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Dork Diaries: Birthday Drama - 16th October
September 17, 2018

QUIRKY QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Hey readers, this week I have a really FUN question for you to answer!

Which of your friends or family members remind you of these Dork Diaries characters (make sure you include YOURSELF as well!)?: Zoey, Chloe, Brandon, Brianna, MacKenzie, and ME (Nikki).

Write down their first names only and the reason WHY they remind you of that character. I can’t wait to read your answers!

My Older Sister Is Ruining My Life!

Hey Brandon,
My older sister just came to live with us after she had been struggling “financially” and it has been a total nightmare!! I don’t even know where to start. She’s been meddling with my things in MY room even though she has her own room! She took my diary and read it to the whole family at dinner while I was at a sleepover. She took my perfume and used it all as air freshener. And to top it all off, she got my camera and deleted all of the pics I took and replaced them with photos of her in MY sweater!! That was the last straw!! SHE IS RUINING MY LIFE! Help Brandon, please!!

So Sick Of Selfish Sister

Hey So Sick Of Selfish Sister,

Okay, wow. I get a lot of emails about annoying siblings, but what stands out to me here is that your sister is probably college age, right? If she moved back home because she was struggling financially, that tells me she’s a young adult. Maybe like 18 to 20 years old, but she is an ADULT.

Which makes her behavior EXTRA annoying because she should totally know better! I don’t know a lot about siblings, but from everything Nikki has told me about Brianna, I’ve always assumed younger siblings would be the most annoying. But your sister sounds like she’s at least as annoying as Brianna!

I always try to consider why someone is acting how they’re acting. I’m curious whether she was such a big pain when she lived at home BEFORE she moved out. I’m thinking you can’t be TOO far apart in age if she can wear your sweater, so you should remember what things were like when she lived at home before.

Because here’s what I’m thinking: If she had moved out, and then had to move back home because she couldn’t manage on her own, she probably feels embarrassed about that. Like she failed in some way, you know?

So she’s feeling sort of powerless, and what better way to feel more powerful than flaunt her power over you. It’s really the classic behavior of a bully—lashing out to make herself feel better. (Though I bet it doesn’t actually work.)

ALL of the things you mentioned—reading your diary (and sharing it!), stealing your perfume, erasing your photos—are HUGE violations of privacy. If you haven’t already talked to your parents about it, that’s the first step. They should NOT be letting it slide. They might be unsure how to discipline their adult daughter, but they need to do SOMETHING to support you. A lock on your bedroom door might help, but it won’t get at the root of why your sister is acting how she is.

Because she IS an adult (even if she’s not acting like one), I also think you should talk to your sister. Maybe you should do it with your parents present, and you should DEFINITELY do it when you’re not already in the middle of a fight. Maybe she won’t be able to have a reasonable conversation about it, but you should at least give her a chance. Don’t let the conversation become about any one thing—she might try to say that she erased your pictures by mistake, or reading the diary was a joke, etc.—but explain how the pattern feels like a huge invasion of your privacy and you’d like her to give you the same respect you give her.

The good news is, this behavior is temporary. I’m sure of it. She’ll eventually chill out and get over her insecurities and/or she’ll move back out.

In the meantime, keep standing up for yourself, keep communicating with your parents and your sister, and know that you deserve privacy and we’ve got your back!

How do you handle annoying older siblings? Tell us in the comments!
September 12, 2018

BOYS WON’T STOP STARING AT ME!!!

Dear Nikki,

OMG. Now that I’m in middle school, I feel like all I am is fresh meat. People say I’m pretty, and I always thought that was nice. But in junior high, being pretty makes me pressured to get a boyfriend who’s equally good looking, and if I don’t, all of the older boys who I share orchestra with act really inappropriately. I often see boys staring at me, and it’s SCARY. Any tips on avoiding these boys or looking LESS pretty?

Pretty Problems

Hi Pretty Problems,

Okay, I don’t want to make generalizations, but SOME middle school boys are THE WORST. I KNOW there are good guys out there—like Brandon 🙂 !!!—but UGH. There’s a definite pattern of jerkiness among some of your average middle school boys.

