MD advice: Eighth graders give their five cents

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How different is Middle School from fifth grade? Was it hard to adjust?

Coming into Middle School, I was new to HM. Before the first day, I was super nervous and didn’t know what to expect. But once I stepped foot onto the campus as a student, I realized that everyone here is super supportive and encouraging, and I quickly grew to love the community.

-Ellen Wang

How do you make friends at a school filled with new people? 

The easiest way to make friends is to put yourself out there. Be the one to make the first move — whether it’s complimenting their clothes, asking a question, or simply just saying “hi, what’s your name?” Keep in mind that there are a ton of new people just like yourself, so it’s not like everyone’s got a pack of friends already. If you’re feeling shy, then fake your confidence, and I can guarantee that after a while, you won’t be faking anymore.

-Nikita Pande

How do you get around school in the first few weeks if you’re new and don’t know where everything is?

The schedules might look like a bunch of scrambled letters and numbers, but when you understand how they work (whether it’s your advisor explaining to you or a mentor), it’s much easier to navigate. Part of getting to know the layout of HM is just first-person experience. I’m sure anyone on campus will be glad to give you directions if you’re lost, though.

-Emily Wang 

What is the best way to keep track of homework? What do you do when you feel like you have too much? Is it worth it to stress out? 

The planners that the school provides are very helpful. With a spot for each period, the planner makes it easy to write down and organize your assignments. If the teacher tells you the homework in class, you should write it down then. As you complete the assignments, you can check them off. If you feel as if you have too much work, you can meet with your teacher or advisor who can help you manage the assignments and stress. It’s also good to take breaks from work to do things that help you relax if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s not worth it to stress. As long as you tell your teachers and advisor about what’s overwhelming you, they will understand and help you work through it.

-Naina Mehrotra

How do I keep my backpack light? It was very heavy in fifth grade. 

Lockers! At my old school, there were no lockers. Take advantage of your lockers. Seriously. Go to your locker before A period and get all of your class stuff for A to lunch and then after lunch get all of the things you’ll need for afternoon classes. Then, at the end of the school day, go to your locker, look at your planner, and only bring home what you need.

-Lexi Lawsky 

What would you tell your younger self at the beginning of sixth grade? 

I would tell my younger self at the beginning of sixth grade to not be afraid to ask questions in class or to meet with teachers, because the more you involve yourself in the class the more you will be able to really understand the concepts. If you ever need help on a certain topic in your class it is always good to email your teachers so that they can help you understand it better.

-Skylar Fraser