10 Keys to Middle School Success

Middle School can be hard sometimes but there are a few ways to make yourself more successful. Teaching yourself positive habits and practicing them during middle school can have huge benefits on your current grades and scores, as well as high school and college down the road. 

1.  Ask for Help

Asking for help is essential to a successful middle school experience. You might think it’s embarrassing but if you don’t ask then it could cost you a good grade. If you don’t understand something it’s vital to ask a teacher or classmate for a hand. Asking for help is an extremely valuable life skill to have. Teachers love when you ask for advice because it gives them a chance to get to know you better. It’s not a weakness to need guidance from time to time. Everyone needs assistance at one point or another.

2.  Stay Organized

When you have to dig through your binder or bookbag every time you need something, you’re wasting time. Constantly searching for assignment due dates is another way to lose time and momentum. Use a planner, arrange your papers and notes by class, and categorize all your school supplies to make school a much more straightforward experience.

3.  Set Goals

Setting educational goals can have a very beneficial effect on your overall school experience. Put small targets in place throughout the school year for assignments and tests. Tell yourself “I can get an A on this test” or “I can turn this in on time” to create positive affirmations. Setting long-term objectives can help you score higher on your SOLs or finish the year with the grade you want. 

4.  Study Smart

Developing healthy study habits can make assignments, tests, and quizzes so much smoother. Instead of studying in bed while listening to music, try sitting at a table or desk and focusing only on your work. Always making sure that school is the only factor in your mind is extremely crucial. Learning to study smart is overall an amazing item to have in your education.

5.  Participate in Class

Taking part in class is an extremely important factor in learning. “It’s important because it helps me learn and stay engaged in class,” says 6th grader, Jack Johnson. Involving yourself in class every day can benefit all aspects of school life. Raising your hand in class and contributing to group projects can lead to a great middle school experience.


6.  Take Care of Your Health

Maintaining good health is exceedingly valuable to a good education. Being in excellent health makes school means you’re focused on school and not on trying to get well from a minor illness, or worse, a major health crisis.Always remember, don’t ignore your mental health. It’s just as important as your physical health. Having to deal with health issues can lead to missed school which could cause you to miss out on important lessons. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating well is a great first step to taking charge of your health. 

7.  Make Good Friends

Pick friends who are high on support and low on drama. Maintaining good friendships throughout middle school can have an amazing effect on how well you perform at school. Friends that distract you from learning and cause you to lose attention in lessons can be very harmful to your education. When asked “Why is it important to make good friends?” Keeley Prosser says “To be with a lifelong friend and have support through difficult times.”   

8.  Plan Ahead                                        

Planning ahead can make school much simpler. Instead of waiting until the last minute to finish your work, try doing it as soon as you get home. Procrastinating on your work can negatively impact your grade. If you wait to do it the night before it’s due you might forget it or run out of time due to other time commitments. Keeping a planner (digital or paper) or setting reminders can help you stay ahead of deadlines and remember to turn in all your work on time. 

9.  Take Notes

You might think that taking notes is time-consuming and not worth your while but it actually helps you learn, retain, and study course material. If you struggle with memorizing parts of a lesson, try writing them down and studying them. Taking notes in all your classes will help improve your test scores. Having notes before exams and quizzes can make it much easier to study and review.

10.  Keep a Positive Attitude

Keeping a positive attitude during the school day can boost your outlook on school and life. Being negative to yourself and others will bring you and everyone around you down. Constantly saying, “I’m going to fail this test,” or, “I’m never gonna understand this,” creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, say, “I need a little extra help (see #1 above) because I’m smart and I will get this.” Being kind and confident in yourself is essential to a quality education. 

Incorporating these skills can take time and commitment. Find a friend (see #7) and hold each other accountable to adopting these keys to success into your middle school routine. These aren’t a guarantee that middle school will magically become outstandingly easy, but they will certainly help increase your academic success. Keeping on top of your academics, working hard, and staying active in school will lead to great results.