My name is Hazel Springs. I live in Florida and have the most obnoxious older sister, Katie. Let’s see what else? Oh yeah, and in one week I’m starting middle school. My first year in the new building we can see from the intermediate school. I told Katie about my fears of a new place, but that was a huge mistake. “Oh yeah, middle school is horrible. Everyone in the 7th and 8th grades hate all the 6th graders and try to make their lives miserable. All the teachers are mean and you’re definitely going to hate it.” That did not help at all. Anyway, besides that, I’m all ready, after we get all my school stuff and chose my clothes, all that’s left is to get ready to go into a new place with new people and mean 7th and 8th graders. Yeah, definitely not ready.
The first day of middle school is tomorrow. I am so not prepared, sitting here at my desk and staring at the wall. While I’m deciding whether or not one part of my wall is a different shade from the other, Katie burst into my room without knocking, as usual. She stood there with a piece of paper in her hand and a look on her face that I did not like, mischievous and sneaky. “Hey.” she said casually. “I brought you something.” something was definitely up. “Like what?” I asked, suspicious. She rolled her eyes like she had never tricked me before. “Like something you can use tomorrow on your first day of prision.” “Uh-huh” I said unconvinced as she handed me the paper. “Take a look.”
How To Survive Planet Middle School
- School lunches are horrible. Don’t buy anything, or you’ll feel sick afterwards.
- Don’t talk to anyone, they only pretend to be your friends, even the teachers.
- Never let down your guard.
- Always hold onto your schedule or it will get stolen.
- Ignore all of the 7th and 8th graders, but if they give you any trouble, than stand up for yourself with some cool comeback.
“How am I not suppose to not buy the lunches and eat at the same time? Or ignore everyone?” I asked, confused. Sure, I knew that Katie has been to middle school and is going off to college today, after dinner even. But maybe Middle school has changed since then? “Oh come on, don’t you trust my judgement?” When I hesitated, she sighed and plopped down on my bed. “Middle school is hard, but once you get past 6th, 7th and 8th are super easy. You’ll need my help to get through the hardest year of your life, but I won’t be here for long. Just long enough to help you chose your clothes and give you more advice.” she sounded so sincere right than, I almost believed her. But she still had that strange look on her face that made me want to kick her out of my room, but yet, it was true, I did need help if middle school was as hard as Katie said it was. “Okay.” I relented. The smile she made was almost evil as she helped me pick out black jeans, a black shirt, and black tennis shoes. “Umm… I don’t like black.” I said as I looked at myself in the mirror. “It’s too dark.” In fact, I only had two other black things in my closet besides these. “No, no, it looks fine.” she said absently while she fastened my hair in different styles. “It looks perfect!” she said happily. “Katie! Come on time to go! Hazel, say goodbye to your sister, we’re leaving!” My mom called from downstairs. “See ya around, Hazel.” Katie said as if she was already gone and someone else. “Okay…um, bye.” I stammered. “Bye, don’t forget what I said about Middle school, write me a letter about how it went.” she said, and then she was gone. I sighed and looked at my outfit that was the opposite of me. Maybe I should wear this. After all, what could go wrong?
