Back at the beginning of the school year, I wrote about how excited I was to go back to school, especially because it was my first year of middle school. But I was also a little nervous — what with the normal new stuff like teachers and the classroom. Plus, there is the new middle school stuff like schedules, rules, processes, etc.

Throughout the school year, I wrote two columns about school — one about my field trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, and how it related to the presidential election, and one about my amazing teachers.

Depending on how long you’ve been reading my column, you might have made the connection to that Back to School post, and figured that my nervousness was for no reason. I have loved every part of my first year of middle school.

If you didn’t make that connection, now you know. It’s really great being in middle school, with switching classes, being with groups of different people, being able to help in the library at recess (which is my favorite thing to do during that time), and more.

This freedom is part of what I talked about recently — the ups and downs of growing up. The freedom of middle school is definitely an up — though it takes some getting use to.

That makes me think. When you think of lessons that school teaches you, what comes to mind? For me, it’s: math, language arts, social studies, science, PE, Spanish, art, and last but not least, music/performing arts.

But when I think of this freedom and how we need to get used to it, school is the perfect opportunity to do so, without huge repercussions if we do something wrong. I think that there’s a hidden part of our curriculum in middle school and it’s all about how to handle the freedom. Now that I’m thinking about it, I can recall several instances where the hidden meaning behind a lesson had a lot to do with this topic.

So essentially, I’m saying that we’re learning a whole lot more than math, language arts, social studies, science, etc.

I have to give a lot of credit to my school for helping us prepare for life in that sense as well. They do so much, and I’m incredibly grateful for all that they do.