Girl Drama and the Perils of Middle School

If you don't stand

photo courtesy of Winterlyrics.files.wordpress.com

Today was the last day of school this week – YAY!!!  Thanksgiving vacation at last!  The last few days at school have been annoying and I need a break.  Non-stop girl drama since the beginning of the school year, and I have been getting really tired of it lately.  I try my best to be drama free, but apparently when you’re in middle school, you can’t escape it.  Drama is all around you.  I try not to long for the carefree days of elementary school too much because I know that I can never go back there again.  But sometimes, I just wish……….

Where to start?  I hang out with a group of the same girls that I went to elementary school with.  I find it interesting to see how much they have changed just over the summer.  They are so busy trying to be the leader of the pack, the most popular, one of the cool kids that they have become kinda mean and don’t seem to care about hurting each other’s feelings anymore.  The same girls that I spent the last six years with have turned into people that I don’t even know anymore.  Is that what middle school does to you?  I see so many girls in my group and outside of it too who post inappropriate selfies on Instagram (pictures and posts that they wouldn’t want their parents to see) and brag about what they did on the weekend or who they hung out with (all to make the people who weren’t included feel bad).  They make fun of each other and say hurtful things and they exclude certain girls from activities, while including the rest of the group.  They change “besties” every other day and even fight over boyfriends, trading them back and forth.  Boyfriends?  We’re eleven.  Well, I just turned twelve, but boyfriends?  Really?

My mom calls it the perils of middle school and she says that girls are affected differently at this age than boys.  I don’t feel like I am affected in the same way though.  I hate the way they act.  I would like to see an end to the girl drama, an end to the mean behavior and selfishness, an end to being conceited and self-absorbed, and an end to the “boyfriend” stealing and rude comments about each other.  I usually sit in silence – on the outside of the “inner” circle.  I talk to my mom about how bad it makes me feel.  She encourages me to be brave enough to walk away from it all and to show that I don’t support the way the other girls are acting and treating each other.  I told her that I don’t want to lose my “friends.”  She questioned my use of the word friends and told me that I have to take a stand at some point or I will continue to be miserable.  Then she said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”  Well, I think I’ve been falling for anything, just so that I don’t have to be alone.  But I figured out that I’m alone anyway.  So, wish me luck.  I’m going to be brave and take that stand now.

School Lunch…………………Sigh!

Ever since I’ve been in school, I’ve taken my lunch.  Every.  Single.  Day.  At the beginning of the school year, just like I got new school clothes, new shoes, and a new backpack, I also got a new lunch box.  I preferred lunch bags, the insulated ones.  You won’t be surprised to know that I have had quite a few from Pottery Barn Teen, monogrammed, with my first name on them, and matching my new backpack each year.  Well, this year everything changed.  Here we go again with the change.  I’m in middle school now.  And with middle school comes eating the food in the school cafeteria.  We’ve been talking about it for months now.  My brother told me all about what the food was like when he went to the middle school that I’m in now.  He ate A LOT of pizza.  He still does, even though he’s in high school, but he never complained about it.  When we went to back to school night, one of the things my mom did was put money on my lunch account – $100.00!  That would last me a few months.  Well, this week is the fourth week of school.  And guess what?  I started bringing my lunch.  I know.  I know.  I’m sooooo ashamed.  I was supposed to stick it out.  I’m in middle school after all.  I’m supposed to be eating the food from the cafeteria just like the majority of the kids in my school.  I’m not in elementary school anymore.  Well, all I can say is this.  That cafeteria is a zoo!  I ate pizza every day for three weeks.  Literally.  And I am one of the few kids in the world who isn’t that big a fan of pizza!  Seriously!  Can a girl just get a chicken sandwich?

