Part 150- Changes

Welcome back to Part 3 of the “Middle School Tales: Experiences from a back-to-in-person-learning middle school student” series. Yes, I did just come up with that name and yes, it is very long. Anyways, I wanted to share some more funny and interesting stories from my in person learning experience.

Like I’ve said many, many, many times before, I have been an online learner for 1 and ½ years. Coming back to school in-person has been extremely challenging, and very different. Everything in your learning environment changes. But, what changes in the students during middle school?

Growth Spurts:

You know how when you go to a new grade or advance to a new level of school, you always admire how tall the oldest, senior-most kids are? Well, that’s similar to what happened with me and my friend. Except, it was us who were amazed at how tall our peers were compared to ourselves. Standing next to them, we look so small! And yet I was so proud to be 5’3 and the tallest in my friend group. Some kids in my grade are extremely tall, no doubt there, but overall, if you line up all the students in my grade, I will most likely be somewhere near the front. In fact, we actually did that in two of my classes, and both times I ended up near the beginning of the line. ( It went from shortest to tallest.)

It’s funny how that happened because it only felt like yesterday when we were all in elementary school and were all the same height. It felt like we were on the same level as one another but now it’s surprising seeing how we’re not. I remember a girl who was in my 2nd grade class who was the same height as me, and now, she’s at least 3-4 inches taller than me. When did that happen?

Not to forget the boys. Oh my god, when I came back to school, I was so shocked with how different the boys were. The most specific thing to me was the voice. I’ve always known that boys’ voices deepen during puberty, but I was so caught off guard when I heard them. There’s a boy who was in my 5th grade class before, and his voice used to be a bit high-pitched. But now, it’s deepened. Hearing him speak feels awkward now.

Conversations:

A lot changes over time. Both boys and girls talk about similar topics; what new cool things are going on, and joking around. But as the years go by, the conversations start to become more…dry. 
Lately, I find myself growing more distant from the usual girl groups or in the topics with girls. Before, when we used to talk about silly fantasies and make jokes, we now talk about who’s cute and hot and what shampoo you use and stuff. I don’t mind from time to time, but I have one specific example of this happening that I really want to share.

So in CCR- College Career Readiness class- we were supposed to share our results from a personality assessment we took the day before, with a group of three. My tablemate invited me to join her group with her friend and we all shared our results. We finished our discussions early so we ended up talking the rest of the time. Or more like, they ended up talking. They started talking about haircuts and what lotion or shampoo they use and stuff. Less than 5 minutes in, I was already bored. I didn’t want to sit around and listen to how you wanted to cut your hair or what products you used. Giving up on listening, I turned my head forward, as our seats were currently in rows, and found a more interesting conversation with the boys.

Boys are interesting. There may be times where they can be incredibly stupid and will make you want to kick them in the leg, but, at least they have a conversation of variety that’ll make you want to listen further. And that's exactly what happened. I don’t remember the exact conversation going on between the boys, but I do remember how they were all joking around and talking about the most random things.

It made me remember a specific memory I kind of cherish back from 6th grade. I and a few other students part of my Leadworthy Class got to help out in an 8th grade parent-student lunch event. We were supposed to give each parent a name tag, hold the doors open, and take them to the lunch area. Anyways, I and two other boys were on door-holding duty for some time. It got pretty boring as no one showed up for some time, so we started making small talk with one another. Standing some distance away from us was an 8th grader waiting for his parents, and had been waiting for a while. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation was initiated, but I do remember how we were all coming up with these crazy theories about how the boy could have gotten here. Teleportation, aliens, undead armies, etc. It was probably one of the best and most interesting conversations I’ve ever had in my life.

I’m not saying that all conversations with girls are boring, but definitely most of them have started to become so. Of course, I do enjoy listening to my friend talk about her crushes and giving my opinion every now and then. 

Comparing:

I’ve also noticed how comparison has become more common in middle school. At this age, everyone looks to be the -est. Who’s the prettiest, smartest, funniest, kindest, etc. It’s all about who’s better than each other and a competition that drives it. 


In this past week, I have had numerous experiences with classmates and friends comparing themselves in grades with me and with others. I don’t mind from time to time to share my scores, but it really upsets me when a person starts sharing my score with another person when it wasn’t necessary. Firstly, that’s not yours to tell, and secondly, why? If I stay quiet in that situation, then isn’t it obvious I don’t want to bring it up? I’m not criticizing anyone who did it, but I’m just saying that it makes the person in that situation uncomfortable. We can’t always control the fighting ambition in us to become the best, but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. 

Blending in:

Blending in is probably one of the biggest factors in middle school. At this time, nobody wants to be different. If you’re different, it’s a problem. Everyone’s looking for some kind of group or some category where they can belong and not stand out. It’s terrifying to stand out. Standing out draws attention. It makes everyone see that you’re different, and because you’re different, you get judged. For that reason, everyone wants to fit in. But in high school, everyone decides to be different. We realize that we cannot blend in all our lives and need to show a level of unique within ourselves to become the best. But until then, no no. 

I don’t have an examples of this happening to me, but I’ve seen it happen a lot of times with different clothing styles and activities. 

I’ve only listed a few changes that happen in middle school. Of course, there are many other that I’ve encountered this past week, bit these are the main ones I wanted to share. It’s interesting how only a day ago we were all elementary kids, and now we’ve all grown up and are in our last year of middle school. Not only that, the change from 6th to 8th is huge! How much have I missed from online school?! Still, I enjoy discovering what I’ve missed, and look forward to finding out what is next. Until then, bye!





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