Middle school – the worst three years of your life. Of course, you don’t truly comprehend how awful it was until you actually leave middle school. Back then, you thought the dip-dyed Kool Aid hair and blue eyeshadow made you look cool, and middle school was the prime time of your life. Now you get to have your own locker, a new phone, and (ugh, finally) be able to attend boy-girl parties.
Emily Fisher and Kayla Conaty: 7th grade to 11th grade
While middle school is definitely not the prime of anyone’s life, it is the time when you truly find yourself – and by that, I mean going through ridiculous phases that make you want to suffer a type of amnesia that eradicates all memories from age 11-14.
The teen angst phase:
This is the phase that hits around age 12, when your music taste solely consists of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and the occasional Paramore. You always kept your MSN Messenger profile fresh and new, with a different song lyric every week — depending on how particularly angsty you felt. Sometimes it was Fall Out Boy’s classic “I want to hate you half as much as I hate myself,” other times, My Chemical Romance’s “if you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see you can find out firsthand what it’s like to be me.”
Jackie Wirt: 8th grade to 12th grade
When you’re 12, dark and tortured, musicians are the only ones that can truly understand how hard the agonizing lifestyle of a teen really is. To complete the aesthetic, you attempt to dye your hair with the darkest Kool Aid bottle you can find, and adorn the clip-on nose ring you were able to order off Amazon.
Sydney Kim: 6th grade to 11th grade
The rebellious phase:
Alright, now all this teen angst is making you realize that you shouldn’t hate yourself – — it’s your parents that are the problem. Middle school really opened your eyes to how great freedom is, and now all your parents want to do is take that away from you. This was the time when you spent long hours on Urban Dictionary searching up new bad words to impress your friends with, declared homework was a waste of time to all your teachers, drew on Sharpie tattoos, and smoked Smarties. You were unstoppable.
Neil Weidinger: 6th grade to 11th grade
The faux-rebellious phase:
So you want to be a rebel — but the Jonas Brothers concert is coming up and you don’t want to get in trouble with your parents and end up getting grounded. You decide to instead embark on the faux-rebellious phase — not quite a hardcore rebel, but your parents get the idea. You bring your friends along in your mom’s minivan so they can carpool with you to the shopping mall, and head straight to Hot Topic.
Rhea Singh: 6th grade to 11th grade
At school, you take out your new black eyeliner and pile it all under your eyes (you can’t put it on at home or then your mom will see), rock your (already) ripped jeans, and blast music in your headphones that uses the word h*ll at least four times. In all honestly, you are not really a rebel, but in middle school, it’s all about the image – and people have to know that you think your parents are just sooooooo unfair.
Yana Mihova: 6th grade to 10th grade
The I-need-to-fit-in phase
So now everyone in seventh grade got over the rebellious phase. Now it’s all about the Abercrombie era. Your beg your mom to raise your allowance so you can binge-shop at Abercrombie and Fitch (and maybe even Aeropostale, if you’re lucky.). This is the phase when all you think about is desperately fitting in.
Ishaan Madan: 8th grade to 12th grade
Being different or being yourself? Not an option. It would be social suicide to listen to anything but Justin Bieber, watch anything but “The Vampire Diaries” and “Teen Wolf,” or wear any accessories but gaucho pants, Uggs, sequined purses, and chokers. Unfortunately, middle school couture and fashion trends can change unexpectedly, so it’s important to stay updated so as not to completely ruin your seventh grade rep.
Lexa Risjad: 7th grade to 11th grade
The OMG-I’m-in-love-with-him phase
This was when you realized that Jake from art class was literally your soul mate. One time when you got up to get crayons, he did too. Basically, this was the phase when you were absolutely boy-crazy.
Patrick Koopmans: 6th grade to 11th grade
You would make sure to always carefully adjust your side bangs, reapply your strawberry-flavored Lip Smacker, and roll up your denim skirt once before going out to the cafeteria where he would be. This is the phase in which you got your first boyfriend and girlfriend, when your parents finally let you go on a proper date at The American Club. You spent all night (and by that, until your bedtime at 9:30) sending flirty texts and dreaming about being middle-school sweethearts:
The middle-school-valedictorian phase
Okay, now you’re 13 and in eighth grade, and it’s time to start thinking about college. This is the phase when you went overboard on caring for your grades and wanting to become the nonexistent middle school valedictorian.
Zoe Adamopoulos: 6th grade to 11th grade
You impressed your friends on how you could solve equations like 2x=4 which had both numbers and letters. High school was quickly approaching, and you wanted your middle school GPA to be perfect for colleges to see. Unfortunately, this hard work ethic lasted for approximately two weeks, and then it was back to being the awkward, prepubescent, 80-pound teen that still thought it was cool to wear 700 Silly Bandz on one wrist.
Fortunately, this dark era came to an end through the years of high school, as seen by the transformations above.