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Dear Dish-It: New Schools & Middle Schools

Lots of KW kids have asked Dish-It questions about going to a new school or entering a new middle school. Here’s some info that can help ease your nerves and jitters and help you out in the transition to your new school.

How do I fit in with everyone at a new school? – bri60318

I’m moving to a new house and I’m worried about moving schools. Any advice for me? – silverflash

My parents are moving me to a new school when I’m happy where I am. But then again I really want to go to junior high. What do I do? – ashlynchris101

Having to go to a brand-new school is something that would make anyone feel nervous and worried. Luckily, once you get the first day over with you’ll realize it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. Here are some tips to make your first day at a new school a little easier:

  • The first day is a great time to make new friends – say hi to the kids you know and introduce yourself to the ones you don’t
  • If you get to choose desks, write down where your seat is so you don’t forget
  • Wear your favorite outfit to put a spring in your step and show off your personal style
  • Make sure you’re ready and have all the supplies you’ll need
  • Take a bit of money with you just in case
  • Pack your backpack the night before to prevent morning panic
  • Write notes to yourself throughout the day to remember where your classes are and what your schedule is like
  • Give yourself time to get adjusted to school – it may take more than one day and that’s OK
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before
  • Eat a healthy breakfast before you leave for school
  • Pay close attention to what your teachers have to say about classroom rules

Middle School

What do I do before starting middle school? – action123

I’m scared for middle school – help!

It’s called middle school because it's in the middle of your school years. Elementary school is behind you. High school and college await. Middle school often includes sixth, seventh and eighth grades, but you might go to middle school earlier or later depending on how it's done in your area.

For most kids going to middle school is a big change. It often means moving to a new building, which takes some time to adjust to. It may mean taking a different bus with different students. And the friends you made in elementary school may end up going to different middle schools. All that can make you feel a bit scared on the first day of school.

Other things that probably will be different are the teachers and the work. Have you heard rumors that middle school teachers are really mean and the homework is really, really hard? They're generally not true. Your homework will get more challenging but that's not necessarily a bad thing. You're growing up and you get to build on all that learning you already did in elementary school. You'll also probably be learning some new and different stuff in middle school like foreign languages, more advanced courses in computer technology, music and art, health and life skills. On top of that middle school will probably offer new teams, clubs and activities you can join.

If you’re still worried, there are things you can do to prepare yourself for your first day. Most middle schools have orientation day for students who will be attending in the fall. Orientation is a day when you tour the school and get a little information about what it will be like to go there. Another great way to get oriented is to attend a concert or sporting event at your new school and talk to friends who already go there. Ask them about any problems they had and ask if they could help you if you need it when you get there.

It also might help if your mom or dad drove you to the school in the summertime. You might see sports teams practicing outside and just get a flavor of the place. It's also good to get an idea of where it is in your area.

Read any materials you get at orientation or that arrive by mail in the summer. Are there books you need to read or supplies you have to buy? You'll also want to figure out what time school starts and what time the bus will pick you up if you take one. Then you can decide what time you'll need to wake up. You also might want to find out when lunch is. If it's later than usual you might want to pack a snack. Also think about what you'll wear. Choose something that you like and feel comfortable in.

Try to get a good night's sleep even if you're so excited you don't think you can. Before bed lay out all your stuff so you don't forget anything. Set your alarm but tell your mom or dad when you need to get up in case you sleep right through it.

On the big day, eat breakfast and be brave. If you don’t eat before you leave for school you'll feel terrible by mid-morning just when you need your energy and brain power to navigate your new school. On your way out the door, take everything you need and try to remember that this is a big adventure. Check in with friends you know and try to be brave and say hi to other new kids.

In class listen to what the teacher says and take notes because it's hard to remember everything. Try to write down the important stuff like your locker combination and your homeroom number. Then you can look it over when you get home and be prepared for Day 2.

When you've been at your school for a whole week, it's time to give yourself a round of applause. You've probably absorbed a ton of new information in a short amount of time. You probably know your locker combination, where your assigned seat is in all your classes, where the bathrooms are and how to get to the cafeteria. Do you still get lost on the way to gym? If so, find a buddy who goes to gym at the same time and walk together.

If you find you're having trouble with schoolwork or friends don't panic but do get help. Just like in elementary school, ask the teacher for extra help after class if you don't understand something you're learning. You also might have study halls in middle school; these free periods are great for talking to a teacher or getting a jump on your homework. Also talk to your mom or dad if you're having trouble with your classes. It could be that you're just a little rusty after that long summer, but if your problems don't go away, you'll want to talk to the teacher or school counselor.

