The Realities of Middle School

“Them was the good old days.” they said with either sarcasm or joy…

There is no place in life where a person learns so much about themselves and their environment than middle school. A few discover that they have qualities that give them a status above others, some find that they have liabilities that can serve as anchors for the rest of their lives. Throw in all the different levels of hormonal changes that occur at this time, one can see the turmoil of change that exists during this time

Take genetics, this is an area where the middle school student is given a hand to play that they have had no hand in creating. If a boy is slow in physical maturation, moving him to become a follower to those boys preordained to be large and strong for their age. Since the small-slow growth boy needs the same attention and appreciation as the bigger boys, he may act out or find a strategy that doesn’t require physical presence. There is no other age where the physical differences are so obvious, he not yet five foot has little opportunity to dominate or lead like a larger than life 6 foot middle school athlete who was born to be big and was designed to mature early.

Some parents with slow-maturation genetically choose to hold their boys back a year, physically a bit more mature and and a tad bigger. The fat kid who loves football and wants to be a quarterback finds himself a lineman just because of his genetics. Signing as a sprinter is out of the question for this kid, shot putter for sure. Other aspects blend in with the genetics. Is he funny and cool or a jerk trying to get attention? Is he prone to acne or poor social skills.? All these features come together as a package for the newest thing in their lives… girls.

Ask a women if middle school was her best of times, you generally get one of two answers, yes or no. If yes, she was probably part of the ‘in’ group. This group is primarily driven by genetics and social-economics. Those with pretty faces and potentially curvy bodies just need family social status and money to move to the front of the pack. The ‘in’ pack drives the culture for middle school girls. The drama is the pecking order of the group. Money for the newest clothes fad that can’t be met by a poor girl no matter how she reorganizes her wardrobe. If the parents have status in the community, the parties and the activities are more grand and selective. Any girl who has the looks and the charisma but not the social-economic benefits pose a threat and are admonished by the gentry who lead the group.

The majority of students that don’t have many of the above benefits strike out in other ways to find their niche. Band, computers, 4-H, a multitude of clubs and activities, and educational opportunities (nerds). These students often become adjusted and balanced quicker than those with genetic or social-economic benefits at a young age.

The social learnings of middle school  give way to the realization of how things will be. The need to belong to the group gives way in high school to close friends of similar needs and strengths.

Middle school sorts out the students whether they like it or not, the path the student takes in high school to accommodate the new, pragmatic individual is called life…

“Them was the good old days,” they said with sarcasm or joy…

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