May 26, 2008
“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”

I had my Abercrombie and Fitch bag ready, filled to the top with books and school supplies, and I was ready. Or so I thought. I was wearing my new jeans and new shirt, I was ready. Or so I thought. My bright pink and gray backpack was fastened on my back tight. Arriving late to my first day of high school was not an option.

“We’re going to be late!”

Racing through my house like a NASCAR driver, I searched up and down for my school ID. Finally, I found it sitting next to my schedule, in the same place I had put it the night before. Maybe I was nervous, or maybe it was anticipation for the years ahead. Racing through my mind was fear of embarrassment, rejection, and failure. On the other hand, I felt excited and anxious.

“Mom, I’m late!”

Walking or rather pacing into the doors of Maine South made me feel as if I was entering a sacred temple and I was ready. Or so I thought. I had always heard stories of the times you have in high school are the times of your life. I was finally able to start the journey to adulthood. I couldn’t wait. Not just because I was ecstatic, but because I really couldn’t wait. I was already 2 minutes late. I was having enough trouble finding my homeroom, I didn’t need anymore delays.

“Oh NO!”

I couldn’t believe it. My books that were once in my “oh so cool” Abercrombie and Fitch bag, were now scattered on the floor of the hallway. Franticly gathering my books, I sped away towards my homeroom, which I finally found.

“I’m sorry I’m late!”

How embarrassing, my hands filled with the books that were spread on the floor and my empty, ripped bag in my hand. If this was the way the rest of high school was going to be, I didn’t like the looks of it.

I got through my first and second days of Maine South. I soon learned that the seniors do not throw pennies at you, and no, there is no elevator passes for ten dollars. Now, it was my third day. I somewhat new my way around the school and I felt pretty confident. In fact, I felt very confident. Or so I thought.

3rd period biology was now over.

The stairways were packed. Imagine yourself in New York City, walking down the street, you don’t know anyone. No one really cares who you are and where you’re going. This is the same for the A-wing stairwells of Maine South. Filled to capacity was what it seemed like. I was still kind of hesitant of the time needed for a successful passing period.

Again, I was racing like a NASCAR driver.

Books in hand, in fact the same ones that were sprawled out on the floor just a few short days before, and backpack on.

I took one, two, and on my third step slipped on the stair.
Now I was not walking at a high pace speed anymore, at this point I was bumping at the speed of a NASCAR driver. Down all but three steps I bumped. I hopped up, and looked around at the smirking faces of my peers. I heard laughs and giggles, I saw points and stares. I could now feel my face getting becoming a tomato.
Books still in hand
I grabbed onto the railing of the next flight of stairs, and detoured my route. I felt ready to cry. But I couldn’t, that would just add onto the embarrassment that I had just faced. I needed to find a familiar face, but who?
Found one. My cousin

I needed to tell her what happened. I thought I had just experienced the most embarrassing thing of my life. In fact, I new I had just experienced the most embarrassing thing of my life. I explained the story. She comforted me, calmingly telling me that it would be okay, and that I would defiantly experience more embarrassing things than that. I couldn’t believe her though, I didn’t believe I was ready anymore. Actually, I was convinced that because of this experience, I was not ready for high school.

Or so I thought.

As I look back on the story of my first week of high school, I laugh. Not only is it funny, but it is a good story that I have to share. I have realized that embarrassment is something that you can control. It is something that our generation thrives on. If it was socially okay, then it wouldn’t have been embarrassing. Now I believe that I have no need to be embarrassed, because being clumsy is a part of who I am. I cannot “sweat the small stuff.” Embarrassing moments will always happen to me, I just have to realize that is who I am, and that is okay.

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