On my first day of fifth grade at Success Academy Midtown West Middle School, I was nervous. Really nervous! I loved elementary school and, by the end of fourth grade, I knew what to expect each day and what was expected of me. I was worried about all the new things I’d have to deal with now that I was in middle school. Would my friend group change? Would I like my teachers? Would the homework be too difficult for me?
It turns out there was nothing for me to worry about. In fact, a lot of the things that made me nervous ended up being my favorite things about middle school! Now, as an eighth grader, I’ve come to appreciate all the differences between middle school and elementary school, and I know you will too.
One of the biggest changes is increased independence. In elementary school, we always stayed with the same teacher and group of scholars. In middle school, you get to explore more of the school, have your own locker, and walk from class to class on your own. This allows you to meet and interact with many more scholars, which means more friends!
I have friends that I’ve known since kindergarten as well as friends I met in fifth grade. Before middle school, I’d never met Ryden, one of my best friends today. One day in class we realized we had a lot in common, like favorite foods and games, so we started hanging out. The rest is history.
My biggest piece of advice is to take electives and join clubs. By joining theater in fifth grade, I was introduced to so many other scholars who were going through the same thing as me — or already had. We got to flex our independence by trying out our own skits and plays, and I learned a lot from the older scholars. We always felt comfortable with each other on stage and off because we had gotten to know each other and talked about our shared experiences.
My teachers also helped me become acclimated. In elementary school, you stay with the same teacher all day, but in fifth grade, you have a number of teachers who are all there to help you. In fifth-grade advisory, you’ll get to learn more about yourself, your classmates, and what middle school is all about. Teachers make a point to communicate with and check in on all of us so we feel how much we’re cared for!
Even with all the changes, fifth grade turned out to be a lot like my previous years at SA. Classwork and homework may seem difficult at first, but you’ll realize it’s nothing you can’t handle. It’s just one part of your journey to becoming a true scholar, and one more step toward your future.
You’re going to love middle school at Success Academy. I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it!
Written by Jordan Feliz, an 8th grader at SA Midtown West Middle School