And I think sometimes those of us who are not the prettiest or most fashionable tend to think the pretty girls have everything SO easy, but it sounds like it’s definitely not all rainbows and unicorns.

So, I have a few thoughts. And hey readers, be sure to share what YOU think in the comments!

First, you are more than your appearance. I hope you already know that and you’re just frustrated that some other people don’t see it. But I think sometimes if we hear something long enough, we start to believe it. So if you ever start to think you’re just a pretty face, that’s a LIE.

You’re thoughtful enough to realize this is happening and to write in for help, so you’re pretty smart! Plus you’re in orchestra, so that means you’re also pretty talented! And I’m sure there are a bunch of other things that make you pretty awesome!! Remember those.

Don’t get a boyfriend just because people say you should, ESPECIALLY if your main motivation is to discourage other guys from bothering you. A boyfriend is serious business! I think you should wait until your parents think it’s okay, you have a real connection with someone, and you feel ready for all the responsibilities (and drama, let’s be honest) that come with dating.

Instead, rely on friends. Hopefully you have some girl friends? And maybe even some guys who aren’t jerks? Do your best to focus on your friends and ignore the other guys. Let your friends know if there are certain guys who make you uncomfortable, so they can watch out for you.

Doing a sport or activity like dance or martial arts can help build your strength and confidence, not that you’re going to have to fight anyone, but more for you to know your power, if that makes sense. Guys will target girls who seem like they can’t stand up for themselves, so build that confidence!

And finally, if guys are really making you uncomfortable, tell your teacher. And if your teacher acts like it’s no big deal, tell another teacher or your parents. Tell someone until they listen. If you’re scared, the boys are out of line. And NO, you’re NOT making too big a deal of it or being dramatic, etc. Shame on anyone who says so!

People might say something like, “Boys will be boys,” but this is not okay behavior. And there ARE guys who are decent. Boys are capable of being decent. And you shouldn’t have to change who YOU are because of the ones who aren’t.

How do you handle unwanted attention? Have you ever felt too pretty, too sporty, too smart or anything? How could you support a friend in a similar situation? Tell us in the comments!
September 10, 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON…GABBY GARCIA’S ULTIMATE PLAYBOOK!

OMG YOU GUYS!!! I just finished reading a book that is a MUST-READ for Dork Diaries fans!!! It’s called GABBY GARCIA’S ULTIMATE PLAYBOOK and it’s by an author named Iva-Marie Palmer.

Here’s why I think my dorky friends will LOVE IT:

The book is written in a sort-of diary format. Technically it’s a “playbook” because Gabby is super into sports, so she’s thinking of it like a guide to achieving her dreams on and off the field. Like MY diaries, it’s got illustrations and doodles throughout. Gabby’s got crush problems AND friend problems AND fitting in problems. At the beginning, Gabby is sent to a brand new, fancy school—just like I was!

If you’re like, “Cool Nikki, but I don’t like sports,” trust me: that doesn’t matter! I’m not sporty, but that really doesn’t matter. It’s not one of those sports books that spends most of the time describing every play in every game. It’s really about her LIFE and her DREAMS.

And girl, Gabby knows what she wants and goes out and GETS IT. She makes some terrible choices and gets into hilarious messes along the way, and I can SO relate to that. 🙂 I totally admired her self-confidence and willingness to go after what she wants and I think I learned a couple things from Gabby.

Also, her crush is SUPER SWOONY.

I was super excited to learn there’s a second book in the series, too: GABBY GARCIA’S ULTIMATE PLAYBOOK: MVP SUMMER. I can’t wait to read it!!!

Here’s the official description of the book:

If life were a baseball game, all-star pitcher Gabby Garcia would be having her Best. Season. EVER! Until she’s suddenly sent to another school and her winning streak is about to disappear—both on and off the field.

But Gabby never gives up! She has a PLAN to keep her champion status intact, and every step of it is written out—PLAY by PLAY. How could it not work?

This new series written by Iva-Marie Palmer is filled with funny illustrations, sports facts, and blooper-reel moments that will have readers laughing and rooting for more.

