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Holly McCamant: Advice to incoming seventh graders

Exactly one year ago, I wrote an advice article to next year’s ninth graders.

They have now survived ninth grade, but if they want advice for next year, I’ve already written about the sophomore slump (it’s going to be a fun year, future sophomores).

This year I am giving advice to next year’s seventh graders. This year, I’ve really gotten to know some sevies (as we call them at FHS), and here are the top ten things new seventh graders should know.

  1. Things are going to change now. For the next 10 years of your life, people will undergo huge changes, and it starts now. The change can happen all the way till senior year or in one year. This results in a very awkward year. In sports, you have those kids that are mature at that age and can compete at high levels... and the kids who were like me and had the scrawny seventh grade body. There are the drama queens who forget that it’s possible to have a filter on your mouth, and those who think that their peers are incredibly immature. But you know what? It’ll get better. I promise.
  2. Finding a boyfriend or girlfriend is not important at this time in your life. Most of you guys aren’t emotionally ready, and it doesn’t end well because you two don’t know what to do. The other thing that happens is a relationship where the two people aren’t really that passionate and they have a useless relationship that drags on until one of them realizes that it isn’t worth it.
  3. Choosing the right friends is extremely important. This is the time where friend groups are sealed up tight. Once your position is set in seventh grade, it’s almost impossible to change. The only time changes do really happen after is when one friend wanders off into the wrong crowd. Hang out with people you want to hang out for the next six years.
  4. Stay out of drama. As I said, have a filter. Don’t say things that could create any drama unless they are absolutely necessary. People at any age get jealous, but they don’t always know the right way to react in their pre-teens. Seventh graders are way more likely to say something really mean outright than 10th graders; many of them haven’t learned. Don’t hate someone because they’re better at something than you! Your peers will do and say really dumb things, but it is your choice on how to react.
  5. Become involved in activities. Find something that you like to do, whether it’s a sport or some random club. Heck, I was really slow at running when I joined cross country in seventh grade. However, I stuck with it and tried out track too. I made so many friends and found something that I may or may not think about 90 percent of the time.
  6. Don’t worry if you aren’t good at something right away. You aren’t done growing yet, both mentally and physically. If you like something, stick with it, and you will get better.
  7. Communicate with people in person. This may seem obvious if you are part of a different generation, but I think that this age texting and snapchatting have all of a sudden become primary forms of communication. No, it’s not bad to have interesting text conversations or creative snapchats with your friend. However, they should be a supplement to the conversations and things you do with friends in person.
  8. Your grades actually do matter now. They will determine if you get into advanced classes. The homework will be more than you are used to. I’d recommend doing it though because the rest of the things you do in class will be much easier and zeros in the gradebook aren’t pretty. This is preparation for high school. Make you mistakes now and learn from them.
  9. Don’t be afraid to talk to the older kids. In seventh grade track I was the only kid in my grade in varsity since no one else was willing to do my events even though I was really slow. I made a bunch of friends, and older kids actually know stuff and can help you out.
  10. Enjoy this year. Your homework load may seem heavier, and you may have responsibilities, but you will look back and miss it how easy it was.

It doesn’t seem that long ago when I started seventh grade, and now I just have two more years of high school. Don’t conform yourself, and watch as the years fly by. You will change, but it’s going to be fun.

Holly McCamant is a sophomore at Frazee-Vergas High School.