First of all, the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders go to lunch at different times by grade.  I’m cool with that.  Second of all, the boys and the girls eat separately.  Well, that’s a little weird…but okay.  I can eat without immature boys being around and being gross.  But, then how hard could it be to get to the cafeteria, to get in any lunch line that you want, and to get the lunch you want, if not every day, then at least sometimes?  Well, I’ll tell you how hard it is……….H – A – R – D!!!!!!!!!!  It’s as hard as ever!  Way hard!  Too hard!  Hard like a rock!  Hard like Pre-Algebra!  Hard like drinking milk while trying to stand on your head and sing a Taylor Swift song!  It’s stupid hard!  Crazy hard!  Do you get how hard it is now?  First of all, when we are dismissed for lunch, those girls take off, flying toward the lunch room like they haven’t ever had food before.  And some of those girls are HUGE!  They push and shove you around.  Like why?  I didn’t know we were in a race.  Since when did getting lunch in the cafeteria become a race?  Pu-leaze!  Well, in middle school, apparently getting lunch IS a race.  The pizza line is the longest.  It’s the line me and my friend, Jourden, always end up in.  Every day!  Why, do you ask?  Because we can’t make it to any of the other lines in time to get any other food.  Those other lines close fast.  When they get too many people in them, they just close them.  Close them I said!  Like, what the heck?  So, I just got sick of it.  I told my mom, and she was all like, “Uhhhh, what?  You run to lunch?  Every day?”  And I was all like, “Uhhh yeah, Jourden and I mall walk to lunch.”  That’s right, we MALL WALK!!!  And then my brother got in on the conversation and he was like, “Yep.  The bell goes ding, and people yell, ‘Go, Go, Go!’ and then everybody takes off running!”  He laughed and said, “I remember those days.”  And my mom was wondering why after sending my older sister to that school for three years, and then my brother going there for three years, why in six years nobody told her that lunch was like the 50 yard dash.  Well, I’ll tell you why, mother!  Because until me, nobody in this house ever lost the 50 yard dash!  Ainsley is not a runner, nor shall she ever be.  I am a dancer.  So there!

After that conversation, my mom took me to Wal-Mart and she bought me an updated version of my beloved lunch bag.  It’s a bento box.  Oh, yeah!  And then we found all kinds of awesome food for lunch, like wraps, and grilled chicken and fresh fruit and healthy snacks that don’t taste like cardboard.  And on Monday morning (yesterday), I marched into that school with my brand new bento box.  Jourden said I was a traitor and she didn’t sit next to me at lunch!  Oh, well.  You can’t win them all.  It felt good not eating pizza for lunch the last two days.  Check out my bento box below.  It’s AWESOME!!!!

Bento Box

 This is what I got: Cool Gear EZ-Freeze® Collapsible Bento Box

Another Day, Another New Experience

Hi everybody,

Well, yesterday was the first day of school.  And guess what?  I survived.  It wasn’t that bad actually.  It was weird, but not bad.  There were so many kids there!  I saw a boy with a mohawk and a girl with blue hair!  I also saw a lot of kids I knew from elementary school, some of them were even in my classes; but I saw even more that I didn’t know.  The school is big.  The 7th and 8th graders are REALLY big.  I have seven classes, which means that I have seven teachers.  The lunch line was long.  The food was…….meh.  But, all in all, I had a pretty good first day.  I figured it was worth giving it another try, just so I could make sure that the first day wasn’t a fluke, soooooo I went back again today!  I know, right!  And guess what again?  Today wasn’t that bad either.  The chicken sandwich I bought at lunch, now that was bad.  Besides that, I didn’t get attacked by the mean girls (not yet at least, but I could spot them a mile away), or yelled at by the algebra teacher, or lost in some dark and distant part of the building.  I didn’t get stuffed in a locker and I didn’t even miss the school bus coming home.  Best part was I don’t have P.E.  Take that, Mr. Miller!  I bet he started off the first day of elementary school making those poor kids play dodge ball.  Not me.  Never again!  But, just in case things don’t work out with this whole middle school thing, I know that the animals are holding a spot for me in the forest!  smiley

