How to get through your first 2 days of middle school and lessons learned from competitive soccer.

Transcript from the GIRLBRAVE Podcast. Episode 4.

Today I'm talking with Rylee. Rylee interviewed me for a school project she's doing about girl's self esteem. And then I interviewed her. Rylee gives great advice on how to best transition from elementary school to middle school and what she learns from being on a competitive traveling soccer team. So let's do it. 

Hi Riley. How are you? Tell me where you're from. This is my first podcast where I'm doing it over zoom. Where do you live? 

 I live in Oakland, Maine. 

And what is it like living in Maine? What's the weather like? 

It's cold already. Like it's already snowed and it's, yeah, it's, it's just crazy. It's already cold outside and yeah, we've already had a snow day. 

Oh wow. So did you watch movies and drink hot chocolate? 

Yeah, that's what I do. I went outside a little, it was really cool and so I just came back in and watch them. Christmas movies. 

Well, I've never been to Maine before, but I hear it's beautiful. 

Yeah, there's a lot of like mountains and valleys.

And I know you're in sixth grade, you just started, is it called middle school there?Middle school. 


What's the transition been like from elementary to middle school? 

It's so you have more responsibility but I like it because at the same time you have more freedom and you ha you can join more clubs and um, also too, cause there's three different schools that joined so I got to meet a lot of new friends and make new friends and that was really fun and I liked that. And having transitioning and different classes, stuff like that. That was really fun. I like it a lot more. 

My daughter's going to be in sixth grade next year kind of advice. Would you give her starting a new school? 

I would give her advice. Um, too don't be nervous cause at first it seems like it's very overwhelming and you feel like you're just going to get lost. But it's, it'll, it ends up being a lot more fun. And if you ever have any problems it's, they'll help you. It's a lot. Once you like after the second day, it's almost like you're already used to it. It's, it's very, you get used to it very quickly and it's a big step up. But it's a lot of fun.Well that's good to hear. She'll be excited. She's going to a school where she'll, she won't know very many people. 

How did you meet when you were meeting new people from new, do you have any advice on how you interact with them or say hi? 

So it did help because a lot of the new people I know were, so I knew like two people there, but they're friends cause I didn't go to their school. So I know a lot of new people. But it helped because she helped me introduced. But um, cause when the people that you're in that are in all your class and you get to know well, so then especially like in your classes, you'll eventually find out things that you have in common with each other and are probably like on the first couple of days they'll probably talk about things that you have in common. And so it'll help. And you'll probably find someone who could be a good friend to have. 

That's great advice. Thank you. Tell me a little bit more about being a GT girl. What that stands for. 

Well it stands for gifted and talented and I'm in it for reading, but, so the this year, well we're working on like doing a project, I'm finding something. Yes. Anything you thought was important. I chose, um, girl empowerment and um, my GT teacher, Ms. Paquette, like said she knew just the person and just the website. So, um, that brought us today. I'm working on a trifold and we're going to do a big presentation or, um, where we get to show off what we've done. And that's really exciting. 

What made you choose an empowerment? 

Because I, a lot of girls don't have confidence and I definitely probably don't have full confidence. I think I struggle too with like not having a lot of confidence and stuff. And I know there's a lot of other girls too that are even worse and don't have any confidence at all. And so I think just researching about it and looking into it more is I just like, I just like working on the topic and stuff like that. Yeah, I'm the same way. 

Why do you think that girls your age don't have self confidence? 

I think one reason is because it doesn't help when some people are just negative to each other because when one person has a bad day, then they, if they reflect it to someone, it can just make everyone not feel good. And especially young girls talking about equality too, when girls have a reputation for being weak and fragile, it doesn't help. And then it's just, you're kind of put into a position where you're supposed to like grow up to be like not as strong. And so that doesn't help too. 

Yeah, there are some negative of negative views of, or old thoughts about how girls should be smaller and weaker and meeker. What sort of things do you look at to cheer yourself up? 

I always think try to just stay on the positive side of things. Always look at what's going like if there's something, if you're struggling with something, just always think, um, what's going well in your life. Like maybe if you're having a bad day, at the end of the day you can think what you're excited to do. 

Like if today if I had a bad day and I can like, well I'm really excited to do the GT for the patient or Christmas and that kind of makes you happy cause you're excited and you can't wait and it's something to look forward to instead of coming down on the negative thoughts and that sort of just trying to stay looking on the good side. Yeah. 

Do you feel like it's easy to step back and look at those positive sides or is it something that you have to work at? 

Yes, it's definitely something you have to work at and sometimes you just get so frustrated. It just, that's all you can think about it and you just want to like just Def out and just just hate everything. But sometimes it's nice to talk about it with your friend drive to talk about stuff like that. 

