By Toni Runkle & Stephen Webb
Authors of “Glitter Girl”
1) What other people think about you isn’t as important as what you think about yourself. This is a lesson that everyone seems to learn the hard way. We so desperately want to fit in with the group that sometimes the fact that some people find us “odd” or “different” or “uncool” hurts our self-esteem. But it’s only from seeking out those who think like us (and they are out there, believe us) that we discover that not only is it okay to be different, it’s actually pretty cool.
2) That shy brainiac kid sitting next to you in math will one day rule the world. Often we confuse accomplishment with popularity when we’re growing up. In fact, we’ve been to enough class reunions to know that popularity early in life doesn’t lead to success as an adult. Whereas the kid who stays up all night building a Lego robot or writing that futuristic novel set in another galaxy is looked at as slightly bizarre by the average middle schooler, that drive and that intellectual curiosity is exactly what will get him/her noticed as an adult.
3) The wallflowers are the most interesting and the people worth knowing. Make the effort to know them. Here’s another case where getting outside your comfort zone can lead to big rewards. That shy kid who sits by him or herself at lunch might have more to say than you think. Plus, if you make the effort to befriend those around you, you are creating an atmosphere at the school that is better for everyone.
4) You will never regret standing up for what you think is right. Some of our biggest regrets come from knowing what was right and keeping silent about it. This is not to say we need to be busybodies, constantly wagging our fingers at the perceived failings of our classmates, but taking a stand for what’s right is among the noblest things we can do.
5) Heartbreak and Pain seems endless, but it always ends. There’s a popular internet campaign these days with the simple title “It gets better”. And while that campaign has a very specific purpose, the message is really true about any problems that we encounter. Nothing that happens in middle school lasts forever. There are so many chapter in your life left to be written. Those painful times don’t last forever. What you learn from them does.
6) The opposite sex is just as terrified of you as you are of them. When we look across the gender divide in middle school, we often think that the other side has got it all together. But they probably are just as nervous and self-critical as you are. Give yourself a break. And don’t rush. You have a whole decade or more of first dates and flirting ahead of you. You don’t have to start when you’re twelve.
7) Failing isn’t bad. Giving up is. This is one that we always need to remind ourselves of. There is great freedom in reminding yourself that failing miserably at something new puts you in exactly the same position as you would be if you had never tried it in the first place. Literally, there is no downside to trying and failing, because even if you fail 9 out of 10 times, you will have found one thing that you’re good at, which is one more than you knew about when you started.
8) Parents are right about most things and even when they’re not, they’re in your corner. When we get to middle school, it is practically required to think of our parents as at best “out of touch”, and at worst “actively plotting against our happiness”. Even though it may be hard to imagine, your parents WERE young once and may actually have acquired some wisdom along the way, even if they can’t program the DVR properly.
9) Sometimes your BFF isn’t your friend forever. Don’t take it personally. Defining friendship is perhaps the biggest issue that middle school students face in their life. Gone are the days when living on the same street was sufficient to make a friend, and we have to accept that people change as they become more of who they are. When a friend moves on, there’s a temptation to see it as a reflection on ourselves. It is not. It’s just life working itself out.
10) You will use that math in real life one day. Even if it’s only to help your kid with his/her homework. You’ll just have to take our word for it on this one.
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About Glitter Girl –
- True Confessions of a Trendsetter
Hi! I’m Kat. Welcome to my blog. I may be from a small town but I’m also Glitter Girl Cosmetics’ newest trendsetter. Thanks to my flair for fashion and my popular style blog, I’ve been chosen to be an Alpha Girl, which means I get to try out all the Glitter Girl products before they hit the stores.
Forty-eight hours after she blogs about the goodies in the new line, every girl at Kat’s school is sporting the gear. Kat’s popularity skyrockets, but Jules–Kat’s BFF–seems to be the only one who’s not buying into the Glitter Girl lifestyle. Is Kat willing to sacrifice her friendship for life in the fab lane?
By Toni Runkle and Stephen Webb
Ages 10 and up
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Toni Runkle and Stephen Webb are both working screenwriters in Los Angeles. They met in grad school at the University of Southern California and have been writing partners since. They are both married (not to each other) and have middle-grade daughters. Find them online: runklewebb.com. @kidslitwebb @writtenbytoni. Toni also run the popular mom blog, mammakaze.com.