The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

Growing Pains: The class of 2024 completes their first month of 6th grade

in ARS News/Showcase by

Transitioning from elementary to middle school is difficult for anyone. The end of elementary school can feel like the end of a childhood. You go from spending all day in the same classrooms with the same kids you’ve known for up to five years to being in an unfamiliar building with 800+ strangers and eight new teachers. Students come from all over Austin and from completely different socioeconomic backgrounds to a new school that’s known for its stressful workload. New Ann Richards students have to adapt to wearing a uniform, long bus rides, and homework every night.

“I miss all of the people from elementary school, like the teachers and my friends because I was close to them for five years,” 6th grader Aly Nuncio said. The way middle schools function is very different than the way an elementary school functions. Leaving behind an old school can be really difficult, especially considering the differences in learning style. Class time is much more structured and students have to stick to a stricter schedule with fewer breaks. When 6th grader Lauren Manley was asked what she missed most from elementary school she said: “Recess.”

Some of the biggest changes that 6th graders have noticed so far are that the amount of homework has doubled and that school is structured very differently. “Keeping up with all of the homework is really hard, ”6th grader Lillianna Moreno said. Many new students find that the increase in classes is the hardest part of middle school, navigating the hallways between classes and being able to remember all of your supplies is a common struggle. “Having eight classes is really weird for me because I used to only have three,” Manley said.

Although there are many unfamiliar challenges, new students have been enjoying their sixth grade year so far. With opportunities to take new classes and make new friends middle school is definitely an upgrade from elementary school. “I like the teachers. They’re all really nice and they appreciate all of the students,” Moreno said.  

Despite these students all being very different, many of them came for the same reason: to be in a school that proves that girls can do anything. “Ms. Goka came to our school and she said that this school is all about girl power, and that really inspired me,” Aly Nuncio (6) said.

Ahna, APP’s Visuals and Graphics Editor, is looking forward to her second year on the newspaper staff. Now in 10th grade, Ahna enjoys running on the Cross Country team in preparation for soccer season, creating art, and working in activism. Ahna’s preferred medium of art is digital production, with a focus on portraits and color editing. Ahna values animal welfare, and has volunteered with animal rescue organizations, and rescued her family’s dog. Ahna loves trying new things, avoiding squirrels, and showing off her amazing card tricks.

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