Has anyone read this book? Tell us about it in the comments! And if you haven’t read it, tell us about a book with a main character who’s going after what they want.
September 8, 2018

I HATE OUR NEW HOUSE!!!

Dear Brandon,

My family has just moved to a new house across town because the owner of our old house said he was selling it. Our new house is REALLY CRUDDY, but it was the only one we could get. I’m so mad that we had to move to this DUMP because two of my closest friends lived near my old house! TWO!!!!! On top of that, it was the only house we lived in the longest. We’ve had to move like ONCE A YEAR!!!!!

What should I do?

Hysterical House Hater

Hey Hysterical House Hater,

Oh man, that’s so hard. I’m sorry to hear about it.

Moving a lot must be a real bummer. And it’s tough if your parents rent your house, since they have no control over whether the owner of it suddenly decides to sell it, raise the rent some ridiculous amount or whatever. I’m sure your parents didn’t want to move either, but it’s just what happened.

So, being forced to move is hard enough, but even harder if you’re leaving friends AND you hate the house you’re moving to. That’s a whole lot of bummer! 🙁

The friends thing is hard, and it’s something a lot of people can relate to. It’s always a challenge when you move away from a friend, have a friend move away, go to a different school or be in a different class, etc. These are things we all experience and they’re always a bummer, but we get through them.

Thankfully, technology makes it easier to stay connected to people, so through texting and social media, your friendship should be okay. It won’t be the exact same as having them within walking distance, but you’ll make it work.

Hating the new house is trickier. I wonder if you truly hate the new house, or if you’re mostly mad about having to move, but once you get used to it, it’ll be okay. Or maybe it really is a dump and you hate it. But either way, can you try to think of something—maybe a few things—that you do like about the new house? Or the new location?

Maybe it’s closer to a frozen yogurt place you like. Maybe it’s near a park or soccer field, there’s a basketball hoop in the driveway or there’s a good tree to climb. I’m not saying these things could make up for having to move, but it might help to find a couple things you don’t hate about the house.

I also think it would help try making the new house feel like home. Don’t leave things in boxes—get all the way unpacked, so you’re surrounded by your familiar stuff.

Also, use the opportunity to add some fun touches to your new room. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Take a trip to Target or Walmart, or if you’re on a tight budget, try to find cool things for your room at a thrift store or Goodwill. Look for a fun clock, mirror or poster for your wall. Or, what about brightly colored curtains, a fun lamp or a new desk chair?

And when the space is starting to feel more like home, invite your BFFs over. You moved across town, not across the state, so it might take a little more planning, but they can still come over. Start building some friend-memories in the new place and hopefully soon it will feel like home!

Have you ever had to move or start a new school? Tell us about it. How did you make your new place feel like home? What did you do to keep your old friends, or did you make new ones?
September 6, 2018

I DIDN’T CHEAT!!!

Dear Nikki,

My teacher thinks I did not show enough of my work on my homework. So now my mom has to book an appointment with my teacher because they think I copied off of someone! (I think my teacher HATES ME even though she says she loves her students.) I am really scared because my mom will probably be mad at me and ground me for a month! What should I do?!

Charged With Cheating

Hi Charged With Cheating,

Okay, the tricky thing here is that my answer is going to be different based on one really important question: DID you cheat in some way?

You can be honest, since no one can actually hear your answer. 🙂

If you DID cheat, whether that was by copying someone else’s homework, finding the answers online, using a calculator if you weren’t supposed to, etc., it’s not the end of your academic career.

BUT cheating IS a slippery slope. Once you do it a few times, it just gets easier and easier. And suddenly it’s not just homework—it’s cheating on tests, or plagiarizing work or a report. “Plagiarizing” is just a big, fancy word that means copying someone else’s work and calling it your own. And since SO many kids do it, it almost seems normal, but it’s really NOT GOOD. The MAIN reason is that you don’t actually learn the material if you cheat to get the answers. That might make me sound like a total goody-goody, but in something like math (which I’m guessing we’re talking about, since that’s usually where you have to show your work), if you don’t learn the material in one level, but get moved on to the next level because your scores look good, you won’t be able to learn the material at the next level, because it all builds on top of each other. And then you’ll HAVE to cheat to stay afloat, and it’s a vicious cycle!!!

