1. Facebook relationship statuses are not real life.
Sure, it’s nice to see that little ‘In a relationship with ____’ icon on your page. And haven’t we all obsessed over when our significant other would make it ‘FB Official’?
In middle school, no one cares about that superficial stuff. Kids will get in relationships with their besties, their cousins, their friends’ friends—whoever (and whatever) really. Facebook (and all social media sites for that matter) aren’t these dictators of whether our relationships are fake or not. Middle schoolers can just have fun. (Which is the point.) We should take note and just ‘chill,’ as they would say.
2. You can learn pretty much anything from YouTube.
From hair-braiding tutorials to how to twerk. This can come in handy.
3. Sometimes you have to call people out for being ratchet.
When your best friend’s wearing the same shirt for three days in a row, when your gym locker pal doesn’t put deodorant on, when your lunch-buddy eats a piece of cheese off the floor—these, and plenty others, are acceptable times to use the describing word ‘ratchet.’ As are many adult-life scenarios. (Somebody’s got to tell ‘em!)
4. There is value in a good mirror selfie.
You’re not conceited for showing off your cute outfit and smile. There’s probably dirt on the mirror, a clothes pile or two in the background, and the camera’s sub-par, but a mirror selfie is a necessary confidence booster. (Even if you only get twelve likes.)
5. Whatever you wear, rock it with confidence. (AKA: Swag)
Boots and shorts, blue pants with a green shirt and a yellow shoes, a sweatshirt that hangs past your knees, a helmet and cape–middle schoolers definitely aren’t dressed to the nines, but they wear what they want and they don’t really care. It’s liberating.
6. Trolls will be trolls.
No, not the dolls with the furry hair. A ‘Troll,’ as any eighth grader will gladly elaborate, is an internet hater. Someone who starts drama on your Twitter Timeline or calls you ‘fat’ on your latest Instagram.
If there’s one thing middle schoolers teach you, is that online bullying is real, for all ages. And some people (trolls!) just don’t grow up.
7. We all need a little recess.
A short break to run around, scream, laugh hysterically, burn off those extra calories, refocus, and make our hearts happy. Yes, absolutely necessary.
8. Sometimes it’s acceptable to use the phrase “bye Felicia.”
Because people can be super rude, dismissive, hurtful, or irrelevant to your life. And you just need to let them know.
9. We deserve at least one lazy day per week. Or three.
Middle schoolers know how to rock those lazy days. And they’ll show you it’s perfectly acceptable to bum it out whenever possible. AKA: PJ Day.
10. Take Snapchats/pix/flix/Instas of everything.
Because recording yourself doing something funny is always worth the laughs later. And because you’ll appreciate and look back on those memories for years.
11. Sometimes your drama really needs to take priority.
Relationships matter. And when you’re fighting with your family, when your best friend is starting nasty rumors, when your crush heard something terrible about you—you just have to fix things. ASAP.
12. Being called a ‘trap queen’ isn’t a bad thing.
And that goes for any supposed insult. Middle schoolers have this amazing ability to laugh things off. So if you’re called a trap queen, which, according to my sixth grader is me because I’m “A really cool teacher. That’s a girl.” Don’t take it the wrong way and don’t be hurt. Own it.
13. Sometimes you have to chill out. And sometimes it’s good to have ‘no chill.’
When you tell your eighth graders that they can’t work with partners, they’ll tell you to chill and that they work better with friends. (They might be right…sometimes.) But sometimes you need to have ‘no chill’ (AKA: Angry Face Teacher) with your sixth graders when they won’t stop talking. Like anything in life, it’s a balance.