One thing our local high school does really well is ease the kids and their families into high school. For the past two years, we've gone to the middle school orientation. The girls have taken advantage of summer camps with the high school coaches. Last year they talked about going to football games. This year, they decided going to football games was going to be their Friday night activity.
It helps that they have friends who moved from middle school to high school this year. They hear about all the fun those friends are having in high school. They feel like they are at the game visiting their friends or watching their friends perform in the half-time show.
Sure they are middle schoolers still, but they feel like they belong at the high school. The reality is that if their birthday was a few weeks earlier, they would be in high school. They would be the youngest in their freshman class, rather than being the oldest in their eighth grade class.
They made plans with a friend who lives close to the high school. After getting ready here, they all went to her house so she could get ready. They walked over to the high school and hung out in the stands.
If social media was correct, they had a lot of friends there. I saw a lot of people I recognized in various feeds. Everyone looked like they were having fun, which made me smile. The photos I saw could have been any group of friends from any era. Friday high school football games remained the same, fun way to hang out with friends that it was when I was in high school.