We asked 10 middle schoolers the same five questions:
- What are your favorite things? What are you really into?
- What are you excited for about middle school?
- What are you worried about?
- What are your dreams for your future?
- Up until this point in your life, what or who has most influenced you?
This is what they had to say for themselves.
School this fall: Giaudrone Middle School, Tacoma
1. I like to game. I like playing Terraria. I like to read: Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles, Heroes of Olympus. I also love to cook. I make burritos.
2. All the clubs. Better food. Grilled cheese in the cafeteria.
3. I don’t really have any fears.
4. I want to get a scholarship for college. I want to be a chef and maybe invent a spaghetti pizza. Well, it’s already invented but I’m going to make it famous.
5. My teachers have really influenced me. I don’t really care if they are good or not, you know — nice — I just like it when they can teach me things for my life.
School this fall: Evergreen Middle School, Redmond
1. I really love to play with my sister and my friends. I like to swim. I’m excited to try out for the swim team, I’ve been learning Indian music for the past six years and I love that. I just started to play the violin two years ago.
2. I’m really excited for new teachers, more freedom, new friends.
3. I’m scared that I won’t be able to open my locker. I’m scared about the time we’ll have between classes to get to the next class. The homework. Their system of grading.
4. I want to be a doctor — I’ve known that for a really long time. I want to be a pediatrician because I like helping kids. Instead of injections I want to come up with something different that doesn’t hurt.
5. My parents have influenced me because they are always helping me and taking me to the right place I want to be. And my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Isaacson, she helped me grow.
School this fall: Marvista Elementary School, Normandy Park
1. I do enjoy shopping. I’ve been playing piano for five years. I can play the violin, the recorder. I’m into contemporary dance, musical theater.
2. I’m really excited to make new friends.
3. What I’m afraid of is sort of hard to explain. I might have a really strict teacher. Maybe I won’t be the brightest kid in my class. And there will be new kids.
4. I have a lot of dreams. First thing’s first: My teacher told me if you want to be famous, you should hold onto your dreams but have a backup plan, too. So I really want to be a broadcast journalist, but my backup plan is to own a bakery. I love baking cupcakes. 5. My teacher, Mr. Brase, was really nice. Thanks to him I’m smarter. He makes learning fun, seriously.
School this fall: Baker Middle School, Tacoma
1. I really like soccer. I play defense or forward. My favorite subjects are math and reading. I love fiction, and sometimes nonfiction.
2. In middle school I want to get into sports. I’m excited about the classes, how different they will be from elementary school.
3. I’m worried about not fitting in. If I don’t fit in, I guess I’ll just stay with my friends.
4. I want to become a soccer player when I grow up, and also an electrical engineer. What I like about engineers is how they make new things.
5. My teachers have always pushed me to go further in my work, and my friends also influence me because they’re always cheering me on.
School this fall: Seattle Hebrew Academy
1. I love to swim and I love to cook. I love to make salads. I love to bake cakes. I started getting into baking because I was always baking bread with my grandma when I was little. I like to write. In my book I write Torah lessons and reflections of my grandmother, and every Friday night I read them to my family and we all talk about it at the Sabbath dinner.
2. I’m so excited for middle school because I’ll be with all my friends. And our school is changing it up next year — we’re getting laptops!
3. My favorite teacher is moving schools, which makes me sad.
4. Sometime in the future, I really want to go to Paris.
5. My mom and dad have really influenced me. Also, American Girl dolls. I was really shy before I was in the American Girl fashion show. It helped me get past my nervousness. After the first show I was in, I felt like I owned it.
School this fall: Not sure yet
1. I like listening to music — Justin Bieber! I like sleeping over at friends’ houses. I like reading Percy Jackson.
2. I’m excited for middle school because I’ll get to go to different classes. I’m excited to see my friends. I’m excited for music: I’m going to play violin or bass.
3. I’m worried about not knowing where the classes are.
4. When I grow up I either want to be a fashion designer or a teacher. And I want to travel to Alaska. I was born there and I haven’t been there in a long time.
5. I’ve been influenced by my mom and dad. Sometimes, if I get in trouble at school or do badly, they encourage me to do better. My best friend’s mom is also important to me — she always tells me to reach for the stars and my goals.
School this fall: Aspire Middle School for the Performing Arts, Lacey
1. I love art and music. I’m good at drawing — black and white because I like people to imagine the rest of it. I’ve played clarinet, but now I’m moving to soprano saxophone. I also play piano and write fiction.
2. I’m really excited for the after-school activities at middle school. The clubs. I’m ready for more variety.
3. I’m maybe worried about finding friends, and about finding time to talk to them and hang out when we have only short breaks and lunch to do that.
4. I want to be an engineer, and architect, a home designer. I play this game Home Styler, where you can design and create buildings, and I’m great at it.
5. I’ve been influenced by five or six of my friends. And by my parents. They let me roam around — they let me have a huge mind, a wandering mind, so that I can find what I like.
School this fall: Truman Middle School, Tacoma
1. I like singing. I like playing my violin (but sometimes I don’t practice). I like the fast music best, bouncing my bow. Right now I’m playing “Gavotte.” I’m going to audition for the Tacoma Youth Symphony.
2. I’m so excited to meet the middle school teacher, and I can’t wait for lunch time.
3. I’m worried about eighth graders! Some of them are really tall. I’m nervous but excited. Not as nervous as I am excited.
4. I want to travel the world. Be a singer. Play in an orchestra. And be a dentist. I usually volunteer for a lot of things. I was the ASB president. I like to know what’s going on.
5. Someone who really influenced me was my fourth-grade teacher. She’s amazing. She has been fighting cancer. She’s had it four times now. She’s still fighting. She comes to school every day. She shows me you can do anything.
School this fall: Seattle Hebrew Academy
1. I like reading fiction and fantasy, the Percy Jackson series. I like Minecraft.
2. I’m excited to possibly make new friends. Freedom. I’ll get to walk to recess without a teacher. Also, we get a doughnut when someone has a bar mitzvah.
3. I don’t really think I’m worried about anything. I’m tall for my age so if anyone bothers me I’ll just look down and say, ‘I can’t hear you down there!’
4. I want to be an engineer and go to MIT. It sounds exciting.
5. My friends and family have influenced me. And my brother and sister help me and support me.