By Meredith Crawford
Does the prospect of transitioning from middle school to high school keep you up at night? Do your palms start to sweat at the thought of being an underclassmen, and all of the potential social and academic challenges it entails?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Whole television series have devoted themselves to this phenomenon, and scores of adolescent psychologists and educators have addressed the unique set of problems associated with the middle- to high-school transition.
But, with a little support – and the right advice – your move from 8th grade to 9th can be much smoother.
Here are three tips from West Haven High School Counselor Danielle Marseglia.
1) Be Your Own Advocate
“The most important thing for middle schoolers to realize when transitioning to high school is the importance of becoming independent and advocating for themselves,” says Marseglia. “If they aren’t feeling challenged enough or are feeling too challenged, they should speak to their parents, teachers, and/or school counselors so they can come up with a plan that best suits the student.”
2) Be a Joiner
“Get involved,” Marseglia advises. “Whether it is a sports team or club, get involved in the school community. Maybe you don’t make a sports team or don’t beat out someone for class president, but don’t get discouraged, because you have four years to make a difference in the community.”
3) Listen, Listen, Listen
“Remember to listen to announcements, create an email account to receive emails through Naviance and PowerSchool, and make sure your parents read everything that comes home because so many opportunities could be missed if you aren’t paying attention and staying connected to your high school,” says Marseglia.