Updated: Oct 3
In 7th grade, I was a small fish in a big pond. Six kids from my elementary school went to Crescent View Middle and that was a hard adjustment. The majority came from Altara and Oakcrest and everyone knew everyone, and I knew no one.
Correction: 6 people.
I'll never forget the first day of school…
I was twisting the combination of my locker when 2 boys looked me up and down and said, "you're cute." In the background, a couple named Jessie and Greg were having a “kissing competition” with a goal to see who could kiss the most people. They ran up and down the halls, asking person after person for a kiss. Jessie won. She and Greg broke up.
Passing notes & giggles
My love of school faded with recess. Forgive me, but “P.E.” is not recess. It’s a sorry excuse for fresh air. I hated having a fat P.E. teacher tell us to run laps when she needed it more than anyone. I felt deeply wronged by the school system to go from three recesses in elementary school to ONE, 1 hour break a day, in middle school.
On top of that, it was wrong to coop young kids (11-13) up inside all day under fluorescent light bulbs, and serve us bready cafeteria food and 2% milk. How's anyone supposed to concentrate with that diet? How dare you!
Middle School was a place that required a good sense of humor to survive. The girls were catty, bubbly, or quiet. The boys were shy, hilarious, or horny. Going through puberty and shouting sexual innuendos with the apparent voice crack and balls drop. They’d shout shit just to see who'd respond. This was the first time I ever heard someone say: "I'd hit that."
... And I hit him in the stomach.
I’m not going to lie, I was flattered if a guy bat his eyelashes at me, but not just any guy... John, Kevin, or Weston. To me, they were the cutest guys in the whole entire school, and I loved their personalities!
I loved school! The guys were so cute! I liked a lot of people in my grade. A lot of us were born in the year of the dragon, and almost everyone was awesome. Overtime, I made more friends. Every day, I’d walk a mile home from school, and it was during this time, I met more friends in the neighborhood. I lived in a little suburb called Cranberry Hill. The neighborhood was predominately Mormon with cookie cutter homes, tree lined sidewalks, and every street ended with the word "berry." Here, I met Kami, Sidnee, and Lindsay: My friends on Bay Berry, Sugar Berry, and Sweet Berry Road! By the end of 7th grade, I made more friends and felt a little better about Middle School.
8th Grade was Awkward
We weren’t the oldest. We weren’t the youngest. We were pre-teens with zits and jacked-up teeth. Almost everyone in my grade had braces, pimples, a changing voice, or developing boobs.
The girls were hyper crazy. The boys' voices were cracking, balls dropping, and hormones ragin’.
I was relatively innocent until Victoria's Secret and Cosmopolitan Magazine. Lindsey introduced me to Cosmopolitan and the shocking news she shared in an article along the lines of “52 Crazy Ways to Please Your Man” was “place a donut around his dick, and eat it.” I always liked donuts, but for awhile, that article spoiled it for me.
I remember looking at this magazine and the advertisements of women in it for perfume, clothing, and skincare products thinking: “Is this how a woman is supposed to be?”
At the same time, Britney Spears and Christina Agulerlia were at the forefront of their fame having a battle of the ho in the entertainment arena. Britney just made her “Slave for You” VMA debut in a see-through (or not?) sequin dress, and Christina - practically naked in the music video “Dirtay” with Redman. I didn’t know it was legal? They pushed the sexual boundaries so hard with entertainment, that overtime, I became desensitized to the messaging. Unconsciously, inundated with messages of sexuality from mainstream media.
I had my first “boyfriend” in 8th grade. His name was John, and to me, the cutest in the school. He was athletic, Greek, and had bright red/brown eyes.
Despite the fact we were “boyfriend/girlfriend”, we never talked to each other! Ever! I wrote him a note once asking: “What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite food?” The response: Green and chicken alfredo.
We eventually broke up.
In 8th grade, the homework seemed to be getting harder, and there was no escape. Four more years of public school.
The more people I interacted with people, the better I felt about school. I literally got high off the "hi" of others. Every day, I’d come home, and thank god for a good day
and tan clear skin.
In 9th grade, I had a lot of fun. I recognized that school was one of the only times I'd be around so many people the same age, and I savored every moment of it.
I had cute friends and we got into a lot of mischief. At my 9th grade birthday party, we "cup caked" Josh Kim's house! Which, essentially meant that we smeared a bunch of cupcakes on his front door, garage, and porch.
John and I started dating again, and this time, we spoke to each other! It was so exciting. We went out to the movies and spent time with friends at Jordan Commons. John decorated my room for my birthday, and took initiative to have fun!
By the end of 9th grade, I loved middle school! I loved my class and everyone in it. Our school was special and we all became friends.
Just as our lives bonded, they were about to change again in the brave new world of High school.
People changed schools.