My very first day of kindergarten didn’t get off to a great start. My Mom dropped me off, and left. The bell rang at 9AM and I ran to line up. I didn’t quite get there. Instead, I tripped over a hula hoop and fell. How someone trips over a hula hoop is beyond me, but I did.
I scraped both my knees, started to cry, and limped inside to sit down. The blood and pebbles on my kneecaps took away from my dashing “first day of school ever” appearance. My red shorts match the blood, at least.
Once inside, an older girl noticed me sitting by the cubbies. I remember what she looks like, but I’m not sure how old she was. She was tall, but everyone was, by comparison. In my mind I always thought she was between Grade 6-8, but it could have very well been a student teacher. Then again, I’m not sure student teachers are at elementary schools for the first day.
Regardless, I’m just thankful she was there. I remember sitting there thinking, “I hope everyone else stays outside and doesn’t see me.” I didn’t really want to answer questions.
She calmed me down, walked me to the office, and patched me up with two large square bandages. Then she brought me back to class. I remember the teacher saying something like, “There he is! Are you okay?”
What a rough day. So this is school, huh?
My Mom picked me up at noon (half-day kindergarten) and was in shock. I don’t remember anything after returning to class that morning, so I’ll take her word for it that she was shocked.
Other parents went up to her saying they saw me fall right after she left. Apparently she had just missed it. Just my luck. It being the first day of school, most of the parents stuck around because their children would cry if they left. Meanwhile, I was crying because I tripped over a darn hula hoop, not because I was separated from my Mom.
I don’t know if many people remember their very first day of school. I assume most people have the classic, “hurry up and smile with your backpack on so we can get going” photo right before leaving the house. I know I do.
For the record, it was a Lion King backpack. And yes, it was amazing.
My first day of high school wasn’t as eventful. I remember most of it, but the details are boring.
Locker combination: 44-29-54
First Period: Gym. I was in good shape, but had zero endurance. I guess that made me an oxymoron.
Second Period: Science. One of the nicest teachers I’ve ever had.
Third Period: English. I was late by about 45 seconds and got a seat in the front row, which was fine because I have bad vision.
Fourth Period: French. Ou est la bibliothèque?
So basically I had three different languages and gym class in one semester. Yes, science is a different language.
As for my first day of university, I’m not sure which day would count as the first day. Is it move-in day? Or is it the first day of classes?
I’ll cover both.
I was not nervous for move-in day, at all. And this kind of surprises me. I was going to a new school, two hours from home, and only knew one other person going there. Basically I was being dropped in the middle of an ocean and told to “swim.”
I can’t swim, by the way.
I moved into the 3rd floor of a hotel (that’s what the residence felt like), room 331. The first hall meeting was at 4PM. I thought I would be smart and get there five minutes early. Apparently, the rest of the floor also thought it would be smart to get there early…ten minutes early.
We introduced ourselves and went off to dinner. It was a barbecue. We sat outside and bees hovered around our food like, well, bees.
I think the only thing I was nervous about was finding out who my roommate was. We wouldn’t share the same room, but our rooms would be connected by a bathroom, so we were half roommates. My first impression of my roommate was a good one and everything turned out great.
My first day of class was a few days later. Of course it was an 8AM class. Room 204, Walker Complex. Sat in the middle section about 5 rows from the top, aisle seat. Every time I passed that room, for the next four years, I was reminded of where it all began.
I’m pretty sure I had more classes that day, but everything is a blur as soon as that class ended. I remember less about that day, than I do my first day of kindergarten. Maybe I should’ve tripped over something to make it more memorable.
I could talk about the first day of different jobs, but I won’t.
Just know this, my first day working at camp (for the first time) was one of the toughest days of my life.
I had to look in the mirror that day at camp and say to myself, “If you can get through this, you can get through anything.”
I had never talked to myself in a mirror before. It felt weird, but the pep talk was necessary, given the situation.
This blog post was not supposed to be about first days, but that’s what it turned into. So I guess I’ll try to close with some words of wisdom.
Every day has 24 hours, but the first day of something always seems to have more. Despite this seemingly insurmountable injustice, the day will end and you will return home and sleep in your bed, on your soft pillow, before doing it all over again the next day. Years later, you won’t remember anything about Day 2. You can thank Day 1 for that.
Oh, and look out for stray hula hoops lying around.