That first day feeling

Harriet Brown is a second year English Studies student at the University of Nottingham. Her interest in young adult fiction grew from helping run a Brownie pack for several years. As well as books she is passionate about fashion, theatre and French cinema, which makes her sound much more cultured than she really is.

Every year in early September a funny mood comes over children in the UK. The long, lazy days of summer are over, and with great reluctance kids are dragging themselves towards the new school year. People are gripped by a strange mix of emotions. A little bit of excitement, a pinch of nerves and a dash of sadness, all stirred up with that desire to see what the New Year brings. The first day sizzles with infinite possibility – maybe this year you can get that A grade, get picked for the first netball team and talk to that boy sitting behind you in Maths (who definitely didn’t look so nice before summer). “Make a fresh start” say the teachers, just like they did last year.

But when school is done forever, and the teachers release you into the big, wide world, the first day feeling doesn’t leave for good. Internships and work experience bring with them an avalanche of first day nerves, almost as if you were starting at a brand new school all over again. You think back to how it felt walking through the shiny new gates, feeling as if the nerves might shatter you, and you might explode from excitement.  There’s the same little bit of pride that finally you are growing up and taking what feels like a really big step, and even a  parent telling you how proud they are.

Being an intern and arriving at an unfamiliar place to unfamiliar faces brings the first day feeling flooding back. Hundreds of questions flitting around your head: who will open the door? Will people be friendly? Am I wearing the right sort of outfit? Where can I get a cup of tea? How early is too early? But in the same way as starting a new school all the nerves vanish when you enter the building. There are jobs to be done and new people to talk to, not to mention getting used to the office routine. Over the course of the first day you get to grips with the atmosphere of the place, how it runs, and how you fit in. In the chaos of a new environment the days flash past much too quickly, and in a blink of an eye it’s nearing the end of the week, and like the final days of summer, you find yourself wishing that the week won’t end.

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7 responses to “That first day feeling

  1. I want your fluffy pen 🙂

  2. Hot Key (aptly named) are a warm bunch, Harriet, so am hoping you feel very welcome now. Enjoyed your reflections.

  3. Your insights are fascinating! Thanks for sharing Harriet! 😀

  4. Awesome range of stuff in that photo.

    Also really good post. I think you captured the “first day” feeling perfectly.

  5. Harriet, I don’t know how old you are, but if you are a youngster, say under thirty I can tell you that nervy first days get better and first weeks become a breeze. But we all need that first day feeling, that buzz, the twinge of anxiety, the twisting rush of adrenal glands pumping us up, it all adds to our personal fund of life experiences. I am approaching sixty and when HKB or some other publisher gives me the big OK for my manuscript that will be my first day (metaforically) I will be a whirling bag of all kinds of emotions. And know what? I just can’t wait.
    Stanley Mills

  6. Oops, I spelt metaphorically wrong.
    Stanley Mills

  7. Captures that first day feeling perfectly!

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