead to not getting into a “good” college. But is this pressure good or bad?
A little pressure is good; it pushes you to work harder and to improve. But too much pressure can be hard to cope with in middle school. Part of school is learning how to manage stress, but you shouldn’t stress over things that are far into the future, like jobs or colleges. Middle schoolers should enjoy school while they can and try as hard as they can. We’re just kids and will only be in middle school once. As middle schoolers, we still have four to six years until we really have to worry about college (though you wouldn’t know it when 50% of the grade parades around in Ivy League sweatshirts).
Although it is important to relax and enjoy being a kid, you should still work hard to get the most out of your education. Middle school won’t completely determine your success in life, but it is important to hone skills in middle school that you can apply later in life. Studying, planning, and having a good work ethic are all things that you will carry with you forever. If you can develop good habits in middle school, it will help you succeed in high school and in life. School isn’t about getting the best grades and best tests, it’s about preparing you for the future and being your best self.
When we were in 7th grade, we were very stressed about our grades, especially for math. The two different levels of math was confusing and overwhelming. To add to the stress, students were starting to compare scores. If you don’t want to tell someone your score, people assumed that you did poorly. Parents also started to get involved, complaining to teachers or arguing that their student was in the wrong math. Our advice to 6th and 7th graders: stop comparing grades. Your grades are your own information. Just focus on yourself and what you need to do to accomplish your goals. But don’t get too caught up in a grade. You’re only in middle school once, so enjoy the journey.
-Photo by Grace Raufer