What Every Sixth Grader Should Know

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You remember it, that first day at the “big school”, walking through the halls feeling like a tadpole in a sea of piranhas. You search desperately for a friendly face, a childhood friend, anything that resembles the school you have known for the last five years. But this is not elementary school; this is the sixth grade. It may seem scary to be in a new school, but don’t worry sixth graders, the upperclassmen have some helpful advice for you.

Tip 1: Learn your Locker, Love your Locker
Most can agree that the biggest difference between the elementary school and the junior high is having your very own locker. Brian Dickson’s advice is to “never dirty up your locker” and to keep it neat and organized so that you can always find what you are looking for. According to Morgan Croyle, you should not stop at your locker between every class: “You only have three minutes to be at your next class and stopping at your locker takes up too much time.” She suggests that you take books with you for your morning classes and then stop at your locker at lunch to get books for the rest of the day. And if you forget the combination, do not worry. Samantha Shasteen says you can always ask teachers for help, or have the junior high office open your locker with a key.

Tip 2: Don’t Find Yourself Saying, “We had homework?”
Even though we all hate it, homework is an essential part of our education, and you are only hurting yourself if you slack off and don’t do it. Shyanne Rendziniak understands that sometimes you just do not feel like doing your homework, but she also knows that homework is one of the most important parts of sixth grade: “I know, sometimes you just don’t want to do it because you’re tired, but just get it over with.” And homework is not the only school work you should be concerned about; the one piece of advice that most eighth graders agree on is to stay on top of your school work and get the best grades possible. Both Macey McGhee and Nicholas Helman agree that if you are having any problems or questions in class, the best thing to do is to ask the teacher. Macey says simply, “Always ask for help.”

Tip 3: Organization is the Key to Sixth Grade Success
There’s nothing worse than staying up all night long doing all of your homework, only to somehow lose your assignments in the black hole that you call a locker. Many eighth graders agree that staying organized is key to getting you through junior high. Macey McGhee writes, “It’s good to be organized. When you’re organized you know right where everything is.” Cameron Rife and Christopher Clark suggest having a binder for each subject; Christopher writes, “I try to get the colors based off of the color of the book for that class. For example, if there is a red math book, I would use a red binder for math.” Staying organized will help ensure that you get the best grades possible and never find yourself digging through your locker for a missing assignment.

Tip 4: There’s Never Time for Tardiness
Changing classes is a new concept for sixth graders, which can cause many to have trouble getting to class on time. After about a week, teachers really start to crack down on tardiness, which could lead to detentions or Saturday school. Morgan Briand warns, “When it comes to getting to class, you better not be late.” Three minutes may seem like far too short of an amount of time to get to your next class but trust me, it’s not impossible. Zander Llewellyn also points out that you do not want to be late to school either: “There’s nothing worse than being behind because you were late… It just destroys your grades. It’s horrible.” Just try your best to get to school and class on time and you are already on the fast track to a successful year.

There are a lot of tips that eighth graders can give you about what to do (or not to do) in sixth grade, but some lessons you just have to figure out for yourself. You will undoubtedly make mistakes in sixth grade; no tips from upperclassmen will ensure a flawless year. But part of the fun about growing up is learning from your mistakes and becoming a better person because of them.

My advice? Just make the most of every moment- good and bad- and you will have great memories to look back on. You only get this chance once, so try new things, make new friends, and have fun.