12 Rules for Living (According to 7th Grade Me)

Who doesn't love a little nostalgia?

My parents recently cleaned out their attic during quarantine and ever-so-graciously dropped a whole collection of ‘my' belongings at my house. In the pile, I found a project from the 7th grade where I filled a binder with photos, poems, recipes, notes, any little self-expression my middle school mind could produce.

One of those pages was my 12 Rules for Living:

Actual list from 7th grade time capsule binder. That clip art, though!

Did they stand the test of time? Not necessarily.

Are they entertaining? You betcha!

These are the 12 must-haves I decided for my 7th grade self, and some deets on how they played out in my future!

My 7th Grade Rules for Living

1. Get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night.

Sound familiar? 😴

Even 7th grade Amy was staying mindful of how much sleep we need in order to function! Today, I tend to stick to 7.5 – 8 hours, as any more than that makes me feel a little groggy.

This life rule is one that's stuck with me through the years as I've learned how to have a healthy and happy bedtime routine! P.S. — check out my bedtime must-haves for the best 8 hours you'll ever get!

2. Never go a year without a calendar.

When I was young, I was obsessed with the monthly calendars that hung up on a wall. I would write notes, put cute stickers, and fill them in with things that happened in my life. Turns out I've always been a bit of a planning junkie!

I still believe a calendar is a totally necessary tool in your life. I manage my schedule by blocking my projects and time batching when I need to so I can get everything done no matter what! Not sure what I was time batching in 7th grade, but good to know that managing my daily tasks was somewhere on my radar.

3. Don’t like something just because someone else does.

This has continued on to become one of the major taglines of my life. I've noticed that if someone tells me to do something or suggests that I try something, I become infinitely less likely to do or try that thing (Gretchen Rubin rebel, much?). There's nothing wrong with not fitting in, as long as you're standing out for what you actually believe in! In hindsight, this may have been what I told myself when everyone around me was wearing the latest Abercrombie & Fitch. I was more of an Adidas tearaway pant girl. But make no mistake – I owned it!

4. Don’t let the opposite sex interfere with friendship.

When I was in middle school, I didn't have many issues with boys. I never had a situation arise where I liked someone that my friend liked too. More often, I ran into the problem of friends dating boys that didn't treat them well or weren't really worth their time.

Apart from learning how to navigate those conversations with my friends, I didn't let boys create too much drama around me. Same goes today — whoever you are, stay far away from me if all you create is negativity and conflict!

5. Stay connected with long distance family and friends.

Social media has made this one much easier to carry into my future, but I'm thrilled to see that young Amy was already taking her networking life into consideration. I still make a point in my daily life to reach out to the people I haven't caught up with in a while, and I keep a handy-dandy spreadsheet to track my biz connections! (Want a tutorial on how to make your own? Comment below and lemme know!)

6. Keep your natural hair color.

I tend to keep it pretty natch around here, so I think I've done well on this front. Apart from lightening up the ends, what's most important to me now is keeping my hair looking fresh and clean no matter what color it is! (This hairspray is a good hair day must-have 🙌)

7. Get an A in Physical Education.

Although I do exercise and take care of my physical health, I never did get that A in Phys Ed. You win some, you lose some, ya know?

This rule has obviously evolved for me over time, and now I make it a priority to move my body whenever I can. I go on walks, do a quick yoga sesh, or pop in a home workout throughout the week to get my muscles moving and keep myself healthy! (That counts as an A in my book 🤓)

8. Always have positive point of view, as well as negative!

This life rule was my middle-school attempt at what we now call even-keeled.

I don't think I necessarily wanted a negative point of view, but was trying to communicate the importance of seeing all sides of an issue. Be realistic and look at the pros and cons! 7th grade Amy was looking out for a balanced mindset, and I still make sure to take all perspectives into account today.

9. Rely on aspirin.

Nowadays, I'm more of an Advil kinda girl. I've never had any issues with chronic pain, so 7th grade Amy must have found it miraculous when a quick Children's Tylenol took away the pain of a headache every once in a while. Today, I do keep a bottle of Advil in my purse or at the office so I can fight off an oncoming stress-headache, even if I don't find myself ‘relying' on it.

10. If you plan on going to college, don’t spend your life savings on Abercrombie & Fitch.

Remember when I said these didn't age well?

7th grade Amy knew the benefit of saving for her future instead of spending money on temporary trends, and TBH I love that for her. I knew that friend groups and cliques tended to form around the current styles, i.e. — if you could afford what was on-trend at Abercrombie, you could talk to anyone and everyone. If you couldn't…life may not have been as easy.

In the end, I'm proud to see that I valued my future above a fashionable pair of jeans. However, I do love fashion today. While I'm not a style guru, I do love to dress the part and keep up with the latest looks.

Psst: shop my style on Poshmark!

11. Stay updated on the Top 20 music videos of the week.

I wanted to keep up with what was popular, and music was no exception. Actually, I loved music. I was in multiple choirs throughout my time in school and singing made me happy. When I was young, MTV and TRL were the go-to's to find out what was hot on the charts. I remember coming home to watch and learn all the new songs in the afternoons after school.

I still love discovering new music and finding new playlists to jam to while I work. Need a few recos? Check out our GATLUW favs!

12. Keep candy in your diet.

Not sure I'm much of a believer on this one anymore, apart from the Reese's peanut butter cups that always seem to find their way into my kitchen (okay, maybe this one stood the test of time). But it's all about balance! Everything in moderation, amiright?

QOTD: What was one of your rules for life in middle school?

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