I woke up to the well loved sound of my alarm clock. Beep Beep Beep Beep. I quickly got out of bed with first day jitters. What would Middle school be like? I wondered as I pulled on my black outfit I had decided on wearing after all. Would everyone like me? I thought as I ate my cereal and my mom started crying about me growing up so fast. Would the teachers really be as mean as Katie said they where? I mulled over as the bus pulled up and I got on. This time I watched all the little kids get off at the intermediate and knew that I was growing up, to give some credit to my mom. I took a deep breath and went down the steps as my bus arrived at the middle school. Here it goes. I stepped inside the double doors and almost let out a gasp. It was so big! There where people everywhere, all waiting for the bell to ring and they could go to their classes. THey where talking to their friends, laughing about great things they did that summer, going to their lockers, and just hanging out. I had Reading first period, then Science. I looked over at everyone here for their first day and wondered how I could be the only one nervous. “Hey move it.” said a voice behind me as a 7th grader scowled at me. “You’re blocking the way.” Uh-oh. I’ve only been in here for about 10 seconds and already a 7th grader was all on me. I remembered Katie’s advice about ignoring them, and I had messed that up already, so I just thought I might as well go ahead and show them not to mess with me. The 7th grader was still staring at me, probably wondering why I wasn’t moving out of the way. I looked him up and down like I had the right to do what I wanted and told him: “Um, I can move were I want, thank you very much.” he looked at me with surprise and it felt kind of bad to be mean to a guy I didn’t even know. A crowd had now gathered, as I was still blocking the stairs. This was not going as well as I had thought. “Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to talk down to you. Whoever you think you are.” I mean seriously, couldn’t he just say something that did not require a comeback? I needed to end my first conversation at middle school and get out of there. I hated being the center of attention. Some first day. Just than, the bell rang. Saved by the bell! Except, no one moved. They where all waiting for me to say something. Maybe if I apologized he would go away. I smiled at him, which seemed to unnerve him a bit. “My name is Hazel and I would kindly like to go to class now, as it’s my first day, I’m sorry I was blocking your way. Won’t happen again.” I assured him as I quickly turned around and made a beeline for the other end of the hallway, even though I’m pretty sure my 1st period was the other way. I turned back to see if he was just going to roll his eyes and walk off, but I guess it must have sounded like I was mocking him because his face was red and he looked like he wanted to tackle me and strangle me until my eyes popped out. “Looks like you just angered Mark Richards.” I nearly jumped out of my skin, I hadn’t even seen anyone behind me. “Who?” I managed to say, a little out of breath from running a lot. “Mark Richards. Most popular kid in the 8th grade. But you sure showed him. I got the whole think on video. I was just about to post it.” my eyes widened. “No don’t-” I started, but it was too late, I watched her press the button. I sighed as I got a good look at my tormenter. She had curly brown hair and caramel brown eyes too, and I could tell she was always trying to stay in the shadows by her black outfit, just like mine. She was smacking gum and typing on her phone a mile a minute. “My name’s Jessie. NIce to meet you.” “Hazel” I told her. “Hazel Springs.” She smiled. “Well Hazel Springs, you just made public enemy #1” She patted my back. I groaned. “Can’t I just, like, say I’m sorry and move on?” She laughed like I was making some kind of joke. “Nope. No can do. That is the most well-known boy in the school who will stop at nothing to get revenge for even a small insult.” Suddenly, I didn’t feel so bad for hurting his feelings. Though I guess that’s why he was so surprised that I had told him off. I took another deep breath and stood up. “My first period is Reading. Do you know were that is?” I asked Jessie wearily. “Yep.” she responded cheerfully. “Down that hallway to the
left.” “Thanks.” I mumbled as I trudged past the lockers to my certain doom.
Somehow, I managed to make it through the day, even lunch, where I had heeded my sister’s advice and brought my own lunch, although those big slices of pizza sure did look good. As I prayed for the clock to work faster in last period and the bell finally fang, I made my way as fast as possible to the buses and dashed on just as I saw Mark step outside and look around. I sunk in my seat so he wouldn’t see me. I’m going to need more of Katie’s advice to get through tomorrow.
