10 Truths Middle Schoolers Should Know
family, faith & all things relevant..........10 Truths Middle Schoolers Should Know
It’s rare to hear anyone say that they loved middle school. Even people with positive memories will never tout it as the best years of their life.
Simply put, it’s an awkward season. It’s a time of constant changes, social shake-ups, swinging emotions, and intense pressures. If I’ve learned anything from working with adolescent girls through the book I wrote, it’s how hungry this age group is for comfort and reassurance.
Well, middle school kids, I assure you that life picks up. There’s a bigger, more promising world beyond this rite of passage. In the meantime, I have 10 truths to center you. I hope they bring you peace and a little friendly guidance.
Truth #10: Today’s most awkward moments will be tomorrow’s funniest memories. Keep a sense of humor when possible.
That dental headgear you wear to bed? That acne on your face that miracle creams can’t penetrate? That giddy rush you get when your crush walks by, and you can’t talk or see straight? One day these things will be so funny! They’ll be the memories you rehash with your siblings and oldest friends.
Eventually you will have a dazzling smile, clear skin, and someone to love. Your current problems will have closure. So stay mindful of the big picture, and remember that even your worst experiences will pass.
Truth #9: You don’t want to peak in middle school (or high school or college, for that matter).
The worst goal you can have is popularity. Because what tends to make adolescents popular – running with the fast crowd, ruling the school, living a superficial lifestyle – eventually leads to problems.
A successful person gets better with time. You go from being version 1.0 of yourself to version 2.0, 4.0, 6.0 and so on. But when you chase popularity, you peak early. You stop growing and improving because you’re stuck in instant gratification mode.
Seek to peak later in life. Make good choices that set you up for a bright future. If you’re not a superstar now, that’s okay. This simply means there are better things ahead.
Truth #8: Technology makes it easier than ever to ruin relationships and reputations.
We live in an age where people post everything online – feelings, emotions, and pictures. Technology used wisely is great, but too often, it’s used impulsively. Our fingers jump ahead of our brains, and within seconds, we can trigger pain and misunderstandings.
So please, think twice before texting, emailing, or posting on social media. Cool off before giving someone a piece of your mind, reacting out of jealousy or anger, embarrassing someone, or sending an inappropriate photo. Use the Internet for good, not as a dumping ground.
Truth #7: Surrounding yourself with good company is imperative.
Yes, you are called to love everyone, but not everyone deserves a place in your innermost circle. Some people you love up close and personal; others you love at arm’s length because inviting them into your life invites disaster.
Sooner or later, a bad influence rubs off. You’ll either make choices against your better judgment or wind up in a bad predicament.
Your closest friends should lift you up. They should share your goals and values and want to reach their full potential, too.
Truth #6: What makes you different is what makes you great.
Middle school is all about conformity. Living near a middle school, I’ve noticed how all the kids dress alike, walk alike, and act alike. Meanwhile, at my children’s elementary school I see authenticity and personality because the kids don’t know yet how to be anything but themselves. It saddens me to know that they, too, will eventually feel pressured to hide what makes them unique.
God made you different for a reason, and what sets you apart plays into His plan for you. So listen to that quiet voice inside you and remember yourself as a child, because that child holds more answers than you know.
Truth #5: It’s okay if you don’t have your life planned out.
Chances are, you know kids with great talent and drive. They’ve trained for years in their area of expertise and know exactly what they want in life.
Deep down, you may fear you’re getting left behind. Why do they have their act together, and you don’t?
But even the best plans will face curveballs. Even driven kids will wind up on different paths than they originally envisioned. So if your future isn’t mapped out by 9th grade, take heart! You’re still young and have plenty of time to explore your interests. Just set goals for yourself, use your gifts, and head in a good direction. Set a positive trajectory so that when you do discover your “thing”, you’re ready to soar.
Truth #4: Your uniform is not your identity.
Labels are big in middle school, and there’s a confidence that comes from wearing a football jersey, a cheerleader uniform, or team attire.
But having a uniform – or designer clothes – doesn’t increase your worth. You’re special because of who you are, not what you put on your body or what you achieve.
Overnight you can lose your place on a team. You can lose your talents, your relationships, even your Instagram account. By basing your identity on the one thing you’ll never lose – God’s love– your foundation is unshakable. You’ll still be standing even if you lose every earthly trapping.
Truth #3: Applause can be misleading. Even a huge mistake can get you cheered on wildly.
Through social media, popularity is now quantifiable. You can gauge your performance by how many “likes”, comments, and shares you get.
But remember, numbers alone can be misleading. To get the full picture, you must measure numbers against the truth. After all, Jesus Christ had 12 followers. Adolf Hitler had millions. These figures speak for themselves.
Live for the quiet peace inside you. What makes you feel good about yourself? What helps you rest at night? You know the truth by how you feel deep down. And when you seek your applause from within, you don’t need the applause of public approval.
Truth #2: There’s a difference between helpful advice and hurtful criticism. Be careful who you listen to. Some people want you to succeed. Others don’t. Develop a strong filter for whose words you take to heart – and whose words you ignore.
How others talk to you influences how you talk to yourself. And since that voice in your head impacts your confidence, you need people in your life who speak the truth in love and always have with your best interest in mind.
Truth #1: You’re AWESOME. Truly, you are. And all these crazy changes are leading to something amazing. In the grand scheme middle school is just a blip, so keep it in check. Have fun, dream big, and make good choices. One day you’ll look back and laugh at the absurdities, and if you’re lucky, you’ll enjoy some humor now.
Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis is a Tuscaloosa native and Mountain Brook mom of four girls. Her first book, 10 ULTIMATE TRUTHS GIRLS SHOULD KNOW, is available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold. Kari writes for The Huffington Post and blogs on her website www.karikampakis.com. Find her on Facebook (Kari Kampakis, Writer), Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.