You weren’t a kid if you didn’t fantasize about the first day of school every summer.
Who would be there? Who will be wearing what? Who’s got the coolest backpack? The questions seem never ending.
As you grow up, the excitement and anticipation of the first day of school dissipates as the years go on. The same people are sitting in your homeroom class, everyone will be wearing leggings with a blouse, and everyone’s backpacks are BORING AF. Like seriously, no one’s wearing a Spongebob backpack so what’s the point of even going to school?
Not to mention you begin to dread school as opposed to look forward to it.
But, things change when you start getting ready for college.
You won’t know anyone at all, you have NO IDEA what to wear (like what do people wear?? In college???) and you most likely don’t even have a cool backpack. Times are changing fast and you’ve got to adjust. I found myself in this exact situation about a year ago today.
I was a nervous wreck; I had just as much interest in attending college as I did swimming in a pool filled with snakes and sharks.
Everyone has a similar mindset when it comes to worrying about college; how do I make friends? Will I have a lot of work? Are the professors mean?
I would say I was right here with the rest of the freshman in college population, just amplified because I commute to school. YEP. IT SUCKS AS MUCH AS IT SEEMS. Don’t even get me started.
So there I was, on the train from New Jersey to Penn Station nervous sweating and breaking out into hives thinking of everything that could possibly go wrong. I was a seasoned pro at taking the train, so I knew that there was no way I could possibly screw that up and with that calming thought my nerves seemed to disappear slightly.
I got off the train and headed towards the exit. With each step I took up the stairs towards the city I felt more and more confident. I could do this, I can do this and I am doing this. Good for friggin me!!!
Andddd then my life turned to absolute shit.
On the last step, my left shoe decided to break in half. Yes, I said it. In half. I was wearing black Windsor Smith sandals that I absolutely adored and the entire part that encases my foot tore right off. I was stuck in New York City with one shoe and nowhere to buy a new pair.
I know you’re probably thinking “but Norah, New York has stuff open 24/7!!!”. Yeah that’s what I thought too, you poor naïve soul, but I’m here to tell you that you’re sadly mistaken. Nothing was open, absolutely nothing. If I could’ve bought shoes at a dollar store I would have. I would’ve worn crocs.
With no crocs in the foreseeable future, I did what anyone would do and hobbled towards the subway. The looks I was getting were both entertaining and tragic. They were a combination of “oh my god, look at that poor girl!” and “wow, that stripper must have had a crazy night last night”. Life was great.
Eventually I got to Union Square with substantially less dignity and only one shoe, but I got there. I strutted (limped) into Forever 21 and bought the first pair of shoes I could find; little black heeled booties. I threw those on and threw the other shoes OUT. So long forever, losers.
I was now confident that nothing else could go wrong while simultaneously being extremely proud of myself for remaining calm in a truly horrendous situation. I didn’t even cry! (I think? I probably blocked it out of my memory to be honest.)
I marched up to the first building I had classes in that day and saw a massive line for the elevator.
“How primitive,” I thought to myself, “these fools don’t even see that there is a staircase right there. I’m going to be healthy and take the stairs because that’s what healthy cool smart people do, unlike these people.”
So I, being the obvious superior, opened the door to the staircase and climbed those nine flights of steps with as much energy as I could manage. I got to the ninth floor and….
Wanted to die. The door was LOCKED. I was like “excuse me? Let me in??” so I tried knocking on the door so people would unlock it, which obviously didn’t work. With a broken heart, I headed back down the steps to join the elevator people downstairs.
And then I realized that the door I used to enter the staircase was locked as well, along with every other door leading to a floor in said staircase.
I was trapped in the stairs with five minutes to get to class, wearing shoes that were giving my feet blisters, and ridden with as much anxiety as my body could handle without going into cardiac arrest.
I was feeling like a true superstar.
I would also like to add in that almost every eye shadow I owned at the time broke that morning, just to clue you in on how much my life really sucked that day.
As I was sitting in the staircase accepting my fate of dying alone in there due to starvation and lack of oxygen, I did what any mature adult would do. I called my mom and cried for a solid 10 minutes. Somehow she was able to decipher what I was saying between my deep gasps and sharp sobs that was saying how I really couldn’t handle freshman year anymore, and it hadn’t even begun. She gave me a pep talk and told me to knock one more time on the door downstairs so that I could escape the prison I was in and take the elevator up.
Her advice worked and I found myself in my first ever college class. I might have been sweating profusely, covered in dirt from the staircase with mascara streaming down my face and blood dripping down the back of my foot, but I was there. Lucky for me, my teacher took our pictures on the first day of classes and now he probably remembers me as “that girl who looked like a mess”.
I didn’t share this story with the possibility of the entire Internet reading this just for the hell of it. I wanted to show that I might have endured possibly the worst first day of school for anyone ever, but I lived to tell the tale.
College is scary for everybody, even the people who are over the moon about going, but odds are your shoes are NOT going to fall apart and I pray that you don’t get stuck in a staircase like I did. Your first day of college is a huge step in your life and, although you might not be rocking your fourth grade Spongebob backpack, it’s a pretty cool step to take.
If you guys feel inspired to, please share your first day stories with me in the comments! I would absolutely love to read about your embarrassing stories to validate my own self-worth as a person!