Remember, middle school is a good time to make new connections and new friends. Sometimes it's easy to make a new friend. You might meet the first day and then hang out all year long. But it can also go more slowly, especially if it seems like a lot of kids are already hanging out together in groups that don't include you. Let someone know how it's going for you. Talk to your mom, dad, or a school counselor if you're feeling lonely and it's not getting any better.

To feel less lonely and make friends try joining a club, sport or activity. It's a great way to get to know kids you don't know yet. Being in these groups also can help you feel more at home at your school.

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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Autonomy
"Lulu335" wrote: I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!! Oh sweetheart, your situation is so, so very far from being complicated. In fact, it's actually, entirely simple. But I'm here to help you see that, because you can't see it yourself quite yet. Brace yourself, you may never hear such advice in your life ever again. Or you might, I can't predict the future. You're in sixth grade, you said. Assuming you live in the United states and weren't held back, you're probably 12, maybe 11. The problem is, the human brain isn't fully developed until a person hits the age of about 25. This means, without debate, that your brain unable to fully grasp what being in a relationship actually entails, what it means, what the consequences are, and so forth. You can't even fathom it, my dear. I couldn't at your age; no one can. You've just begun to hit puberty at this point in your very young, completely normal life. Certain hormones are now being developed by your body that, up until puberty began, your body did not produce. Let me explain, in simple terms, what this means: these new hormones are giving you fuzzy feelings for boys, but these feelings are not what people with fully developed brains call "love." Love means being self sacrificing, compromising, giving and taking, communicating clearly and honestly, and so much more. What you're feeling is a part of love-romance-but it's not all there is to love. It's actually just a few simple chemicals being released in your brain: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and few others. Your brain releases those chemicals when, say, you see a boy you like, and those chemicals make you feel all fuzzy inside. In fact, (brace yourself,) there's nothing inherently special about the boys you like, or the boys that like you; in fact, they're also, entirely normal, and aside from a few minor differences in character, completely like most other boys their age. Had you been born in another town, gone to another school, you would have gotten the same fuzzy feeling about whatever boy you thought you liked at that school. You see? I'm not saying this to make you feel insignificant, but perhaps the insight will make moving easier for you. The next place your militant parents settle down in will also have a middle school, with a bunch of normal 11-14 year old boys and girls, all doing the exact same things the kids at your school do right now. Does that put things in perspective for you? The world is a very, very big place, and it's home to billions upon billions of people. Your situation is far from being a needle in a hay stack; it's more like a blade of grass, in a vast field of foliage. The feelings you're feeling aren't uncommon or complicated, they just feel that way to you. (Now, really brace yourself, because this is going to get uncomfortable.) We, as people, tend to think that we're special. Each one of us a unique snowflake, drifting about in big blue sky, that exists solely to show the world how special we are. The problem is, the other seven billions snowflakes (people) think exactly like we do, and in this way, we are all the same. We think our problems are new problems that no one has ever dealt with before, and no one else could possibly understand the pain and suffering we're going through. We all think this way, by nature; but it's simply naive. Heartache and suffering have existed since people existed, and possibly before then. Your situation may not be ideal to you, but once you come to terms with the fact that life isn't ideal for anyone, you might actually feel comfort. The easiest way to cope with our many problems, is to accept them for what they are: a part of the human experience. Natural, normal, repeating generation after generation without end. Again, these are concepts that require some deep thought, and you might not fully grasp them quite yet. But remember them. With time, as you grow, think about them more, and you will find peace with your life. And remember this: although you're stuck (for now) on a giant rock hurling around the sun at an incredible speed, you're not alone. With billions of other people stuck here with you, you'll never be without friends.
reply about 8 hours
Fun_125
I personally think that when you ARE ready then go for it! As long as the person you like isn't a jerk to anyone or you go for it! Just don't get too serious. It's middle school. Good luck!
reply about 10 hours
Error44
"Lulu335" wrote:I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!!I know, it is too late but I think you should not go for a deeper relationship, don't make it hard for yourself and try to be his just friend because you are so young .
reply about 13 hours
Error44
"queenslay173" wrote:I was at school when I noticed people started to tell me this boy liked me and I thought it was cool because I'm used to that type of stuff then we started to dated in October we broke up right before christmas and it was so strange. we got back together in the beginning of January and we broke up again on the 4 my friends are really mad at me and he seemed really upset I like him but I just don't want to be with him anymore what should I do ?- confused lover Tell him your reasons and make it clear for both of you
reply about 13 hours
lottie_h141
lottie_h141 posted in Style:
thank u!!! acc helps so much. Obvs going to superstars aswell 
reply 3 days