2nd day of school. Yipee. This time, I really did want to be ignore and longed to put on the black outfit to match my mood, but then decided on the pastel orange shirt instead with silver leggings and brown boots. Mark already is set out to make my life miserable, might as well just be myself. I made sure I had my schedule in my pocket, I only have only succeeded in remembering that I have Reading 1st, I was too busy avoiding Mark to thing about were I was going. I quickly scarfed down my toast and orange juice and made my way outside to our bus stop to wait for the bus. It was foggy this morning, which went with my mind this morning, out of focus. As the bus pulled up, I considered just skipping school. I mean, all I had to do was stay on the bus until it was time to go home. I could eat my lunch and read my new book. The driver would never notice. I quickly shook those thoughts out of my head. Mark wouldn’t do anything that would want to make me skip school, would he? He was just mad that I accidentally embarrassed him in front of people. Yeah, right. From what Jessie told me, Mark will do anything to get revenge. I sighed. Middle school was not going how I wanted it to go at all. I stepped off the bus and saw Mark immediately, waiting for me. Maybe I should have walked today. It was too late, he was already walking over. I tried for a smile. “Hey, Mark. How’s it going?” He had three other boys with him and they all wore the same mad faces, as if I had went and punched all four of them instead of barley insulting one of them. Mark scrowled the most. “Oh, shut up. I know you said all of that stuff just to act like you’re better than me, but you’re not and I am going to make sure that you never forget it.” He looked like he was trying super hard not to strangle me and all I’d done is tell him I could do what I want. I wonder how long it would take for him to start yelling and catch the attention of the principal over by the library, talking to someone. I smiled to myself. I flipped my hair over one shoulder, and looked him square in the eye. “Look here buddy,” I started, channeling my inner mean girl. “You have no right to go around and act like you own the school. All I told you is that I could move were I wanted. It’s a free country. So sorry if that made you blow your top, but you just need to back out and leave me alone.” He blinked at me like he couldn’t believe I had just told him off again. His friends stared at me with stunned silence. I waited for Mark to react and began the count down in my head. 3….2…..1….. Blastoff! He totally blew, it was so funny! His face got all red and he started screaming at the top of his lungs. I couldn’t imagine how he got along with his mom always telling him what to do. And it definitely got the attention of the teacher and principal nearby. They came storming over and marched him straight into the office. He of course, glared at me the whole time. Even though I was smiling and waving at him as he walked by, my heart was pounding. Somehow, I didn’t think that would just make him want to leave me alone. As I was considering how well Mark would take his punishment for yelling in the building, I felt something slip out of my pocket. Somebody was stealing my schedule. Of course. Because when I asked could things get any worse, life decided to take it as a challenge, not a rhetorical question. I turned around to catch who had stolen it, but they were already lost in the crowd and so many people where holding pieces of paper, i would take forever to find it. It was as good as gone. I could go to the office and ask for a new
one, but the bell had rung a few minutes ago and the teachers weren’t being so nice to us now that we knew our way around and had our schedules. Except I didn’t. Also, Mark was in there, smiling from behind the glass as the secretary talked on the phone with his mom about how her son was in trouble for screaming at the principal and innocent students. I bet you anything he was the one who got my schedule to be stolen. Why me? Why couldn’t I just be one of the students who fit in on the first day in a new place with three thousand million friends? Life was so cruel to me. It was probably up there watching me and taking selfies of all my struggles. There was no way I could get through the day without my schedule. I took my deep breath routine (I did it that often) and turned and walked to my first period Reading. In the reflection of the trophy glass case, I could see Mark’s face go from confused to shocked. Seriously, he expects way too much of everyone. It’s like we don’t have a choice and if we choose something else, it’s a miracle. If it was that easy to get rid of Mark, then maybe life is doing more than just taking pictures of my hardships. Now let’s see…. I think I have Science after Reading…. Then English…..
After 3rd period, I snuck into the lunchroom again and saw Mark with his buddies glaring at me like I had ruined their lives or something. I waved meekly and made my way over to the spot I was in yesterday, right in the corner were nobody can see me. As I reflected over how this day did not go very well at all, I remembered Katie’s list. One of the things on there was to keep my schedule with me at all times or it would get stolen. I sighed. So far, I had completely not done everything on Katie’s list.
