Letter to 5th-Graders

​​Dear 5th-Graders, 

Welcome to Middle School at Poly! My name is Zoe Panzo, and I am an eighth-grader in my fourth year at Poly. I came to Poly in fifth grade from Brooklyn Friends School, and I am here to give you some advice about middle school. “Why am I doing this?” you may ask. Some of you may know there have been many letters from seniors to freshmen over the years. However, there has never been a letter from an eighth-grader to a fifth-grader, so here I am!  

I loved fifth grade. Looking back on it now, I realize that there are so many things I didn’t cherish that I should have. You need to be grateful and realize that having the opportunity to try out so many different things is extremely valuable. For example, trying out all the languages is beneficial because you have the opportunity to determine which you enjoy—the same goes for arts core. You need to realize that there are many more opportunities to try new things. 

An important class that most people don’t think is actually useful is Foundations. Fifth grade is when you learn to manage your homework and be organized. Foundations will help keep you on track to being successful in completing your work on time and managing your mental health. Once you get planners, that will also be a great way to make sure you are getting your homework done. In your planner, you can write down your homework as well as when your tests and quizzes are coming up. However, since we don’t have planners yet (they are back-ordered) you can use Google Calendar as a temporary planner. Using a digital calendar as a planner might not work for you, but fifth grade is also a time to realize how you learn best. If that means talking to your teachers to help you, do that!

There are so many people you can trust here at Poly to help you with all of your problems. In the Learning Center, they can help you manage your assignments and help you find tutoring opportunities, maybe even with a high schooler! You can also talk to Dr. Warner-Haakmat, the Middle School counselor, if you need help organizing your brain. Also, if you need anything, your dean can get it for you as soon as possible.

Other people who are important are friends. “Make good friends. Make friends that are kind and trustworthy,” said eighth grader Kaya Freeman. Kaya has been a very good friend of mine from my first day of fifth grade and she is still one of my closest friends at Poly today. “They’ll be some of your closest friends for your four years in middle school and as you go into high school,” Kaya said. Your friends are the people you spend almost every day with. Last week I saw Kaya every day of the week, but there is never a dull moment. Even if you only have two close friends, it is so much better than having 10 toxic friends. 

Thank you for reading, and I hope that this helped! If you ever have any questions, you can also reach out to me at my email ([email protected]). Have an amazing rest of your day and a fantastic year!