By Kaitlin Stanford
Kindergarten through first grade may be a cake walk, but third grade? Ask any elementary schooler, and that’s when things start to get legit.
Luckily, an 8-year-old from Staten Island, New York has plenty of rock solid advice in that department. As part of a recent school project, newly-minted third-grader Christopher Bannon recently created a helpful guide for his fellow classmates, packed with tips for making it through the school year in one piece. And I gotta say, it’s pretty hilarious.
First things first: “Do not lay down in the meeting area,” he advises. “Trust me, I have tried and it’s not as comfortable as it looks.”
Also: “Look good on picture day,” reminds Christopher, “because if you do not, it is not going to look so good as a magnet on your refrigerator door.”
I would like to personally attest to that one, as someone who is constantly reminded of my elementary school awkwardness (and truly terrible hair) every time I walk by my parents’ fridge. And I graduated elementary school 20 years ago.
And whatever you do, don’t call the teacher Mom or Dad. I repeat: DON’T call the teacher Mom or Dad. Why? “Because he/she will give you extra homework if he/she is your mom/dad,” writes Christopher. Oh, and also because that’s just super embarrassing. (Seriously, I did this once in first grade and the memory still mortifies me.)
Christopher also stresses the importance of staying hydrated — because no teacher wants a third-grader passing out on their watch, and of not forgetting to do your homework or work hard to get good grades. Failure to do so may result in losing your video games for a week, and really, is there a fate worse than that? I think not.
But most importantly — and this one shouldn’t be taken lightly — Christopher wants his fellow third-graders to remember to HAVE FUN, which I think is pretty stellar advice no matter what grade you’re in.
As Christopher tells Babble, the project was inspired by the book Amelia’s School Survival Guide, by Marissa Moss, in which a third-grader named Amelia doles out humorous tips for surviving everything from homework to cafeteria food.
“It was fun making interesting tips for other kids,” says Christopher. “It made me feel good when the kids in my class said I should be an author! It also made me feel good when I was done sharing my work and my classmates gave me a huge round of applause.”
As for the inspiration behind his tips: “They kind of just came to my mind,” he says. “I do remember this one time a boy in my math group fell asleep while we were working on a math equation. That’s one kid you wouldn’t want in your group!”
Christopher also admits he had some idea his project would go over well with his teachers. “When I was sharing my tips my teachers were laughing,” says Christopher. “I didn’t get a grade yet, that will be on my first report card in November. [But] my teachers thought my tips were hilarious so I’m sure I did awful (wink, wink).”
Ha ha, this kid.
According to his mom, Melissa Barvels, Christopher’s always been pretty humorous, which is why she wasn’t the least bit surprised when she first read the assignment and thought it was hilarious.
“Christopher is a witty kid,” says Melissa. “He always has been. Even at a young age he would come out with these one-liners that made you laugh. He’s always cracking jokes, usually about poop and farting like most 8-year-old boys, but he’s also a pretty gifted student.”
So far this year, he says his favorite classes are math and writing, though the best part of third grade by far is getting to play with his friends at recess. “My least favorite period is Science,” he continues. “No offense Mr. La Cava!” And the cafeteria food also leaves a lot to be desired. (“I don’t think the meat is actually meat!”)
He also has one other very important note he’d like the world to know: “I have never actually called the teacher MOM!”
Hey — at least not yet.
This article originally appeared on Babble. For more from Babble, try:
Photo courtesy of Melissa Barvels