Going from elementary school to middle school is a pretty big transition, and it comes with a lot of changes both in your personal and academic life. Maybe some of these changes have been keeping you up at night, worrying whether or not you’ll make it to class on time or if you’ll be able to get your locker open. If that’s you, then I can totally relate. Starting middle school is a total lifestyle change that can be pretty stressful at times. But, never fear, I have seven tips for you that will hopefully put all your worries to rest and help you get better sleep at night!
1. Practice your locker combination.
This is a tip that I learned from my teachers when I was entering middle school. One of the most common fears that rising middle school students have is not being able to open their lockers. If this is something that is keeping you up at night, then I suggest buying a lock from your local grocery store. Just about anywhere that sells school supplies will have them. If you already have your actual locker combination, practice that. If you don’t, have your parents make up a random combination and then go to town trying to master it. Once you get the basic turn motions down, you’ll be all set to rock out any combo you’re given!
2. Get organized, stay organized.
This is one of the most important tips I can give you. Staying organized can help you to avoid stress and keep up those good grades. A simple way to do this is to keep all of your papers for one subject together. The way you do this may differ for each class. For example, you might keep everything for your science class in a notebook and everything for your math class in a binder. A good rule of thumb that I like to stick to is to have no more than two subjects in a binder. Also, make sure to use dividers in your binders to keep everything super organized and easily accessible! I recommend dividers with pockets so that you can still keep papers organized even if they aren’t hole punched.
3. Have an agenda!
This tip goes hand-in-hand with tip number two. Agendas are super awesome because they allow you to see all of your due dates and tests laid out in front of you. I like to write down my assignment due dates and test dates on the monthly pages and keep my homework on the daily pages. But, do whatever works for you. Also, make a habit of writing down your homework for every class. There is no worse feeling then realizing that you forgot to do your homework!
Your agenda doesn’t need to be anything fancy- I recommend the ones they have at Target. They are about ten dollars apiece, and they have some really cute designs!
4. Learn time management skills.
Time management is EXTREMELY important for middle school, high school, college, and for the rest of your life, basically. So, go ahead and do yourself a favor by learning this key skill now. Middle school is a big shift from elementary school mainly because you have to balance multiple classes. Add in sports practices and extracurriculars and you’ve got yourself a jam-packed schedule!
If you don’t make sure that you’re using your time wisely, your grades will suffer. I suggest planning out in your head or in your agenda what you will be doing and when. For example, plan to study for your science test for an hour right after you get home from basketball practice, and then work on your English project for thirty minutes after that. This will help you stay on top of your schoolwork and stress. The biggest rule in time management is to never procrastinate!
5. Have your schedule on hand.
Another super big stress for new middle school students is that they won’t be able to find their classes or get to them on time. A good way to ease that stress is to take a tour of your schedule beforehand. Although, in this crazy time that we’re in, that might not be an option for you. If that’s the case, then I suggest finding a map of the inside of your school and then mapping out your route from one class to the next. That way you can pull it out in between classes to see where you need to go.
It’s a good idea to have a copy of your schedule on hand that includes your teachers’ names and their room numbers. When I started middle school, I was surprised at how easy it was for me to get to class with time left over! Plus, in the first few days of school, your teachers will totally understand that you’re learning your way around the school and will be patient with you if you’re late.
6. Study, study, study!
Like I said before, middle school is a whole lot different from elementary school because you have multiple classes. A big part of this, is the fact that, you will have multiple tests to keep track of. Sometimes you’ll even have several tests all on the same day. So, it’s super important that you use time management skills to plan out what tests you need to study for and when.
It’s best to start studying in advance, as opposed to studying the night before, especially when you have multiple tests the next day. Also, even if you think you know the material, still study! Test scores make up a big chunk of your grades, and you want to make sure that you get the best grades possible!
7. Give yourself “me time”.
With all of this studying and time management that I’ve talked about, you’re probably thinking about how in the world you will have time to do the things you love, like hanging out with your friends or baking. If you use your time management skills and study in advance for your tests, then you should be all set to have some time left over for yourself.
When you are penciling out your study schedule, make sure to include some “me time”. Maybe this means just taking out 30 minutes to watch a show on Netflix or read a book. Whatever it is, make sure to give yourself some time to recharge and take your mind off of your to-do list.
Bottom line is, don’t stress! You aren’t the only one stepping into this totally new environment for the first time, so remember that everyone else is going to be learning the ropes too! Middle school is a super fun experience that can allow you to try new things, meet new people, and grow as a person. At the end of the day, the biggest tip I can give you is to enjoy the ride, because it’ll be over before you know it!