Dealing With Change


Dylan Blackwell, Editor

Change can be scary, upsetting, horrifying, stressful, or even relieving and exciting. There are so many forms of change, all with their own issues that you might have to deal with. And in middle school, these changes start to become a regular part of life.

So how do you deal with it all without breaking down?


Dealing with friend changes

One of the hardest things to change is who you’re friends with. It’s hard to discern who our real friends are, especially if bad friends might seem normal. 

Some signs you should let go of a friend (or anyone else in your life) might include:

  • They only talk to you when they need something
  • The conversation is unequal – the conversation always focuses on your friend and what they enjoy, not you
  • They put you down or make fun of you in front of others
  • You feel bad about yourself when you spend time with them
  • They’re aggressively competitive, to the point where you don’t want to play games with them
  • They aren’t happy for or angry at you when good things happen to you
  • They bring drama into your life
  • They talk badly about you behind your back
  • Your friendship is built on the fact that you do (or did) something for them
  • They bail on you consistently- whether this be on plans, calls, or even meeting up at lunch during school
  • They use your secrets against you and/or share them with others
  • They’re a bad influence and make you do things that get you into trouble
  • They aren’t reliable when you need them
  • They exclude you from things with the friends you share


When you want to step away from a friendship, there are a few different ways to do so, without getting into huge fights.

  1. Let the friendship naturally fade out
    1. Stop making plans and start hanging out with other people. 
    2. Eventually, you’ll become increasingly distant until you’re no longer friends.
  2. Confrontation
    1. Talk directly to the person about what’s bothering you (which may include telling them that you want to end the friendship)
    2. You may want someone without an opinion about the situation to mediate the conversation and keep it equal

Even if it feels like you’re being rude for stepping out of the friendship, you have every right to leave any relationship you would like.


Dealing with school changes

Another difficult change to deal with are school changes. These could be minor or major: from writing an essay to graduation. It’s difficult to see them coming, and even harder to predict the outcome. Here’s some school changes, and some advice from an 8th grader who’s had to deal with all of them.

  • Writing an essay or report
  • Missing assignments
  • Dropping grades
  • Teachers leaving
  • Graduating and/or Changing Schools


Writing an essay or report

Even though it seems like only a minor inconvenience, writing an essay, report, paper, or even an article like this one can be stressful, especially for people who like to procrastinate. The paper is usually a large part of your grade and can affect it drastically, but there’s no need to fear. Depending on the due date, set aside a set amount of time each night after school to work on the paper. This makes sure that you still have enough time to complete the paper on time, while still having time for other homework, and your social life.


Missing assignments

Missing assignments are more common than you would think, and even the smartest students sometimes have them. They can drop your grade, and can’t always be made up. It’s best to turn assignments in on time, but in the case that you didn’t you can always ask your teacher if there is any way to make up the assignment. If that option isn’t available to you, you can always try and do other work for extra credit. 


Dropping Grades

Dropping grades are scary, especially if the authority figures or extracurricular activities in your life require them to be great. Try and figure out the root of the problem, whether that be missing assignments, low scores, or something else. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for help, their job is to help you be the best learner you can possibly be.


Teachers Leaving

Especially recently, some of the school’s most loved teachers have left, and it’s devastating to students and staff alike. Switching over to new teachers or long-term substitutes can throw off the entire class. However, keep in mind that these new teachers are just as new to the class as you are to their teaching style. Make sure to be respectful and kind, and show your Dragon PRIDE, no matter what. These teachers are also usually open to suggestions and/or things that the teacher before them did, to try and make the transition as smooth as possible. 


Graduation and/or Changing Schools

At some point in life, all students experience going to a new school, leaving behind friends and teachers. Try and keep in touch with those who you will miss, by handing out phone numbers or new email addresses. Teachers love keeping in touch with their old students, so you can also try and email them through their old email. Try and make new friends by talking to those around you, especially other students who seem like they need a friend, or even someone to talk to.

If you or someone you know needs support with any changes or anything else going on in life, make sure to talk to Mrs. Tarantino ([email protected]) if you are in elementary school, or Mrs. Karnes ([email protected]) if you are in middle school. You can also always talk to Safe2Tell to report issues like bullying, harassment, etc. anonymously at