12 Going on 18


Bill Russel

Over the past decade, many things have changed due to evolving trends and new discoveries made in the world. Along with these changes has arisen another monumental shift: the level of maturity in middle schoolers.


When the class of 2023 and other classes who came before them were in middle school, they went through all the awkward stages that a middle schooler could go through regarding fashion, makeup, and so much more. However, it seems as if the middle schoolers now are not going through the same things that past middle schoolers went through. These are a few reasons as to why there is a significant change in maturity regarding how these young teens present themselves.


The first reason as to why middle schoolers are potentially maturing faster in recent years is because of technology. Technology has advanced exponentially over the past decade, and it is being offered to younger and younger kids. These kids can now use technology to make social media accounts and mature because of what they see online.


While it is not necessarily bad for middle schoolers to have their own devices and have social media, it can be taken to a negative extreme. 


Katie Bishop of bbc.com explained that “the average parent allows their child a smartphone at age 10.” 


As the years go by, this number is potentially going to get younger and younger. 


Bishop continued by stating that younger children having access to technology “open[s] up a world inaccessible to previous generations, with unlimited access to news […] and other privileges previously reserved for adults.” 


Because middle schoolers can have this much information and control right at their fingertips, it can cause them to mature in a more emotional way.


Another reason as to why middle schoolers are maturing faster than before is because of changing fashion trends. Fashion has always evolved as time goes on, and it has become more extravagant and revealing in the past decade. Middle schoolers are now exposed to these trends through seeing others partake in them, especially on social media.


Lyda Dok from daily49er.com tells of her personal experience regarding middle schoolers and current fashion trends: “I have witnessed my little cousins in middle school dressing up as 16-year-olds.” 

Generally, people look up to those that are older than them and try to be like them, especially when they are little kids. This is no exception for middle schoolers. They see their older siblings (and their friends) start wearing clothes that are trending, and they start to copy them. This then causes middle schoolers to start appearing more mature.

One last reason as to why middle schoolers are starting to attempt to mature faster than past years is because of the pressures that society presents them. Middle schoolers are entering a phase of life where the schoolwork is getting harder, friendships are becoming more complicated, and expectations from parents are beginning to rise. In more recent years, these pressures are starting to weigh more, causing middle schoolers to mature faster.


Younger teens are more “likely to show […] independence from their parents and family, think more about the future, […] pay more attention to friendships, and want to be accepted by their peers,” (pressbooks.nscc.ca).


Middle school gives children their first opportunity to balance the struggles that come with maintaining life itself. Since life has become even more fast-paced than before, maintaining schoolwork and relationships is starting to become harder. This then causes middle schoolers to have to learn how to maintain these things faster and, henceforth, mature faster.


Because of technology, fashion, and society itself, middle schoolers are maturing faster than they ever have before. This does not necessarily mean that it is bad or that they do not go through “awkward phases” anymore. It only means that they are going through these phases differently than in the past. Yes, the middle schoolers are maturing faster than when previous classes were in middle school. However, seeing that these trends are similar to ones in the past, these previous classes, most likely, matured faster in middle school than ones from the years before them.