MTV’s Awkward is one of my favorite shows, and I can definitely relate to the uncomfortable situations. There is one phase of life, though, that is more awkward than high school: middle school.

Passing Awkward Notes

In middle school, in the land before time texting, all of the best gossip and conversations traveled via notes passed in class. If you had something juicy to tell your best friend or just wanted to chat, you would write it in a carefully folded note that must not, at all costs, fall into the wrong hands. If you had nothing to talk about, you could make a paper plane, tabletop football or a fortune teller. Notes were also a less risky way to ask your crush if they like you back or if they want to go to the dance with you: circle yes or no. Waiting to get that note back was torture.

Awkward School Musicals

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy High School Musical. But, like most movies, they are nowhere close to an accurate portrayal of what a school musical is actually like.  Everyone would try out for the leads whether or not they could sing because getting cast as a lead was pre-internet equivalent of instant rockstar status. What really annoyed me about this was the shameless elitism of the leads. Before the invention of YouTube, being the best singer in the school automatically meant you were the best singer in the world and would probably be dropping out of school soon for a starring role on Broadway.

Since I can’t sing, I was always relegated to the ensemble cast. Being a part of the show was always fun… until I watched it (on a VHS tape, obviously). What seemed to me like a Tony-award winning performance of Peter Pan was actually a nearly three hour long trainwreck!

Awkward Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

At my middle school, a person’s popularity was easily measured by the number of bar or bat mitzvahs he or she attended. Super-popular people sometimes had to attend two in the same day. And oh, the horror, because My Super Sweet 16 and probably most weddings have nothing on these parties. There was great food, tons of party favors (hello, giant sunglasses and inflatable guitars) all of the best dance music, and by that I mean the Macarena.

But when you think about it, is gettin’ jiggy wit it in front of your extended family any less awkward than a couple being separated by the principal at a dance for grinding too sexually? And if you weren’t invited to the hottest bar or bat of the weekend, you were totally out of the loop. Two people in my grade had their party together and it was, as they say in high society, the social event of the season. And it felt like everyone was invited but me. I’M STILL MAD ABOUT IT. Even though I’m not jewish, I totally wanted a bat mitzvah. My confirmation party was fun, but catholic kids totally get shafted by having to wait until eighth grade for their big, lavish parties.

First. World. Problems.

Or as we said in middle school, mo’ money, mo’ problems, but coming from a bunch of thirteen-year-olds, that’s pretty awkward too.


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