Okay, moving on.  Starting middle school wasn’t the only new experience for me this week.  Remember back in June when I told you that I would be taking a chance and trying something new.  Well, today was the day.  I started at my new dance studio today.  It was a lot different than what I’m used to, but I liked it.  I think I was even more nervous to be going to a new studio than I was to be going to a new school.  That’s how important dance is to me and how much I want to improve my technique and increase my skill level.  I dream of dancing en pointe someday soon, but I have to work really hard to make that happen.  Well, that dream begins TODAY!  If you have something that you dream of doing, a goal that you want to achieve, remember that every day is an opportunity to have a new experience.  Some of them will be forced upon you (Hello…..middle school, anyone?); but other experiences you must force upon yourself, even if you’re scared (like me changing dance studios after five years of dancing with the same girls).  I hated to leave my friends and my teachers, but I needed to grow.  Don’t be afraid.  Have a new experience and pursue YOUR dreams!  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

DSCF1340

dance move

Middle School, Here I Come……….Unless I Change My Mind by Morning and Decide to Live in the Forest.

It’s here…..the first day of school is tomorrow.  Middle school.  That dreaded thing I’ve been trying not to think about for at least a year now, but definitely for the last several months.  Well, as my grandma always says, the only way through it is THROUGH IT.  I’ve avoided it as long as I can.  Unless, I run away in the middle of the night, leave my family behind, and go live in the forest with the animals, I’ll be in middle school bright and early in the morning.  And you know me.  Running away?  Leaving my family behind?  Living in the forest?  With animals?  Awww, heck naw!  Middle school is starting to look pretty good.  What would I eat in the forest?  And where would I sleep?  Leave my comfy bed behind and all of my cute, new school clothes, which, by the way, I’ll be unveiling to everybody on this very blog in the coming days and weeks.  Like I said, maybe middle school won’t be so bad after all.

In all seriousness, I’ve been getting ready for middle school for a few weeks now.  I got a bunch of new clothes and shoes.  I got two new backpacks from Pottery Barn Teen and you know they had to have my name monogrammed on them.  One of them arrived last week.  The other one is on backorder, so I’ll have to show it to you later.  Last Tuesday, I went to 6th grade camp, where we learned about the school and our schedules and having so many classes to go to each day.  We talked about dress code and the library and practiced opening our lockers.  I’m already a pro, but I’ll admit I’ve been practicing with a combination lock at home this summer.  Then on Thursday, I went back to school with my parents to pick up my schedule and school supplies and t-shirt and to put money on my lunch account.  No more bringing my lunch?  We’ll see how that one works out!  I might have to wage a protest!  Anyway, I took my big brother with me.  He’s in high school now, but he went to the same middle school two years ago, so he showed me where my classes were.  It was kinda confusing with all those hallways.  I will be taking advanced English and advanced math, Pre-Algebra to be exact.  I’ll also be taking Spanish and I’ll be in band.  I’m going to play the clarinet.  Oh, Lord, what have I gotten myself into?!?!  Okay, calm down, Ainsley.  This is me, not panicking.  Embracing my new life.  Not wishing that I could stay in elementary school forever.  Nope, not me!

Well, before I sign off for the night, I want to talk to all the other kids who are starting school this year and who might be nervous or even scared, especially if they are going to a new school with a lot of kids they don’t know.  I especially want to talk to the girls.

  1. You are not alone. Everybody else is just as scared; they just won’t admit it.
  2. Be kind to EVERYBODY. People will always remember the bullies and the jerks.  They will remember you because you were mean and they were scared of you.  And if you are somebody who thinks you are better than everybody else and you are mean to people, guess what?  I am willing to bet that your friends probably don’t like you either.
  3. It always seems worse than it really is. Every day is a new day.  As my mom always says, this too shall pass.  This too shall pass.  This too shall pass.
  4. Work hard on your school work. Always do your homework.  Be respectful of your teachers.  Get involved in something, like band.  Hang out with the smart kids, not the dumb ones.
  5. Be friends with people who are nice to you. Don’t try to impress the mean girls.  They are not your friends.  That will always end badly.
  6. And as my grandma always says, the only way through it is THROUGH IT.

Good luck this school year everybody!

