Advice for incoming grades

Slogan for the students of 2023.

design by Student Leadership class

Slogan for the students of 2023.

Sadly, our time as the eighth grade class of 2023 is slowly coming to an end. We’ve made so many amazing memories in our time here and have together become more knowledgeable about everything around us. Although there will be people we won’t be able to see as often, we are all growing up and learning to be independent and going our own separate ways. As we move into a new chapter in our lives, we would like to leave some advice about middle school from some of our AJMS teachers, and culminating eighth graders. 

Joanie Gonzalez, one of our culminating students, wanted to share that although you will want to place your trust with the first friends you meet, they might turn on you, sometimes they are not who they seem, but thankfully there will be people that you can trust, so do not let that stop you from opening up to new opportunities.

She said, “Don’t trust anyone because they can turn on you. You never really know somebody until you tell them your deepest darkest secrets and they go around telling everyone. Then you know that’s not a true friend. But don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone either because the people that you meet, they could be true friends, loyal, or they could be someone that you just don’t mess with. So just be sure to step out of your comfort zone and hopefully you’ll make new friends that are worth it and will make your experience better.” 

Desteny Aldana, another one of our culminating students, has shared her experience with friends, and how most of the time the friends you make in sixth grade will not be your friends in eighth grade, but that just comes with finding yourself and who you choose to surround yourself with.

“You don’t have to be someone you’re not,” she said, “because to be honest going back I would literally not do anything that I did and I’m always thinking of how dumb I was. I wouldn’t have to be struggling right now because of the things I did back then. I would also say keep your group small because not everyone’s gonna stay. Compared to how many friends I had last year, only a couple of them stayed and I thank them for that. Especially my bestie Jossy, she’s my real one, my day one fr. But yea just keep your circle small and don’t be something you’re not because in the end it’s really not worth it. Nobody will remember you a few years from now.” 

Mr. Farkas, one of our seventh grade English and Composition teachers, also had some advice he would like to share with the incoming students.

“From a teacher’s point of view it’s really amazing to see how you guys grow over the years. You come in as these weird little elementary kids and you are leaving as like people, seeing you guys, like the way you guys carry yourselves and handle yourselves and do things and speak to each other and treat each other and work with each other, now at the end of eighth grade it is so much different now and so seeing how you guys were in seventh. There is a reason middle school is separate from high school and elementary. You guys are really in the spin cycle, you’re going through it. Things are going to be challenging around you all the time. Your job is to keep learning, working and growing. The more you push yourself, the more fun you’ll have, and the more you will grow.”

Ms. Brede has had some new experiences during her first few years here that she shared with us as well.

“I’ve gotten to see this year how like eighth graders are different from sixth and seventh grade. I would say by the time they reach eighth grade a lot of them are kind of like burnt out from school or like ‘I’m about to go onto high school. Middle school doesn’t even matter anymore,’ so they kinda just slack off and kind of a good around the whole year. I would say it’s a bad idea to do that because in high school more things are expected of you and if you don’t do your work or you fail a class it actually matters. So my advice is keep trying hard!”

Middle school is a time where kids our age are going through a stage where they are testing things out, trying to figure out who they are, their future career, or a future job.  Don’t spend too much time thinking about these things, as you will figure them out with time. We are still young so there is no rush in trying to figure out what we want to become. Don’t worry about what other people would think or say about you and don’t let this stop you from enjoying your time in middle school with all your friends.  Don’t procrastinate and try to not overthink anything!!! It may be hard since this is a time that we are growing and hitting puberty, but sometimes it is just not worth it.

Don’t depend on the thought that the people you meet here will continue being in your life forever because it’s not always going to be like that. We are all growing up and figuring out what we want to do with our lives so we all have different choices to make. But whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s what you want to do, not anyone else’s choice,  because at the end of the day we’re still children just trying to be happy and enjoy our childhood, so focus on doing what makes you happy.