The first day of new classes is always wildly bizarre. Fresh faces beam with anticipation, excitement, and sweat. Nerves swim in fear and legs shake under new assigned seats. You scan around the room: Anyone you know? Even broadly recognize? Will anyone at least smile back at you? You don’t want to stare for too long, so you stay still in your metal chair, stiff and tense. Should you take out a notebook, or will that make you look too eager? Should you mindlessly stare at your phone, or will the others think that’s rude? Thankfully class finally starts, and the teacher enters the room. No matter what happens next, all you have to do is look like you’re passionately paying attention. Kind eye contact, laugh at lame jokes, nod your head every so often. You only absorb every few words, and no matter how hard you try, you eventually lose interest in the teacher’s introductions. Now, you accidentally make eye contact with another kid across the room. You will not look in that general direction of the room for the next few classes. Just in case.
No other day of class will be like this. The outright tension of this first day is something I am still not used to and, honestly, I don’t want to get used to it. If I do, what will make me want to come back?