Starting Middle School Online: Our Thoughts


By Alisa Oden (she/her)
November 28, 2020

Starting middle school is a crazy experience on its own. In the middle of a pandemic? It’s a roller coaster ride. So what do our 6th graders this year think about online middle school?

In a survey (Starting Middle School Online: Thoughts?), many 6th graders showed surprising optimism about the whole situation. Initially, most people said they were disappointed that they would have to start middle school like this, but a recent poll taken by 6th graders about whether or not they enjoyed online school so far took a positive turn.

“I like it because it feels more comfortable to be in my house because during my breaks I can go play with my brothers and sister and at school I can’t do that,” said Nancy Aparacio. Others also mentioned that they felt safer and more confident at home, because they weren’t forced to turn on their camera or use their mics.

Of course, there are people who aren’t having such a positive experience with online school. “I don’t like it because there are so many other problems we face, like lagging issues, no sound, not paying attention and so on,” said Lina Rosenbaum. She also expressed that she didn’t get to do as many things as she could’ve during in-person school. “I’m learning okay,” said an anonymous 6th grader. “But sometimes the teachers assign too much, probably thinking we need to do more now that we are online. It is also pretty hard to socialize or have fun, because we just have to stare at screens for hours.”

Let’s face it. Middle school is hard. It always helps a little when you have someone to guide you through it though, so here are some tips from 7th and 8th graders for starting middle school (in person and/or online)!

“It’s not easy starting middle school, especially coming in online. Work hard with your dreams and goals in mind, but please know your limits. When you’re stressed or anxious, take a walk, it does wonders. Just remember: stay happy and don’t let your past define you; always look to the future and strive to do better.” -Anonymous 8th grader

“It’s a big leap for sure, especially since school is online but I think it will help you cope with stress in the future. It’s good practice to start thinking on your own and being independent. Just be adaptive and willing, know the challenges and you’ll survive.” -Amel Benhamouda, 8th grader

“Always, always check your email often. Being away for a day could cause you to be extremely behind. Also use the to do list tool in google classroom. It has helped me turn in my assignments on time.” -Anonymous 7th grader

“Stay on top of your work. It gets really easy to fall behind. Also, if you choose to go back to school, wake up earlier than you think you will need to, you can always wake up later the next day if you think you left yourself too much time.” -Anonymous 8th grader

“Try not to stress so much. By stressing yourself, you will only feel more pressure and anxiety and it won’t help you. Don’t isolate yourself, you will need friends to help you get through or just to have fun with. Speak up. If you need help, have a question or concern, don’t be afraid to ask your teachers, councillors, or family members for help.” -Anonymous 8th grader

“I would tell them to not be afraid to ask questions or send out their concerns. Asking questions is key in online school, especially since it’s all new and different. I would also tell them to embrace this as an opportunity to get familiar with technology like this for the future.” -Rewan Farag, 8th grader

Despite how scary it might sound, middle school can actually be pretty fun once you get the hang of it. Make sure to reach out to your teachers and classmates, stay out of drama, stay healthy, and most importantly, don’t stress out too much! You can always ask for help if you need it.