Hey, it’s Alex. Hope you are having a good year in school. I know making the transition to middle school was tough—to be honest with you, making that transition for me was harder than making the transition from middle to high school. You really have to stay organized, and I know you can, it’s much easier than you think it is. Here is the basic outline about the system, and what you HAVE to do to make it work. I promise, it’s very easy, but you can’t take shortcuts!
1. If Mom hasn’t made one for you already, get a three ring binder, and then put individual folders/sleeves for your homework and problems in. Label those sleeves with each class that you have. Preferably the sleeves are two-sided, so you can put homework and other assignments in both sides of them. Put the homework that you HAVE TO TURN IN for each class in the front of each class folder (so you can just open up your folder and have it ready to hand to the teacher instead of looking for it), and put the homework THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON in the back of the folder for each class.
2. Get three-ring binders for each class (besides your main three-ring folder with all of your current work in it), and once work is done or the teacher hands it back to you, you can put it in there just in case you need it later. That way you don’t clutter up your folder (like I did in middle school and high school) and you know where everything is! You can keep those three ring binders in your locker at all times unless you need them to get old work from them.
Here are tips that YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW while you are at school:
3. If I know you at all Liam, you are very outgoing and very social, and right after the bell goes off at the end of class, you want go pack up and leave as soon as possible. Please, for your own good, take at least a minute to make sure that you put all of the assignments that your teacher gave you for that class in the WORKING ON part of the folder in your main three-ring binder. Don’t just stuff it in your backpack or folder. In the end, if you do this, you’ll actually get to hang out with your friends more, because you won’t be looking for your stuff all the time when you could be hanging out with your friends. Spending one minute to get organized after every class (I do it still at college– I am always one of the last people out of the classroom, I promise) will save you so much time!
4. Also, try to get to class a couple minutes early. Have all your work out and books out that you will be working on in class. It’s such a good habit to have for high school and college especially! Once again, if you have all your stuff out before class, you can always talk to friends once you’ve done this. It’s probably a lot easier to ask a friend how he’s doing while he’s sitting down rather than while he’s running to class.
5. Don’t make excuses! Just go to class and give yourself plenty of time to get there. I promise that your friends will not think less of you if you just say hi to them while you’re walking to class instead of talking to them for a longer period of time. I stopped and talked to people a lot in high school, and I was late to class a lot. Plus, being late annoys the teacher and maybe not now, but later in high school and college, will annoy students. As I said, I really think the best way to get to know people is to get to class early and talk to them and ask them what they’re doing on the weekend, or how their sports are going, or whatever. And to your credit, only this year have I made a vow to try to show up early not only class, but practice and study sessions as well. You’ll also learn a lot better if you’ve given your brain some time to adjust to class rather than unpacking your bag as the teacher is talking.
You’ll do great Liam, and get great grades if you just follow this. Don’t make the same mistakes that I made! That’s the good thing about having an older brother– he makes mistakes for you! It really made middle school miserable for me, even though I was just as smart as anybody in my class.