Life in middle school: Stepping into a new year

Group of four pre-teens smiling in front of a white wall wearing blue polo shirts and khaki bottoms
CIS eighth grade students chosen to write the "Life in Middle School" column in Camana Bay Times for the 2021/22 school year include, from left, Kylah Murphy, Laia Swaminathan, Rhea Swaminathan and Nathaniel Shaughness.

Four eighth-grade students at Cayman International School have been selected to write the "Life in Middle School" column in Camana Bay Times for the 2021/22 school year. For their first article, each student has written what he or she looks forward to in the new school year at CIS.

As even the most reluctant of them will admit, CIS students are excited to advance to the next stage of their schooling and once again fill their schedules with activities. I know that I can’t wait to see my friends again, and can assure you that I have missed the hectic routine of the school year.

All the opportunities that emerge throughout the year at CIS are what really sculpt us. Whatever we are interested in, there is a club or team waiting and ready to welcome us.

CIS encourages us to be well-rounded students, so with the start of school comes opportunities for growth.

CIS teaches students that their actions affect others as well as the environment. In the last school year, seventh graders made documentaries to raise awareness about endangered species. CIS also stresses its four community principles: kindness, partnership, sustainability and good intent. As eighth graders, we will be expected to follow these principles, as we are role models for the sixth and seventh graders. Eighth grade will definitely not be what we are used to, but we are ready to see what it has in store. 

The first thing students think of when moving into eighth grade is that we are one step closer to high school and the excellent new facilities. High school is a place for students to build meaningful relationships based on common interests and goals. 

This school year, we are anticipating more interaction with students from other schools. Interschool collaborative projects became rarer in the last school year due to COVID-19, but this year offers a chance to get to know the pupils in other schools better.
As eighth graders, we are looking forward to getting the choice between several electives, including band, choir, drama, genius hour and art.

From sixth to seventh grade at CIS, there is a large difference in the intensity of schoolwork as students progress through middle school. Projects become less common and exams become more frequent. As an eighth grader, I expect this trend to continue.

Larger workloads and more stress can cause middle school students to lose sight of their opportunities for learning and growth. Middle school provides a large variety of exciting extracurricular activities.

Personally, I am excited for the challenges and opportunities this new school year has to offer. 

This article first appeared in the September 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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