There was this episode of Full House called "Back To School Blues". It's from season 3 and it's the one where -------- > DJ starts 7th grade at a new school. She quickly realizes how different Jr. High is from Elementary school and ends up having to sit alone in the cafeteria at lunch time... in a phone booth, where she pretends to be talking to someone but really, she's just listening to the time. Now, I know television shows and movies make school out to be a lot more dramatic in some cases but this episode always comes to mind whenever someone starts middle school because it showcases how awkward being at a new school can be. Throw in being in a new school, in a new CITY and it makes it ten times more awkward. (Oh, and no worries, DJ turns out just fine by the end of the episode and has plenty of friends to sit with at lunch).
I bring this up because my niece, Emily, started 8th grade in a new school, in a new city this week. Yikes. She's been dreading it ever since talks of their family moving began back in December. And really, who can blame her? Being a kid is tough enough without having to start all over and make completely new friends in a new environment. I remember how awkward Junior High was. I was constantly aware of my actions and always terrified I was going to make a fool of myself. The school was bigger, the kids seemed bigger/meaner and the classes were more overwhelming. I was in that weird transition phase between friends that some kids go through. Kind of in limbo. Not really belonging to one group or another, just doing my own thing. It was weird and I always felt like an outcast but I suppose most kids feel that way at that age, right?
Emily is a wonderful kid. Brilliant, actually. From the moment she was born, I knew she would be special. She has turned into a beautiful, funny, talented girl who is obsessed with the Hunger Games (ha!) and I'm really proud of her. She is a fantastic writer and a terrific actress and I have no doubt whatsoever that she will have a whole plethora of new friends by the time Christmas rolls around. But right now things seem real sucky for her and I get it and I want her to know that everyone goes through things like this. EVERYONE and we all turn out a little better and a little stronger for it.
With that being said, I thought it might be fun (or cheer her up) if we shared some fun/horrifying/silly Junior High stories/memories with her so she knows that this is a life experience that we all go through and we all make it out A-OK.
I'll go first:
-In 7th grade, I had gym first hour and I thought that was the worst thing in the world (later, in high school, I ended up having swim first hour. I was cursed). It wasn't that bad though. It just took some time getting used to a new routine. One time, I wore a skirt to school. Obviously, you had to change for gym class but I left my nylons on and figured I would just put my PINK sweatpants on over them (we were learning how to play football outside). After class, when I went to change, I had pink fuzz ALL over my legs, stuck to my nylons. I was horrified. I think I managed to de-fuzz myself pretty good before embarking on the journey to my next class but I was super paranoid the rest of the day.
-The very first day of Junior High, I didn't think to bring a pen, pencil or paper with me to class (who does that?!). I thought it would just be a day full of talking and we wouldn't really have to do any work. I was completely embarrassed when everyone else was getting all their supplies out and I was just sitting there. I think someone ended up letting me borrow a pen and a piece of paper. I felt like an idiot.
-This one is my favorite/worst. It also happened in high school but I'm counting it anyway. We all had to go to the gym for a pep assembly. Tons of kids/teachers were in the the stands, students were flowing into the gym to take seats in the bleachers. I was walking across the gym floor to get to the bleachers, tripped on an exercise mat that was in the middle of the floor, stumbled and fell flat on my face. With the whole school watching. I was mortified. So so embarrassed. When I got back up, I tried to laugh it off along with my friends who were with me but I was horrified. But see, now it makes for a good story!
Go ahead and share some of your stories because the point is; we all go through it and we all survive it.
And really, at least we don't have to enlist ourselves into a reaping, right? Junior High is more appealing than the Hunger Games isn't it?? There's your silver lining!