The stereotype of the eighth grader is that of a lonely, ambitious, assertive, yet insecure adolescent, struggling to find a balance between discovering an independent identity and trying to secure a place among a friend group that shares his or her interests and hobbies. Then he or she has to find their special place within that friend group, and the arduous process begins anew. Eighth grade is also a popular time for us to begin dating, and eighth graders often don’t have access to smart phones, unlimited internet data, and the professional photography services involved in maintaining a respectable online dating profile that so many of us adults (admit it!) enjoy to aid them in navigating this new social world. Needless to say, it’s a tough age, which is why it is so memorable for adults.
Still, this formative stage of life imparts academic and emotional lessons that are critical to surviving today’s job market. As an eighth grader, the goal is very often simply to make it to the ninth grade without developing severe agoraphobia, flunking out, or running out of people to date. These survivalist instincts require the honing of important social and practical skills, ranging from general (e.g. time management) to specific (e.g. statistics and acne-preventing skin care, to name a few). Many of these emotional and academic lessons learned in eighth grade can be parlayed into an impressive and marketable business profile, by those of us who survive it.
10 Census Worker
9 Avon Sales Representative
8 Nursing Home Attendant
7 Waiter or Waitress
A distinctive feature of the eighth grade curriculum is knowledge of the planets, and many of us are familiar with the “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” mnemonic. All you need is access to a computer you can easily use online natal chart generators like the one available here to generate reliably nonspecific information about credulous clients.
4 Cell Phone Salesperson
In math, eighth graders are introduced to the life-enriching slope intercept formula: y=mx+b. Despite the validity of many an eighth grader’s sneaking suspicions that the practical applications of this are in fact fewer than our overzealous teachers suggests, this is one that is especially prevalent in today’s sales sector. To determine the most economical cell phone plan, your eighth grade self can simply add the initial contract fee, product fee, etc. to the cost per month, and in this way compare plans for customers over the long term.
1 7th Grade Teacher
Many of us adults laugh at how little we use the skills we learned from advanced degrees in things like “Medieval and Renaissance Studies” while at our current jobs. Would any junior high teacher that has put together a lesson plan the night before really argue that you just need to be one step ahead of the flock?
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