I woke up on Wednesday with my alarm clock blaring in my ears. School was so frustrating. So I decided to take it out on my alarm clock and pulled it out of it’s plug and throw it into the hallway, right as mom whizzed past. “Good morning, sunshine.” she said as she went downstairs to make pancakes. “Sorry mom.” I mumbled as I got up to get dressed. I guess it wasn’t fair to take it out on my mom or my obnoxious alarm clock. I trudged my way to the bus and dragged my feet the whole way of the bus and down the stairs. Luckily, Mark was in detention today so I only had to deal with him after lunch. Lunch. I groaned. In my thoughts of how much school was way too long and should be cut down a few hours, I had completely forgotten to pack my lunch. Now I would have to buy my lunch from the cafeteria. Which wouldn’t sound so bad if Katie hadn’t told me about how bad the lunches are. And even though that would never stop me from eating it before, everything else on the list Katie had told me had happened. Wow, when life is actually pretty good because the guy who wants to strangle me is in detion, it decides it’s been long enough before something bad should happen. Why? With my luck, the lunches are probably poisonous and will make me sick for years. “Hey.” said a voice from behind me. I turned around to see my favorite person, Jessie. Yipee. “Hey.” I told her back and started walking to my locker to see if she would take the hint and leave me alone. But I guess either she didn’t see it or didn’t care. “What’s wrong?” she asked as I got messed with the lock that never seemed to work for me. “Me?Nothing’s wrong.” she raised her eyebrows. “Really? Because you don’t look very good. More like you want to be sick soon.” I sighed. “Well, I was… busy this morning and didn’t get to pack my lunch today.” she blinked. “That’s it. That’s what you’re so upset? Just buy your lunch. I do it all the time.” Seriously??? “Umm.. well I heard they where not very good.” I stammered. she rolled her eyes. “Well whoever told you that got it wrong. The lunches are actually pretty decent. Pizza and whatnot.” The bell suddenly rang before I could answer which was just as well because I was pretty speechless. “Well, bye, see you around.” Jessie told me with a smack of her gum and then she was gone. Was the list that Katie gave me a total fake? If so, then why did the first three things already happen to me? I realized as I walked to my first class that those things could
happen to anyone and Katie had no way of knowing that those things could really happen. Well, there where two more things on the list. Everything else had happened either because I did or didn’t do something on there. Was the list true or not? I spent the rest of the day pondering it and missed the first lesson in English, on action verbs and got yelled at- on the third day of school! By lunchtime I was feeling pretty bad and then remembered that Mark was coming after lunch. His detention had been cut short because of how early in the year it was. He was not going to be too happy about it anyway. I ate the pizza they had again today and found out that it really wasn’t that bad after all. I spent the rest of my day getting tripped, made faces at, and pushed by Mark Richards and his friends. Things weren’t looking up. Life sure did have an interesting way of showing us it’s there. The smelly, noisy bus ride home was almost a relief. As soon as I got home, I plopped down on my bed and made my most important life decision: The list was only halfway true. I had stood up for myself, but that had only made things worse. I hadn’t held on to my schedule and It had gotten stolen. The lunches weren’t have bad. But even though I had it figured out, I still had to decide if I should not talk to anyone tomorrow. Maybe I would, just to see if the list was true or not. Yes, that was a good idea. Tomorrow I wouldn’t talk to anyone. Feeling a little better, I rolled over in my bed and clutched my pillow. Perhaps school wasn’t that bad after all. I smiled to myself and went downstairs for dinner.
Beep Beep Beep Beep. Seriously, what is it with that annoying alarm clock? Today I pulled on my cheerful pink shirt with jeans. I was feeling a lot better about school and even told my mom good morning which almost made her drop the bacon. “Glad to see you’re feeling better.” she told me. I smiled “Yeah, I’m doing okay.” I wasn’t dragging my feet like normal to the bus stop and the ride there wasn’t all that bad. Nobody was awake enough to make much noise. I stepped
off and saw the principal right by the door telling everyone good morning like she always does. Time to put my plan into action. I walked towards the door and got the expected good morning. I nodded back, even though everyone else had said good morning back. She gave me a strange look. I breathed a sigh of relief. So far, so good. In 1st period, it was easy, we where just writing down rules that we thought the classroom needed. In 2nd, we just did silent reading. But English was just trouble. “Does anyone know what Latin verbs we just finished learning yesterday?Anyone? You. Hazel Springs.” Uh-oh. I wasn’t even paying attention yesterday! Everyone was staring at me, waiting for an answer. I went with a nonchalant shrug. “Okay then. I understand if you don’t know, as you tuned out everything yesterday, but just admit that.” She stared at me expectantly. I guess she was waiting for me to say I didn’t know. But that would totally go against what I’ve been doing so well today! I couldn’t say anything. Should I though? Would it be okay to just say three words? While I was deciding whether or not I should answer her she said: “Well if you’re not going to say anything and just ignore me, then you can join Mr.Richards in detention today after school.” I froze. “Mark?” “Yes.” She said, not looking up from the pink slip of paper she was writing on. “He knocked over one of my plants on the windowsill when I told him he couldn’t eat in here.Glad to see you finally talking.” I groaned inwardly. It was going to be a long day.