I just, I don't like or stuff that's frustrating me with my mom cause it helps sometimes to just talk to someone about it and get it all out of your head or even just like writing it down because once it gets all out, like you probably will still think about it. But it's even just like looking at something small. Like I got a 100 on my test today or something a little like that or someone complimented my shirt. Just something little can help. But it's hard sometimes when you're just so down in the dumps. 

Yeah, it really is. It definitely takes practice. I always think of it like it's almost exercising where at first it's, it's hard but as soon as your muscles remember the moves and it gets easier and our brains try to think for the look for the positive part of our our lives, then it's easier. Yeah. So what else? What other things are you into? Do you do sports or any other clubs you're in? 

I am very into soccer. I do soccer in the fall, spring and winter. I just really like the sport and I do travel soccer and that's really fun. I like, I like I on the travel team I get, it's like all girls. So I get to meet all new girls from Waterville and stuff and that's really fun to just have like a little family. I also do band. I tried it for the first year. 

This first year since I'm in middle school now and I do the float and it's been really good so far. I'm really liking it so I'll still getting used to it, but it's been really fun. And then I do softball in the spring, which is really fun. I like doing that cause I just like hanging out with my friends and just doing sport, um, being active. And then that's for right now, that's what I'm in to that, that's all I can think of right now. But yeah. 

Do you have a soccer or band story that you can share about a cool experience that you've had or something that you've learned from it? 

So I've learned like from soccer a couple of like there's this one team that no one likes on our team. They're just kind of, um, they just are negative and they just always want to win, you know? And they're a little aggressive, like they're, they're pushy a little. 

But, um, it's, it's something that helped me to learn is that sometimes they just want to make you mad, but if you just ignore them and just play your game, even if they're being negative, like the whole point, sometimes it's just wanting them to make you mad too, but you just kinda gotta ignore them and just think like, I'm going to beat them and just let, if they want to be mad, they can be mad if they're like, if they're going to, you can help them too. But if stuff like that, that helped me. 

Yeah, that's smart of you. I bet that doesn't make them very happy when they're, when they're trying to make you mad and it's not working. 

Yeah. The, some teams are like, they just get so aggravated. And then like when we like score something, we get all and obviously it's no fun to lose, but even like, it's just, they don't, they're, they just are certain, sometimes they're negative, but if they can just, I don't know, if you just stay positive on yourself and on your own games and then it can help a lot and just, yeah, just think I can be, I'm like, if they want to be negative they can, but that's probably not going to do any good to them. So, but they definitely don't like when we're not, don't get mad too, you know. 

Yeah, I can imagine. So how far do you guys travel for your games? 

We normally just go up to two hours away.But this year I started, I started like a premier team for like two seasons and we're actually going to travel down to Massachusetts, which is like four hours away about. So that'll be really fun to just say hanging out with the team and stuff. But yeah. 

And does the coach give you guys any pep talks on the drive down? 

So I think so actually for the travel team, my coach is my dad, which is awesome. But like when we get there sometimes like on, especially on the way down, it'll help my dad and mostly like rock music and stuff to like pop me up. And when we get there we like kind of get in a huddle. 

It's fun cause we all get to talk to each other too. So, um, so we get to talk like just say we gotta beat them guys or even just like talking about just talking to each other and it can like get us closer and like get us more like excited for the game, you know? 

Well, super fun. I'm excited that your dad is your coach. 

That's right. 

Cool.So this is a question I ask the girls and when we do this podcast, the name of the podcast is called called Girl Brave. And so I'd like to ask you what your definition of being brave means to you. 

I think being brave is being able to stand up for yourself and being brave is being able to do what you want to do. Like if you want to do something, you just go for it and you don't, you don't like have second thoughts about it. Like what if you can't do it? 

And like being brave is just, um, you can do what you want without being nervous about it and be a second thinking it, you know, stuff like that. I think that's what brave means to me.I love that. One more question and then I'll let you go eat lunch. 

Okay. Um, how do you stay happy? Any advice you'd give to other girls? 

You can find a good friend. It really helps just to talk to them about stuff and you can always, like, even just thinking about just hanging out with them can really make you happy. Just finding someone to make that makes you happy is always fun. Like, can you hang around them and stuff. They can always put a smile on your face and that always helps. 

And what about the girls that you're talking about earlier that might be negative? What do you do when one of your friends is a negative? 

When there's girls who are negative, I normally try to stay away if there's are some girls who are negative, but you kind of just have to, like I said, like ignore them and if they, if they are, if they kind of just have a negative, but they want to hang out with you, you just have to like, you can out with them, but just try not to get involved and talk about that stuff, but just try to stay away from them and just hang out with the people you that makes you smile. 

Oh my gosh. I love that. That's so good. Well, thank you so much, Riley. you are amazing. I hope your project goes well and good luck with everything. 

Go brave is a celebration of girls who are brave taking up space in the world and claiming it. Thanks for listening. Join us next time on the Girl Brave podcast.

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