Middle School.

To say I was a nerd in middle school would be an outright understatement.
I was the stereotypical “middle schooler.”
Braces? Check.
Frizzy hair? Check.
Knobby knees? Check.
Math league? Check.
Despite all these (quite embarrassing) shortcomings, I loved middle school.  I loved that we were out of elementary school, but not quite ready for high school.  We lived in our own little world of strawberry lipgloss where boys were suddenly “cute.”
I learned so much during middle school, both academically and emotionally.  I am still friends with my middle school friends.  I had weird and crazy and memorable “boyfriends.”  I traveled to Italy with my BEST friends.
Dorky College Prepster over there on the left!  (White sweater, pink polo, obvi.)
First ever “school dance.”
(Please laugh with me, and not at me!!!)
7th grade… getting taller.  And much more awkward.

Our 8th grade dance.  A big deal.
I’m not sure if I would necessarily go back to middle school.  I mean, I didn’t have a Chi.  But, I definitely am so thankful for the wonderful experiences I had.
Why am I bringing back all these weird memories?
I had a seventh grader email me.  It was just about the cutest and sweetest thing ever.  My heart was melting.  I remember being 12.  And because I love doing these retrospective “what I wish I had known” things… (The Freshman 50 and The Freshman 50 Jr.)
Here’s the pre-teen edition:
  1. Have as many sleepovers as you can
  2. Don’t roll your eyes at your parents, they’re actually pretty amazing
  3. Read every single assigned book
  4. Don’t gossip.  Ever.
  5. Boys still have cooties.  And don’t let your friends convince you otherwise.
  6. Talk to your parents (or teachers) about any problem.  And try to before something turns into a real problem.
  7. Set goals.
  8. Find your values and stick to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. Be silly.
  10. Do a sport and stay active.

Last bit of advice, my mom told me this right before I started high school and it’s still stuck with me!  She showed me a blank pad of paper.  One wrong decision is like drawing a thick line on the paper with a permanent marker.  Apologizing and cleaning up afterwards may help a little, but you’ll always have that mark on your “paper.”  Stick to your morals and avoid those permanent blotches!!!

What would you tell your middle school pre-teen self?

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Mrs. Kindergarten

I too will be sharing this with my middle school daughter. It is such a fun, but difficult time for some. Thankfully my daughter is handling it fairly well, except that eye~rollin' thing! Hmmmm?

Mrs. Kindergarten


Hey College prepster!
I love reading your blog and just wanted to say that I look forward to your tips on studying, you can say I'm a preppy nerd at times, haha:)
I'm a freshman in college this year and I was wondering if you had any tips on balancing your break/study times? I'vebeen feeling burnt out lately and tried your reading break tips for studying, but I find myself studying for 10 minutes and reading for 20 minutes, needless to say this is counterproductive!

Much love,



Great advice! People always laugh/don't believe me when I say that I peaked in middle school. Those were the days 🙂


I wish someone had told me this when I was in middle school! It would have saved me a lot of trouble!

I'm going to share with my 9 year old NOW before middle school trouble hits.


Carly- Thank you so much for this. I happen to be in 8th grade at the moment, and it was really nice to read this post. Thank you!


Love this list Carly! I'm glad middle school is a thing of the past, but I'm still trying to tackle high school and some of this advice should come in handy. PS-Love your first name!


I love the "Read every assigned book" I so wish I had done that.

I wish I could go back and tell my middle-school self that it's okay if people don't like you, as long as you're sticking to what you believe in and doing the right thing, if it's the right thing to do and somebody still gets mad, that's not your problem…


I can't say middle school was terrible, but, like you, I would NOT want to go back. The first attempts at makeup, the bad outfit choices I made, the way we thought we were SO mature (but really we had no idea).

All in all, I think most people can agree it's just an all around awkward phase in life, but still one that helped us grow and mature.

I loved your tips for pre-teen girls- they are so true!


GREAT post! I'm going to be a camp counselor for middle schoolers so I love this. Also, yall went to FLORENCE in middle school?? Too cool

7th Grader's BFF

Hahaha that "7th grader" was my best friend….I introduced her to your blog and now she's trying to become preppy….she won't tell me what she said to you!