1. It's not cool to be smart, but it's smart to act cool.
When you're book-smart, you can often look like the teacher's pet. And NO ONE wants to be the teacher's pet. Yes, getting good grades will help you out in high school, which will help you out in college, but that would mean thinking long-term instead of in terms of the immediate future--which is nearly impossible for any youngster to do.
Also, being good at something in general means you stand out, which means you stand out to bullies, which means you could be their next victim. Better to just act like the rest of the popular kids--like you care about nothing (even though at this point you really care about everything).
2. People care about the labels on their clothes almost as much as they care about the labels on their Facebook page.
Who knew that some seriously ugly clothes would be considered stylish just because they came from a "brand-name" store? Ew. But if you want to fly under the radar, you should probably buy clothes from there. Well, your mom has to agree to buying the most expensive clothes for 11-14 year olds first, which might take some serious convincing. Perhaps a powerpoint. But no matter.
And now it's suddenly really, really important to have a significant other. What happened to "Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter to get more stupid-er?" Man, how times have changed. Your only hope is to doodle your name and your crush's name in hearts throughout your notebook and hope that the universe will grant you your very own bae.
3. If you're going to tell someone about your crush, you MUST also come up with a code-name for when you're going to discuss them.
Tell your BFFL if you absolutely must, but be careful. Perhaps, it is best to do this over text, so no meanie-butts can overhear you; just be ready to post "POS" at any moment.
Note: code-names should sound like a name that is actually realistic. So, not Otis, because people will figure out relatively quickly that it's a code-name. And there's only so many kids in your grade that you've been staring endlessly at.
4. Rumors can and will spread like wildfire.
You used "Otis", didn't you? Well, now everyone's convinced that you like that one kid in your grade (which you totally do, but you'll never admit it). And then the popular girls had to go and start a rumor that you've got a shrine built to honor him in your room. And that you practice kissing him on mannequins at the store. That's, like, a million kinds of disgusting. Where do they even come up with these things?
5. There are two sides to every story.
It's a shame that the rumor got to "Otis", didn't it? It hurts almost as much as the fact that you were trying really hard not to cry about it, but you ended up breaking down in the middle of gym class when you got picked last for teams (again). Your friends try and cheer you up, but some other kids are already laughing at you behind your back for getting all worked up over a hockey game in gym. If only they knew why you were so upset.
6. There are two sides to every person.
When you find out that the rumor was started by your BFFL, it's probably the most painful experience your adolescent-self has ever had. But the truth of the matter is that people can be vicious--even the people closest to us.
It's at this point when you realize that it's not about complying with these "lessons" that you've learned throughout your time in middle school. No, it's about going through this time with your head held high and heart held close. You must stay independent, stay true to yourself and stay strong. Those are the real lessons learned in middle school, you realize.
Too bad it took you until college to figure this out.