Aside from not learning the material, it’s also a big deal by the time you get to high school, because cheating can be the kind of thing your school will put on your permanent record for universities to see. (They’re not going to do that for one instance of homework cheating, but like I said, it’s not hard to slide into much bigger cheating.)

So, if you DID cheat, I think you need to come clean. Honesty counts for something. Explain why you did it, for one thing. If it was because you couldn’t figure out how to do the work and were stressed out over keeping your grades up, hopefully your teacher and parent will work with you to make sure that doesn’t happen again. And then, accept the consequences and commit to staying away from the cheating slope.

But if you’re reading all of this going, “But WAIT, Nikki, I didn’t cheat!!!” then it’s a completely different answer. 🙂

OMG!! Something very similar happened to ME in Dork Diaries Book 11 when a teacher’s lesson planner came up missing! This girl named Tiffany hid the lesson planner in my stuff to make it looked like I stole it when I didn’t. So, I know exactly how you feel to be blamed for something you DID NOT do! 🙁 !!

Try to understand why they think you cheated. Be prepared to defend yourself, and possibly to do some similar work while your teacher watches. If it’s math that you’re doing in your head, explain to her how you think it through. If you’re using a different process than they want you to use, show them what you’re doing. Using an unapproved process is different than cheating. They may want you to learn their process, but they’ll be relieved to see you really are doing the work.

And even if there’s no way to PROVE to your teacher or mom that you weren’t cheating, you stood up for yourself. But in homework and tests going forward, make a real effort to show more work.

As for your teacher hating you, she doesn’t. I’ve been there, and some teacher-student match-ups are just not great combinations. But she doesn’t hate you. Whether you cheated or didn’t, try not to freak out. I know that awful feeling in your gut when you think you might be in trouble, but look, your teacher and your mom both want what’s best for you. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t go through the trouble of having a special meeting for you.

You’ll get through this, and hopefully you’ll get through it with some new tools for communicating with your teacher and your mom about how you’re doing as you learn new things.

Have you ever been wrongfully accused of cheating (or something else)? Have you ever had a teacher that seemed to be out to get you? What advice do you have for Charged With Cheating? Tell us in the comments below.
September 5, 2018

BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING NIGHTMARE!!

This morning, my mom said that she was taking me and Brianna shopping. Which was fine by me because I haven’t been shopping in AGES. What she failed to mention is that when she said shopping, she actually meant SCHOOL SUPPLY shopping!

And to make matters worse, Mom just dropped us off at the office supply store’s entrance with our lists and some cash! That meant that I was responsible for Brianna, which meant TROUBLE!! 🙁

“Come on,” I said as I grabbed her hand. But she struggled against my hold and then she bit me. Yes, she BIT me!

“Fine,” I said as I dropped her hand. “But you have to stay with me the entire time we’re in the store. Got it?”

She nodded her head and then obediently followed me into the store.

“Can I interest you in a raffle ticket?” a sales clerk asked.

“Waffle tickets?! I LOVE eating waffles for breakfast!!” Brianna exclaimed as she excitedly raced towards the sales clerk and his little blue slips of paper. Then she grabbed one, shoved it into her mouth, and spit it out on the floor. “Eeewww! Hey mister, this waffle ticket tastes NASTY! Maybe it needs a little syrup…”

“Brianna! It’s not a waffle ticket, it’s a raffle ticket! Now pick that up!” I scolded. Then she picked it up, placed it in her pocket, and stuck her tongue out at me.

I reached out and grabbed her hand and then guess what? SHE BIT ME AGAIN!!

The sales clerk grimaced. “Did your sister just…bite you?!”

I just smiled in response. I don’t think he would understand how common Brianna’s antics were.

“Miss, are you interested in a raffle ticket? You could win a two-hundred-dollar gift card to this store!”

Now that definitely had my attention!

