Middle School vs. High School: How they’re the same (and different)


Laura Durante, Opinion Editor

Making the transition between middle and high school can be exciting–and a little scary. Here are a few need-to-know differences between them.



Rather than having to worry about carrying an enormous stack of books and binders, you can now compactly fit and carry all of your belongings in your backpack! Not only does this mean that you now have your hands free, but your locker use will significantly decrease as well. While there are still students who have carried on the middle school tradition of returning to their lockers several times daily, many barely use theirs all, entirely replacing the locker with the backpack. I personally don’t even know where my locker is.


No longer do you have to secretly use your phone in the cafeteria or in between classes; in fact your phone is now available to you throughout the school day! Although phones are not permitted in attendance, guidance or the main office, teachers couldn’t care less if you use your phone at lunch or in the hallway. Some (not all) teachers even allow students to use their phones in class to research or to listen to music while working. While it’s only natural at first to be skeptical of this sudden rule change, I assure you that you will quickly grow accustomed to it…


Lunch in high school is not entirely different than lunch in middle school. Though you still get to enjoy eating food and spending time with friends, there are certainly some major differences. First and foremost, eating in the cafeteria is not mandatory. Whether it’s in the hallway, the band room, or the courtyard, you are free eat lunch wherever you like (as long as it’s not in the main downstairs hallway). Secondly, unlike in middle school where lunch is divided by grade level, everyone has block four as a free block. This also means that lunch does not actually have to be spent eating lunch. Students are free to walk around, do school work, and of course attend club meetings.


Congratulations! You now have far more than the previous handful of clubs to explore! High School offers a whole new array of choices. Coming into South, you were most likely blown away by the huge variety of electives to choose from. And while part of being a freshman means that the only real choice you have as to what classes you take are these two electives and your second language class, all this will change as you become an upperclassman. New options will present themselves such as different types of sciences and maths, new electives and AP courses. 

Advisory not homeroom

Unfortunately, high school does not begin with a few minutes of relaxation, everyday. However, we do have advisory! Advisory is a time to talk to teachers, get school work done, and attend club meetings. Leaving advisory typically requires some form of a note and strictness regarding leaving varies by teacher. But don’t worry, once your an upperclassman block three will be a free block too.

Block Scheduling

South’s block scheduling is a major upgrade from middle school’s six or seven periods a day system. Having four eighty minute classes a day allows both students and teachers to do far more than would have been accomplished in forty minutes, and alternating classes give us an extra day to do homework which is always a plus!