The first day, you try to choose the right outfit .
You try to remember all your papers and supplies and official stuff you may or may not need.
You wear new shoes even though they are obviously new shoes. And they hurt a little because they’re new.
You get to campus, look around, and head for class.
You try to fit in.
You try to stand out.
You try your best to pay attention even when you’re not really into school yet.
You look for your friends from last year. If this is your first year, you hope you find friends. You wonder if you’re making the right judgment calls about other people: Is this a good one? Is that?
You start worrying about lunch by 10:00. Where is that again? Who is good to sit by? Should you sit alone?
What about the food?
You slog through the afternoon watching the clock. It doesn’t move.
You get home somehow.
Whether dorm or apartment or home with your parents, you’re relieved.
You made it! Day One, out of the way.
But on Day 2……….
You care less about your clothes: If it’s clean, good enough. If it looks clean, good enough.
You make a list of the stuff you really, really needed yesterday but didn’t bring.
You toss the uncomfortable shoes in a corner and wear your old standbys.
You know where you’re going (more or less) and head to your classes.
You care less about fitting in.
You become more OK with the notion of standing out: Your opinions actually matter. This is very cool.
You see people you met yesterday. You talk to them. They are interesting. You like them.
You start caring less about judging others. You realize your instincts are pretty much always right.
It doesn’t matter where you sit at lunch. You can sit alone and be happy or sit with others and have a good time.
You resign yourself to the fact that the food is pretty bad. Even when you bring your own!
You start paying more attention in class because there’s nothing else to do. Surprise! Some of this stuff is actually interesting.
You get home thinking about things you talked about today, people you interacted with, things you saw.
You decide you’re going to have a good year.
No, a great year.
And you will.