With all of that money, I could buy an entire new set of art supplies! Or, I could buy one of those fancy art tablets that I’ve seen people with. I might even have enough left over to buy a leash and muzzle for Brianna!

Wait…WHERE’S BRIANNA?!!

I looked all around me, but she was nowhere to be found!

“Excuse me a moment,” I said to the worker. “I’d love a raffle ticket, but I’ll be right back!”

I quickly ran to the backpack section of the store. I knew that Brianna had her eye on a new Princess Sugar Plum backpack to match her Princess Sugar Plum t-shirt.

I searched around, but the area was empty! Then I heard laughter. It was unmistakably Brianna!

I whipped around just in time to see her duck behind a nearby pencil display case. As I approached, she quickly scurried across the store. It was like she wanted to play hide and seek AND tag, but in an office supply store!

“Catch me if you can!” she giggled.

I set off after her, but I somehow lost track of Brianna when a family pushed their three cartloads of school supplies between us.

Talk about RUDE!

I caught sight of Brianna again near the entrance of the building. Which was definitely NOT a good thing. But as soon as she saw me, she darted off again.

I tried my best to keep track of her, but the SAME family walked in front of me again!

Seriously, who needs THREE cartloads of school supplies?!!

By the time they FINALLY ambled past, Brianna had disappeared. I walked over to the furniture section and sat down in one of the comfy office chairs. I couldn’t believe that I had LOST her! And to make things worse, it sounded like someone was laughing at me.

Then I listened closer. The laughing wasn’t fake, it was real!

I quietly stood up from my chair and began walking around. The sound of giggling grew louder and louder until…

AHA!!!

I pulled open a cabinet door and out tumbled Brianna!

She had such a severe case of the giggles that I couldn’t even be mad at her disappearing act. I was just happy that I finally found her!

“Come on Brianna, we still need to get our shopping done,” I said as I held out my hand. Brianna looked at my outstretched hand before smiling. She slipped her hand into mine.

And she DIDN’T bite me this time! THANK GOODNESS!! 🙂

We quickly got our shopping done. It went a lot faster with the both of us working together. I texted Mom saying that we were almost done as the cashier rung us up.

“May we have your attention, please!” a loud voice boomed on the intercom. “We will be announcing the winner of the raffle prize in two minutes.”

I had been so distracted chasing Brianna around the store that I never had the chance to enter the raffle!

JUST GREAT!! 🙁

I looked down at Brianna and couldn’t help but feel a little angry at her. It was HER fault that I didn’t have a chance to win the prize!

So, I grumpily paid for our supplies and headed towards the exit. I wanted to see who won, so Brianna and I stood in the crowd.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of today’s raffle is ticket number 1806,” the intercom announced.

There were mutters from the gathered crowd, but nobody stepped forward.

“I hope I won!” Brianna said. Then she dug into her pocket, took out her soggy, chewed up ticket and waved it in my face.

As I caught a glimpse of it, my heart nearly LEAPT out of my chest!

BRIANNA HAD THE WINNING TICKET!!

I did my Snoopy Happy Dance as Brianna went forward to claim her prize!

“Here, Nikki. This is for being such a good big sister,” Brianna said as she handed me the gift card. “Now you can buy that art set you wanted!”

I scooped her up and gave her the BIGGEST hug ever!

I guess that Brianna isn’t always such a brat after all!! 🙂

Have you gotten all of your school supplies yet? If so, is there anything that you still need? If I were giving away FREE school supplies, what would you ask for? Hey, you never know! It could happen! 🙂

BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING NIGHTMARE!!

This morning, my mom said that she was taking me and Brianna shopping. Which was fine by me because I haven’t been shopping in AGES. What she failed to mention is that when she said shopping, she actually meant SCHOOL SUPPLY shopping!

And to make matters worse, Mom just dropped us off at the office supply store’s entrance with our lists and some cash! That meant that I was responsible for Brianna, which meant TROUBLE!! 🙁

“Come on,” I said as I grabbed her hand. But she struggled against my hold and then she bit me. Yes, she BIT me!

