Mama came in and gently woke me up.
I was awakened by sunlight streaming in through the blinds above my dorm bed.
I brushed my teeth. Mama pulled my fair hair back from my face.
I spread a towel on my bed and applied my make-up. Yawning, I strolled into the bathroom I share with my roommate and straightened my hair.
Mama made me a filling breakfast.
I poured myself cereal, too lazy to walk over to the cafeteria.
Mama smiled as she gave me my lunch box and had me pose while she took a picture to commemorate my first day of school.
After putting my student ID in my backpack, I took a selfie and sent it to Mom, so she could see her girl on her first day of college. Which I shall henceforth refer to as “Awkward Day.”
My first class as a college freshman, the professor strode to the front of the room. He placed his notes on the podium and peered at us through wire-rimmed glasses.
“Welcome to your first day of classes, or, as I like to call it, Awkward Day,” he greeted us. “Here, all of you are, sitting with pens and pencils in hand, waiting for me to say something profound or sagacious so that you can write it down. (Yes, I can see you.) And here I am, standing here, with nothing profound or sagacious to say.” A soft clattering and nervous chuckles swept the room as we put down our pens. “All of you are looking at me, sizing me up.” He lifted his tie. “Do you like my tie?” I had already approved.
He paused. “And you think you’re the only one making judgments?”
Starting college feels like being locked outside in your pajamas. And not cute little shorts and a tank top, more like footie pajamas with Dora the Explorer on them. Holding a sign that says, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!”
You get lost (a lot). You sit in on the wrong class. You walk into the cafeteria and discover that it closed 30 minutes ago. You forget your keys, your RA is gone, and your roommate doesn’t have her cell phone (sorry, Hannah!). You question what you’re doing, who you are, why you’re here, and what the heck is coming out of your mouth. My first few days on campus, I felt like the clumsiest, most tongue-tied person on the planet.
The good news is that, eventually, it does get better. (Now I only feel like the clumsiest, most tongue-tied person on campus!) Gradually, you learn the names of the buildings and how to get around. Crowds become people and people become friends. You figure out how to do things for yourself. One day, you calm down and realize you’re home.
Or so I hear.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s Awkward Day Part II – my first laundry day. I have to text my mom and figure out if I’ve sorted these clothes correctly.
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