Middle Schoolers: How to Prepare for High School

Ashley Chen

11/20/20232 min read

As a 7th or 8th grader, many students start worrying about high school, and how to prepare for it, the same way high schoolers prepare for college. Many TV shows, or movies may present it as “a whole new world”, or an entirely different community and experiences, but in reality, it’s not. The course-load gets progressively more difficult, and the environment is changed, but there is nothing to fret about.

Even so, here are some key ideas to think about as a middle schooler transitioning into high school.

  1. Career Path and Major

First of all, what is a major and why is it important? A major is the particular field of study that a student in college is focused on and is earning a degree in. Usually, the major is connected to the field of work they aspire to be in when they graduate college. Most teachers and schools emphasize the importance of majors in middle school. But, as a middle schooler, you still have time to consider your major! Think of majors in broad terms for now.


Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my favorite pastimes right now?

  • Am I drawn to a specific career?

  • Which careers are my idols in?

  • What am I good at?

  • How do my academics look in context? Am I better at certain subjects?

Of course, these questions may not point to a major specifically, as there are many factors playing on a person’s major. But, factors like your favorite class may help you narrow down a broad type of major.

Here are some great resources for discovering majors:

  1. Summer School Courses

The courses vary from district to district, but many high schools offer summer school courses for incoming 9th graders during the summer. These courses may include math (algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2), chemistry, health, more. It’s suggested that if students want to get ahead before high school officially starts, they should take summer classes on campus. Not only is the advantage to advance in coursework in high school, but also to get the layout of your high school beforehand! Many students take math classes first during the summer to accelerate the path of their math classes, skipping a level during the normal year and hitting the AP math earlier. While this is an option, if you don’t want to overwork yourself during the summer before high school, it’s recommended you take a less rigorous course like health (most districts do have a required health class).

  1. Set goals for experiences and grades you want to accomplish during your 4 years in high school!

You only go through high school once, and for many, it’s one of the most memorable phases in life. It’s important to set some goals of the person you envision yourself being during high school. Of course, not all of it will succeed or go according to plan, but you may want to keep a checklist of all the things you wish to accomplish during your years in high school. Whether it’s academic (like grades), or interest-fueled (like starting or joining a club), or leisure based (friendships, attending social events like prom and homecoming). Don’t overthink as a middle schooler, and keep your head up! The time for high school will come soon enough, and if you keep these tips in mind, high school will be a blast.