I managed to get through the rest of my classes without talking to anyone, but I was really dreading detention. It wouldn’t be so bad just sitting there and staring at the wall, but if Mark was in there, then he was not going to make my life any easier. When the bell finally rang for everyone to go home, I instead dragged myself to the cafeteria to serve my time. And even though the whole way I was Praying that he had gotten sick on short notice and couldn’t make it, he was there. Mr. Brunner, the detention teacher, barely even looked up from his papers. At least I wasn’t sitting by Mark. “Just have a seat in front of Mark.” Well, at least he’ll be working on
something. “If you don’t have anything to work on, just sit there quietly.” Thanks a lot Mr. Brunner. I took a seat in font of Mark as he glared at me from behind, his eyes like lasers. Everything was okay for a while, I just pretended to ignore him and was just relaxing when I heard a loud flick. A millisecond later, I felt a sharp pain on my ear. “Ow!” I said. Mr. Brunner’s head snapped up. He frowned. “Mark, please keep your hands to yourself.” Mark shrugged. Mr. Brunner went back to his book. It was good for a few more minutes, the there was another sharp pain on my ear. “Hey!” I said a whirled around. “Mark Richards! If you hit her one more time, she gets to go home early and you’ll stay here another hour!” Humm… I knew Mark wouldn’t do that again, but maybe I could. I clapped my hands together loudly, the held on to my ear like it hurt. “Would you stop!” I said, loudly. “Mark! Okay, Hazel, you may go home, Mark you’ll be here for a bit longer.” Mark’s face got red. “But I didn’t do that!” Mr. Brunner sighed and looked at the ceiling. “I need a retirement.” He mumbled under his breath. I hightailed it outta there before Mr. Brunner could sort it all out. Whew. What a day. I had a lot of things to do differently tomorrow, and I knew I was ready this time.
I was up before my alarm clock, which was a new one for me. I bounced down the hallway and into the kitchen, grabbed a bagel and rushed out the door to get to school ealy. I reached the bus stop, but the bus wouldn’t be there for another 20 minutes. I ran the rest of the way to school and was the first one there besides about 20 teachers, including my first period reading teacher, Mrs. Carly. She was just unlocking her door as I rushed up. She looked surprised to see me. “Oh! Hello Hazel. Why are you here so early this morning?” I smiled my most dazzling smile at her, which probably wasn’t all that dazzling, but I just went with it anyway. “I just came to umm….. Work on a paper due for….uh…. Let’s see…. English. Yes, English! So I’m here to work on that, you know, don’t want to fall behind!” She looked at me specticly. “Well, okay then. You have until the bell rings.” I really don’t think she believed me, but oh well. Now Mark wouldn’t be able to find me, he’ll probably think I’m absent if he doesn’t see me come off my bus. Yes, that was my brilliant plan for today. Avoiding Mark seemed like a great idea considering how well yesterday went for me. I had no classes with him, and last night I had checked the school website, and turns out you can eat your lunch in the library. And the rest of my day was great. I had worn my own outfit, done my own things in all my classes, not spent the whole day with my head down, and even answered a couple of questions in English about the horrid Latin verbs I’d studied up on for the test Monday. And As I went home on the bus that day, I got out a piece of Notebook paper and wrote out a list of steps to follow to make your life at middle school go even somewhat decent, And I knew that on Monday, I would use the steps to deal with Mark. Because Middle school was becoming less like a prison and more like a part of life. The part that tries to help me and not just stand up there and video me with its phone. Now that you know about my time in Middle school, here are some simple tips that you can follow that I didn’t, and maybe you can have a less harder time learning about the pattern of a new place you have to go to every day. I hope this list of advice helps you get through what everyone calls ‘The hardest years of school.’
See you in high school,
How To Survive Middle School with these simple tips:
1.)Don’t think about what other people are Thinking about you.
2.)Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone and make friends.
3.)School lunches are okay, but it’s probably better to bring your lunch
4.)Don’t let yourself get pushed around, stand up for yourself.
5.)Don’t lose your schedule.