I will never forget my first day at Kingston Elementary School. Believe me, I have tried my hardest, but I recall it like it was yesterday. I wouldn't say I have the sharpest of memories, but the nightmares that frequent my sleep seem determined to keep the details of that day fresh in my mind.
For most people, the first day of school is an exciting opportunity to reunite with friends and start a new year with a clean slate. I'd be lying if I said I didn't experience a slight amount of excitement that year, but what little bit I did enjoy was mostly trumped by fear of the unknown.
I knew that while almost everyone attending that day would be happy to see each other after a long summer break, I would be enduring the strange feeling of knowing nobody, as it was my first day at a new school.
I held myself together, even as a big red-headed kid made fun of my Ninja Turtles backpack and glasses.To make matters worse, I had only just moved to town a mere two weeks prior, leaving all of my friends behind and hundreds of miles away. Needless to say the ride to school that day was full of half-hearted optimism and feelings of homesickness and depression. Still, I remember feeling determined not to get too down, assuring myself things would work out for the best.
As I walked into the building for the first time I was very nervous and thought about turning around and running home. It took some courage, but I managed to convince myself that I was going to be fine and that all of my worries were simply in my head. After all, my biggest fear was getting beat up at lunch, an occurrence that I had yet to witness happen to anyone on any of my other first days of school.
It wasn't long until I walked up to my new classroom, pushing aside the bad thoughts and focusing on being optimistic. Before I walked in, I took a second to assure myself that I was going to make a bunch of new friends and that the school year was going to be great. Then I picked my head up and marched into my new classroom.
It didn't take more than a second or two for my fears to be validated, because as I walked into the room, all of the kids in the class started pointing at me and laughing as if I was some kind of alien. It was almost as if they had planned it all along, because the uproar of laughter could only be compared to what I saw at a surprise party we once threw for my grandpa. Nonetheless, I pressed forward with determination.
I held myself together, even as a big red-headed kid made fun of my Ninja Turtles backpack and glasses. But then an even bigger kid ran up behind me as I took my seat and ripped my lunch box out of my hand. He proceeded to pull the thermos out of it and began chugging its contents as he dropped the rest of my lunch in the garbage. And finally, in true bully form, he finished drinking the juice and threw the thermos at the wall, shattering it (along with my feelings) into pieces.
I could not believe how mean these kids were to me, when I had done nothing to them. I tried to ignore it, but panic began to fill my entire body and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I tried my best to fight it, but it was no use. As soon as I started crying, I fell apart and ran out of the room as fast as I could.
I had no idea where anything was, so I just took off and followed the hallway wherever it would take me. I ran past several classrooms but it seemed like nobody even noticed me, so I just kept running until I found the principal's office.
I burst through his door while he was on a phone call and tried to tell him what happened, but I was so hysterical that he couldn't understand me. He told the person he was talking to he would call them back and hung up the phone. He grabbed me a glass of water and told me everything would be fine. He tried to calm me down by having me take deep breaths.
I explained to him how mean these kids were, and slowly I regained some composure. After about ten minutes of watery eyes and sniffles, he managed to get me to stop crying, and made me realize that I might be overreacting a bit. He handed me a tissue and I wiped away the tears, thinking I had cried myself out.
Unfortunately that wasn't the case, because it wasn't more than two minutes later that I started balling again when he told me he didn't think I was cut out to be a teacher at his school.
Editor's Note: This piece inspired several more like it from other PIC writers, often staying as close to the format as possible. Read them below.
All "First Day of…" Aristocrats-style articles:
My First Day of School
My First Day at Prison
My First Day at the Cemetery
My First Day at Alcoholics Anonymous
My First Day of Senility
My First Day of Church
My First Day of School, Part 2
My First Day of Fat Camp
My First Day at the Circus