Ainsley's Backpack 1

Pottery Barn Teen Gear-Up Graphic Multi Dots Backpack

Ainsley's School Supplies

Don’t Be a Mean Girl

So, I have been trying to figure out how to write about this subject.  It has been on my mind for a long time now.  I start middle school in less than a month and I am kinda worried about it.  I thought there was enough going on in elementary school, but I’m pretty sure it gets worse in middle school.  I want to talk about mean girls and how they treat other girls.  Whenever I would come home from school or dance class and I would tell my mom how certain people acted that day, if they were mean to me, or said something mean, or treated me badly – she would always say, “Ainsley, the reason why this person doesn’t like you is because they don’t like themselves.”  She would say that every time and it made me mad because it didn’t make sense.  Now it does.

Last year in 5th grade there were always girls who would argue, fight, and be mean to each other, usually over something stupid.  Our teacher and another girl in my class and me would call it “girl drama.”  I tried to stay out of all the girl drama, but sometimes the girls who create all the girl drama try to bring you into it.  They target you to be mean to.  There were two girls at school who caused me more girl drama than the rest.  One of them based her entire life off of talking bad about people and criticizing them and talking behind their backs.  She was a mean girl, but always acted nice when people were around.  As soon as they left the room, she would rag on them and laugh at them with other kids.  She treated almost everybody like that, even her friends.  She would compare herself to others and put them down.  She always had to have the better hair, the better clothes, was a better dancer, a better singer, smarter.  And instead of her being good at whatever she was doing and letting somebody else be good at what they did, she made them feel bad about themselves because nobody could be better than her.  Or so she would say.  And the thing about it is, most of the time when she was saying those things, she was wrong.  Not to put her down, but she had to make herself look good by making herself better than another person.

There was another girl who came to our school new a few years ago.  When we first met, she was nice to me.  She acted like she wanted to be my friend.  Then, after she became friends with someone I had been friends with forever, she started being mean to me.  She always criticized me to my face.  She tried to get my friend to like her better than me, instead of all of us just being friends.  There is another girl who was in my dance group.  She did the same thing.  She replaced a girl who moved away, but she made it a point of singling me out every time for criticism.  She was clearly the worst dancer of the group – not because she was a bad dancer, but because she hadn’t danced as long as the rest of us.  Nobody ragged on her dancing, but she made it a point of ragging on ours, especially me for some reason.  If there was a dance move or combination that she struggled with, she would get mad at me.  She always tried to pull the other girls in the group away from me and make them like her more.  She would accuse me of things that I didn’t do.  This went on for an entire year!  She made me soooooo angry.

My mom and I have talked about this a lot.  My mom calls it “Mean Girl Syndrome.”  There is even a movie about it.  My mom said that these kinds of girls were around when she was in elementary school, middle school, and high school too.  She said they were even around in college and at places she worked.  I hate it.  But, I do now understand what she meant.  If you are not happy with yourself then you find somebody else to pick on.  If you tell yourself and other people that this person is not as good as you, then it makes you feel better about yourself.  In my opinion, that is a sucky way to live.  If there is something that I don’t like about myself, I try to change it.  If I am having trouble with a combination in dance, I work on it until I can do it.  What good is putting down the other people who can do the combination?  You’re still standing there looking stupid because you can’t get it.

I don’t want to be a person who is mean or a bully just to make myself look good and to make other people feel bad.  I wish other girls felt the same way.  If the only way you can feel good about yourself is to mistreat other people, then that’s sad and I feel sorry for you.  Like my mom said, if I didn’t do anything to make you dislike me, then your obsession with talking about me must not be about me.  It must be about you!  And the only way to feel good about yourself is to stop focusing on other people and to focus on yourself.  Everybody is different.  There will always be somebody else smarter, prettier, and who dances better.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be smart, pretty, and a good dancer too.  It does make sense – people don’t like me because they don’t like themselves.  My wish for girls everywhere is that they stop being mean to each other and learn to love themselves.  Don’t be a bully!  Be a friend!