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Dear Dish-it: I'm Scared of Middle School

Dear Dish-it,

I'm scared for middle school! What should I do to not be afraid?

Bubblegum303

Dear Bubblegum303,

For lots of kids, middle school means a new building, new teachers, new activities and even making some new friends. It's totally normal to be thinking of middle school as an amazing advenutre ... and one of the scariest things that's ever happened to you (yeah, both at the same time). But the reality is, you're so not alone in this. Your friends are all thinking the exact same thoughts. So is the most popular girl in schoo. And the smartest kid in your grade. Literally, every single person you went to school with last year is worried and excited and completely freaked out about starting middle school after summer's over, all at the same time. Who knew y'all had so much in common?!

Sure, middle school's gonna toss a few challenges your way, but trust me - it's nothing you can't handle! How do I know this? Well, I've been through it, too! I remember lying in bed the night before middle school, kinda excited but also thinking nothing was ever gonna be the same again. Yes, many of my friends were going to be going to the same middle school as me, and I even knew a couple of the teachers. But somehow I knew things were going to be different. Classes would be harder, my friends would make other friends (and I would, too), and we'd all suddenly be pulled in a million different directions. It's easy to stress out thinking about all that. But here's the thing: you only get one shot at this school year. I know it's hard to imagine, but some day you won't even be in school anymore at all. You want to be able to look back and think about all the great things that happened because you took chances and rolled with the changes.

So here's the good news: whether you're worried about forgetting your locker combination or getting lost in the halls on the way to class or sweatin' about what to wear on your first day, it would MUCH weirder if you weren't stressing out at all. You may not feel this way now, but middle school is way cooler than elementary school was. (It helps to look on the bright side!) Not only will you have way more options for fun (like dances, sports and clubs), you'll also have tons more variety in your day. No longer will you be confined to one classroom for eight hours each day - now you'll be shifting gears every 45 minutes or so as you switch from math to science to Spanish and everything in between. OK, so you may not have recess anymore, but you'll still be able to kick it with your friends at lunch. Feeling better yet? Good!

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