Caught in the Middle(School) Again

It’s been a while. So let’s talk about middle school.

There were a lot of things I wanted to say when I was in middle school that I never actually said. Now I need to say them because I think I have something called “perspective.”

If you couldn’t already tell, I did not have a very good experience in middle school. Though, who am I kidding? You probably could tell. People who feel the need to blog and constantly connect with others through online media were obviously never a big hit with the middle school demographic.

I was either being ignored or I was being laughed at. I don’t know which I preferred. That’s like choosing between drinking kombucha or eating kale. I can live without either. But did it make me a stronger person in the long run? Debatable.

We all know that middle schoolers are the scariest people in the world. But now I think I know why.

When you’re going through middle school, it’s the time of your life that can make or break you. You’re just starting to have your own opinions on important issues, but you’re still learning things like geography and proper punctuation. So you’re becoming rational thinkers, but you’re also really stupid.

From a female perspective, middle school is that time in our lives when we start bleeding from our vaginas for no apparent reason. So it’s all just very gruesome and dramatic. Plus, some swelling (gestures to breast area) is happening, and you discover that you don’t really look cute without makeup anymore.

So half of us sixth graders were bleeding and becoming women, and then there were the late bloomers like me who had no understanding of why these other girls were being so mean to me when really they probably just put their tampon in a little weird that day and it was causing them some discomfort.

My mom tried to help me understand what was happening with all the girls my age. She had given me a book all about periods around this point, but I was in the middle of reading Bridge to Terabithia at the time, so I just never got to it.

That book wouldn’t be relevant to me for another 3 years.

Yes, Little Teri Schafer was not so little when she first got blessed with being a woman. On the final day of the final hour of the year 2007 (at her annual New Year’s slumber party, I might add), not-so-little Teri Schafer received her gift. It was not only the dawn of a new year, but the dawn of a new age in terms of my emotional stability.

Looking back, it’s a good thing I never got my period when I was in middle school. The kids were just so mean. If I was on my period then, my unpredictable mood swings probably would have pushed me to do something drastic. I’m not talking crime or anything like that – I probably just would have let my grades suffer a little more than they did.

So now is that time in the writing process where I am supposed to make my “point.” The point is this: the year after graduating college feels too much like middle school again. I’m reading a lot, I’m thinking about writing the next great American novel, and I eat most of my meals alone. So, yes, exactly like middle school.

But instead of periods, we’re all getting jobs – and not just the women this time – the men, too! And these jobs of ours are creating a whole new world of adult responsibilities and abdominal pains, accompanied by all new emotional hills and valleys.

I don’t want to be in middle school again. We’re all going through some crazy changes right now, but let’s use our instability (emotional and otherwise) to discover what it is we really care about and to remember to be nice to one another. No one should have to feel like they’re going it alone.

So. Does anyone want to hang out this weekend?

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