3 Ways To Thrive In Middle School

Dear Sweet Middle School Girls,

Words cannot describe the transitions you will go through in middle school.  You will grow physically, academically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.  During this time, you will be outside of your comfort zone often, but this is where you will grow and change the most.  Your focus is to change for good and you will need to answer the question, “What does that look like for me?”

Only you and God can define that because he has a purpose for you that you are only beginning to discover.  He has made you wonderfully and you are in the process of finding what makes you wonderful.

My daughters and I brainstormed 3 things for you to ponder as you begin a year in middle school.

1. Focus on your lane.

In this picture, “What do you see?”

FullSizeRender (11)

We see Michael Phelps, a gold medal winner.  The winner is looking ahead, focused on his goal.  He is not looking and comparing himself to anyone.  He knows what he is about and he is going for it.  The other swimmer, Chad le Clos, is looking and comparing himself.  He is more worried about what other people are doing than swimming his race.

We can easily get distracted in middle school wishing we were taller, shorter, smarter, faster, etc.  Look at who YOU were created to be and learn to do that.  This lesson is an ongoing lesson in life.  Keeping your focus on your lane helps you grow to be the best you can be.

2. Your friends matter.

In our house, we always say, “Be kind to everyone, but keep your circle small.”

Jesus had 12 disciples, but in those 12 disciples, he was closer to Peter, John, and James.  I have used this example many times with my daughters when we had friend issues.  Jesus had 3 close friends.  How many close friends do we really have or need?

Friends in middle school will be challenging because EVERYONE is LEARNING to “swim” and figure out life.  Many people will be learning to just keep their head above water.  Some people will be hanging on the side afraid to let go. Some people will be tired of swimming and they will complain the entire time.  Some people will be good at backstroke, but really bad at freestyle.  And many kids (including YOU) will not be sure of which lane to even get in let alone stay in.  Everyone is at a different level with different needs.  Sometimes it will be hard to be a good friend and have good friends.  Remember this.  Forgive quickly and move on.  Every person you come in contact is going through the same learning process, they just will be going about it in a different way.

This is from Caroline, my 13 year old daughter:

“Last year, I was tempted to go with the “popular” group, even though they were really mean to other people, and would talk about them behind their backs. I struggled with this because I wanted to be part of a group that seemed to get everyone’s attention. My other friend and I were talking about this and I realized something. I didn’t want to be the people that they were, just plain mean. Then it hit me, do I want to be the person that puts other people down or who brings them back up? I decided, to be the person who brings people back up. It took me a while to find a good group of friends. Eventually, I found like two or three people that were there. It is OK to just have one or two people that have the qualities. Those are the ones that will last.”

3. Finish Your Job….Everywhere You Go.

This is from all the moms, teachers, and adults in the world.

Did you see any of the Olympic athletes quit?  No.  Successful athletes do not quit and they finish what they start whether they win or lose.  When they fail or fall, they learn and grow.

Put away your things.  Complete your homework.  Put it in your folder.  Turn in your homework.  Put your cups in the dishwasher.  Pick your clothes off of your floor and into the laundry.  You get the gist.

This will make your life easier in SOOOOO many ways.  Just trust us on this one.

The girls and I will be writing letters to you throughout the year.  Start out well and stay in your lane!!!


Nikki, Grace, & Caroline

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