Making a permanent impression since 1994
August 29, 2005
The horrible first day that wasn't
By Nicole Teixeira
thought of finally entering high school (the place where boys had real facial
hair and people drove cars to school) seemed like the biggest feat in my short
life when I first entered ninth grade.
spent the whole month of August on the phone with friends discussing where we
were going to meet on the first day in September, what school supplies we were
going to buy and how we were going to style our hair.
I was going to a school with a uniform, I was relieved that clothes weren't an
added issue to my list of worries at the time.
woke up that fateful first day of school at 4 a.m. I was so excited and nervous
that I could no longer stay in bed and besides, the extra three hours game me
time to perfect my practiced walk, and how I was going to say “hi” to new
these extra hours of preparation got me ready for the new world I was about to
back at the summer before high school, I realize I spent more time worrying
about the social aspect of high school than the academic aspect.
course, I had asked numerous older friends if high school consisted of a lot of
answer was always, “Nah, it's a breeze,” but having actually entered the
classroom on my first day, I realized it was more of a desert storm in
comparison to the “puff of air” that had been previously described.
was bombarded with sheets to sign, a list of required school supplies, yearly
academic lay outs and the same lecture in every class that consisted of
priceless phrases such as, “Your life starts now,” and “Get ready to smell
the coffee and start working!”
sat in that first classroom that day regretting my lack of summer academic
preparation and wishing I could return to the safe walls of elementary school.
from feeling the sting of academic pressure, my heart began to race the second I
entered the hallways after my first class.
a high school consisting of almost 2,000 students, it seemed to me at the time
that I was most definitely the smallest and un-coolest person in the school.
bumped into people, held my schedule in my hand like a dork and searched
frantically to find my classroom which always seemed to be hidden at the time.
successfully making it through my first two classes alive, I made my way to the
cafeteria. This was indeed the center of my fears. The dreaded cafeteria, where
hundreds of students I didn't know ate lunch.
feared that I wouldn't find anyone I recognized and I worried that bringing a
lunch from home instead of buying one at the caf was dorky.
summoning the courage within me, I opened the two doors and was incredibly
delighted to see that all the other ninth graders looked just as petrified as I
took a look around and found a bunch of my friends sitting at table. I was
expecting to finally have a good moment in my school day, but the second my body
touched the seat I heard a bell. To my astonishment, the bell signaled the end
I had taken so much time going through the hallways, finding my locker again,
and then finding the cafeteria, that my 40-minute lunch was over. Hastily, I put
my lunch back into my bag and made my way to the third class of the day.
final bell struck at 2:20 p.m., and I wasn't relieved yet.
hadn't gotten home safely thus far, and this meant that I hadn't yet lived to
tell the tale of my first day in high school.
still had to find my locker once more, pack my books and make it onto my school
bus in time. I rushed to pack all my stuff and practically ran out of the
building to find the right bus.
the fear instilled in my mind that I would miss my bus and be forced to survive
amongst all the older kids hanging out in the parking lot, I was the first
person on the bus. Although I was truly relieved that the earlier fear had not
become reality, I certainly didn't want to be the first
on the bus.
chose a seat that wasn't too far up or too far back in the bus. After the bus
had loaded with about 20 other students, my breath had returned to its normal
routine and was no longer staggered with panic.
feeling was short-lived, however, when an 11th grad boy asked me if I
was a freshman. My mind raced with panic and I answered with a meager,
encapsulated my first high school conversation with an older high school boy.
rushed off the bus at my stop and walked two blocks to my home. I entered the
house looking disheveled and stressed beyond belief.
older sister looked at me with a mocking smile and asked how my first day went.
I recounted the horror story and collapsed onto the nearby couch.
response, however, was the most shocking memory from that day.
didn't fall down stairs? Accidentally drop all your books or get your shirt
caught in your locker?” she asked. “Sounds to me like you had the ideal
first day. Keep it up!”
To read all of The Tattoo's Insider's Guide to High School, click here
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