How to survive seventh grade

Seventh grade sucks. Here’s how to deal with it.

Bianca McCarty, Co-editor

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No one ever warns you about middle school. All my life, I’ve heard warning after warning about the horrors of high school from the adults in my life. About the drama, the cliches, the teachers—virtually everything. But ever since I actually started high school, I’ve wondered why none of them ever warned me about the war zone that is middle school.
At least for me, middle school was awful. I was painfully awkward, covered in acne and constantly nervous. I was the definition of a nerd. I spent my breaks in the library, I read through any boring class, and I only spoke to my one friend. Worst of all, I didn’t expect it. I walked into the seventh grade thinking that my life was about to drastically change for the better. I imagined a life of popularity, parties, and fun. When none of that happened, it hit my like a sledgehammer.
Looking back, I could have done with an entire book of advice, but I only have room for a list of bullet points.

Advice for Seventh Graders from an Eleventh Grader: 

  • Seventh grade is the worst for almost everybody. You don’t know how much it sucks until you’re out.
  • You don’t have to be confident yet. Don’t worry if you’re still shy, insecure, and awkward. You have an entire life left to live, and in most cases, confidence comes with time and experience.
  • Everyone is going through the exact same thing. Maybe it’s cliché, but it’s true. As an eleventh grader, I’m only now starting to realize that every one of my peers have their own issues. The people you think are popular and perfect have a plethora of their own problems.
  • Friendships change. A lot. In sixth grade, I had a solid group of friends, but when seventh grade rolled around, I found myself with only my best friend left by my side. For a long time, it was just us two, but after a while, we found a group of people who liked us for who we are. It was a hard couple of months of putting ourselves out there, but it eventually paid off.
  • Don’t let yourself be restricted to just one friend group. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a core group of people you hang out with, but that can eventually start to feel isolating. As they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try and make friends with other people whenever you have the chance. You’ll sleep easier knowing that you have friends in more than one place.
  • Get involved with anything you can. Finding your place in the school makes life so much easier. Try joining a team, the band, or helping out with the school newspaper (hint, hint). Even if you’re afraid to talk to the older kids, it’s still good to make connections outside of your grade.
  • Everyone has been there. Every person at St. Joe had to go through seventh grade. Older kids might tease the middle schoolers, but I’d like to think it’s because we know what it was like.
  • Never worry about being “stereotypical.” One of my biggest problems in middle school was feeling like I was wasn’t allowed to be the dramatic, pubescent mess I was. Don’t ever let yourself feel foolish for having emotions. You’re twelve or thirteen; you get a pass. Everyone regrets how they acted in middle school, so don’t feel pressure to be older than you are. Write that edgy poetry and draw fan art for the show you’re embarrassed to like. It’s okay to act your age.
  • Just stick it out. Middle school doesn’t last forever. It’ll be over before you know it, so try to make the most of it while you’re there.

Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back at seventh grade as a junior in high school, everything is very simple. But it isn’t while you’re in the midst of it. Seventh grade won’t matter when you’re in college, but you’re living it now and that still matters.