“Fine,” I said as I dropped her hand. “But you have to stay with me the entire time we’re in the store. Got it?”

She nodded her head and then obediently followed me into the store.

“Can I interest you in a raffle ticket?” a sales clerk asked.

“Waffle tickets?! I LOVE eating waffles for breakfast!!” Brianna exclaimed as she excitedly raced towards the sales clerk and his little blue slips of paper. Then she grabbed one, shoved it into her mouth, and spit it out on the floor. “Eeewww! Hey mister, this waffle ticket tastes NASTY! Maybe it needs a little syrup…”

“Brianna! It’s not a waffle ticket, it’s a raffle ticket! Now pick that up!” I scolded. Then she picked it up, placed it in her pocket, and stuck her tongue out at me.

I reached out and grabbed her hand and then guess what? SHE BIT ME AGAIN!!

The sales clerk grimaced. “Did your sister just…bite you?!”

I just smiled in response. I don’t think he would understand how common Brianna’s antics were.

“Miss, are you interested in a raffle ticket? You could win a two-hundred-dollar gift card to this store!”

Now that definitely had my attention!

With all of that money, I could buy an entire new set of art supplies! Or, I could buy one of those fancy art tablets that I’ve seen people with. I might even have enough left over to buy a leash and muzzle for Brianna!

Wait…WHERE’S BRIANNA?!!

I looked all around me, but she was nowhere to be found!

“Excuse me a moment,” I said to the worker. “I’d love a raffle ticket, but I’ll be right back!”

I quickly ran to the backpack section of the store. I knew that Brianna had her eye on a new Princess Sugar Plum backpack to match her Princess Sugar Plum t-shirt.

I searched around, but the area was empty! Then I heard laughter. It was unmistakably Brianna!

I whipped around just in time to see her duck behind a nearby pencil display case. As I approached, she quickly scurried across the store. It was like she wanted to play hide and seek AND tag, but in an office supply store!

“Catch me if you can!” she giggled.

I set off after her, but I somehow lost track of Brianna when a family pushed their three cartloads of school supplies between us.

Talk about RUDE!

I caught sight of Brianna again near the entrance of the building. Which was definitely NOT a good thing. But as soon as she saw me, she darted off again.

I tried my best to keep track of her, but the SAME family walked in front of me again!

Seriously, who needs THREE cartloads of school supplies?!!

By the time they FINALLY ambled past, Brianna had disappeared. I walked over to the furniture section and sat down in one of the comfy office chairs. I couldn’t believe that I had LOST her! And to make things worse, it sounded like someone was laughing at me.

Then I listened closer. The laughing wasn’t fake, it was real!

I quietly stood up from my chair and began walking around. The sound of giggling grew louder and louder until…

AHA!!!

I pulled open a cabinet door and out tumbled Brianna!

She had such a severe case of the giggles that I couldn’t even be mad at her disappearing act. I was just happy that I finally found her!

“Come on Brianna, we still need to get our shopping done,” I said as I held out my hand. Brianna looked at my outstretched hand before smiling. She slipped her hand into mine.

And she DIDN’T bite me this time! THANK GOODNESS!! 🙂

We quickly got our shopping done. It went a lot faster with the both of us working together. I texted Mom saying that we were almost done as the cashier rung us up.

“May we have your attention, please!” a loud voice boomed on the intercom. “We will be announcing the winner of the raffle prize in two minutes.”

I had been so distracted chasing Brianna around the store that I never had the chance to enter the raffle!

JUST GREAT!! 🙁

I looked down at Brianna and couldn’t help but feel a little angry at her. It was HER fault that I didn’t have a chance to win the prize!

So, I grumpily paid for our supplies and headed towards the exit. I wanted to see who won, so Brianna and I stood in the crowd.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of today’s raffle is ticket number 1806,” the intercom announced.

There were mutters from the gathered crowd, but nobody stepped forward.

“I hope I won!” Brianna said. Then she dug into her pocket, took out her soggy, chewed up ticket and waved it in my face.

As I caught a glimpse of it, my heart nearly LEAPT out of my chest!

