children · education · environment · learning

Middle school as enrichment

Middle School Field Hockey
What were your experiences in middle school? Image by North Shore Country Day School via Flickr

Recently, GOOD Magazine asked on Facebook and Twitter: What’s one thing you could learn from your middle school self?

This brought up several reactions for me. For one thing, I hated middle school. I was teased for being a smarty pants with the wrong clothes, scolded by my teachers for being too bossy, and became convinced I wasn’t good at Math. Later on, as I grew up and eventually made it out into the “real world,” I realized that I had a “classic” fashion sense, my “bossiness” came in handy when working with contractors and employees, and I was good at Math if I didn’t let my phobia get the best of me. Rather than learning a great deal about the world, I feel like I forgot a lot of important lessons during middle school. If anything, I wish there were things I could go back and tell my middle school me not to worry about, or worry more about them.
That is not the case for everyone, though. Some people had great experiences in middle school, and felt like they grew as individuals and started to become truly who they were meant to be. Middle school was enriching for them, a good experience.
And to be fair, middle school wasn’t all bad. Middle school is the place of first crushes, first dances, joining sports teams, finding your passion, breaking free from your parents a little bit, meeting new people, starting to be taken seriously adults, but still getting to be a kid and have time to play.
What are some of your lessons from middle school? Were they good, bad? How did those experiences enrich your life, or how did they make them worse? What is one thing or rule you learned in middle school that you wish you still followed, or what is one rule you wish you could forget?