Is entering middle school as hard as Navy Seal training? Using excerpts from the now viral commencement speech given by Admiral William H. McRaven at the University of Texas in 2014, students will connect his rules for life to entering middle school (or any new situation). This fun and thoughtful unit contains excerpts from Admiral McRaven's down to earth remarks and includes student writing response tasks that take his sage advice to college graduates and apply it to their daily lives. This self-contained unit concludes with an opportunity for students to write a similar speech intended for younger kids, offering advice based on personal experience. A great way to start a new year, a new school, or revisit goals and personal responsibility!