BRIANNA HAD THE WINNING TICKET!!

I did my Snoopy Happy Dance as Brianna went forward to claim her prize!

“Here, Nikki. This is for being such a good big sister,” Brianna said as she handed me the gift card. “Now you can buy that art set you wanted!”

I scooped her up and gave her the BIGGEST hug ever!

I guess that Brianna isn’t always such a brat after all!! 🙂

Have you gotten all of your school supplies yet? If so, is there anything that you still need? If I were giving away FREE school supplies, what would you ask for? Hey, you never know! It could happen! 🙂
September 4, 2018

September Calendar – TALES FROM A NOT-SO-FRIENDLY FRENEMY

Right click the download button to save the calendar of your choice on your computer.

1 vertical page – 8½ x 11in
Download
September 2, 2018

MIDDLE SCHOOL FREAK-OUT!!!

Hey Brandon,

I’m a girl starting middle school and I’m trying not to FREAK OUT!!! I’m not so sure I’m going to survive! I hear that middle school dramatically dramatic drama! I need answers and advice. HELP!!!

My Middle School Mayhem

Hey My Middle School Mayhem,

Okay! First of all, take a deep breath. 🙂

I’m not going to lie. There IS a lot of drama in middle school. At least, there can be. And sometimes I think there’s MORE drama in middle school because everyone comes in with the idea that there’s so much drama in middle school, and then they rise to that expectation. (I think that’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy.)

Partly, as we move into middle school, our hormones are starting to go bonkers. Bodies are changing, etc., etc. I’m sure you learned all that during an uncomfortable lesson on puberty in fifth grade. And all those bonkers hormones can be the source of some of the drama.

Also, I think as we move into middle school, we feel like we’ve graduated to this more mature place than elementary school, so we start placing pressure on ourselves to be so much older. (Or sometimes, it’s our teachers and families that place that pressure on us, expecting us to start preparing for high school, which is preparing for college, which is preparing for LIFE. Geez, no pressure!)

And it’s a lot of pressure to feel like we have to suddenly be so much older and more mature, but we’re really not any different than when we graduated from elementary school a few months earlier. I think some people respond to that pressure by trying to ACT older in ways that just create…well, DRAMA.

So, these are some of the REASONS for that drama. What do you do about it?

I think it helps to remember that you (and your friends) are no different than you were a few months earlier. You’re the same awesome people—with added pressures, yes—but that still doesn’t change how awesome you are.

You don’t automatically age out of the stuff you enjoyed doing in elementary school, so try to keep doing what you like. Plus, your friends will still be your friends. (Assuming you’re going to the same middle school with them.) So, stick with your friends and try not to get caught up in the drama amongst yourselves. A couple really good, reliable friends are probably the most important thing to survive middle school drama.

Also, a lot of your nerves might have to do with uncertainty about what to expect. If you have older siblings, you might have some idea, but if not, you’re probably basing most of your expectations on TV and movies. (Remember, TV and movies require drama or else they’re boring!) And if you DO have older siblings, you might be basing your expectations on their experience. But, keep in mind that just because they had a certain experience in middle school doesn’t mean that’s what your experience will be like.

So if school hasn’t started yet, take some time to look through your new school’s website. Read announcements and rules. There might even be a map/floor plan on the website. If it’s possible, go walk through the school before it’s filled with students. Go to whatever new student orientation is provided. Ask a parent to explain how to use a combination locker, if you’ve never used one before. Feeling comfortable and confident with these sorts of things will make it easier to handle whatever other drama might come your way.

Also: think about all the awesome things about middle school. Changing classes means that if you don’t like a class or teacher, you only have to be with them for an hour each day, instead of six hours like in elementary school. Most middle schools have students from a variety of elementary schools, so there’s potential for new friends and crushes! Middle school also usually has more clubs, extracurricular activities and events like dances, which could be a lot of fun.
Sometimes a little focus on the positive will help keep me from freaking out. I hope it helps you, too.

Have you started attending middle school yet? Is it as much drama as you thought it was? What are your best tips? Tell us in the comments below.