My First Day

January 20, 2009
By Alayna Cartz, Fukuoka-shi, ZZ

In September 2008, I left my home in England, of which I’ve lived my whole 14 years of my life, to move to a place in Japan. I was due to start my new school in October, and I feel like my first day at the school is one to remember. My first day at my new school FIS was crazy, just to sum it up in one word. I went through so many emotions, and it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but I made it in the end. It was like my first ever day of school -- except this time, only I was in this position; everyone else was comfortable. The emotions I felt before my first day were positive and negative: I was nervous and worried, but also pretty excited to see my new school. I had no idea what it looked like, as I hadn’t visited before, so I was interested to see what my school and people were like. I walked with my Mum to the annex, on the 1st October (new month, new school), and was greeted by a lady: Mrs Furukawa -- our building receptionist. She was very warm and welcoming, and made me feel more comfortable. Everyone was milling around, which made me feel pretty scared, though. We then went to the locker area, with even more people there. My nerves were now really getting the better of me. Then a girl called Yuliya rushed in, and she reminded me of one of my best friends in England. She seemed friendly, and I was interested that she was from Russia -- I wanted to talk to her, but not just yet. I was still extremely nervous, and for some reason no words would come out of my mouth. Then a girl called Jun Ha came rushing in, too (many people were obviously late today!)
These two girls ended up being my first best friends, actually. Then two girls called Kimiko and Chiharu were asked to look after me, and we went to Social Studies, where I met Mrs. Fradale, my homeroom teacher, whom I had contact with before coming to Japan. She was very friendly, and to be honest I wasn’t surprised because I’d gathered that before I came to FIS. I took a seat with Chiharu, Kimiko, and Miki, an then took a look round, to see a girl called Talia, sit with Jun Ha and Yuliya. I also saw all the others -- everyone clearly had their own friendship groups, and I hoped I would find mine… The morning went quite smoothly from what I remember, and by the middle of third period, I started talking to Yuliya, Talia and Jun Ha -- well, they started talking to me. I just nodded or shook my head, because the words still wouldn’t come out. At lunch, Yuliya said I could sit on their table, so that made me feel a little more happy and reassured. While I ate lunch, everyone told me what foods I could buy at school, and actually I’ve bought food from school most days since then. After lunch came my first ever Math (notice no “s” at the end!) lesson. In England we called Math, “Maths”, so I was a little confused as to whether my maths teacher was bad at spelling, or I was going even more blind than I already was (!), but I realised our text books quoted, “Algebra, MATH” and I
remembered watching American TV shows. “Yeah,” I thought, “this is going to be hard work.” Last period was Independent Study -- I had never had an Independent Study lesson before in my life! I was seated next to Talia at the front, and as she was sat doing her maths homework, I sat down patiently for a few minutes, and watched.
“Do you know what to do?” Talia asked.
I shook my head and giggled (I do that when I’m nervous). Talia explained Independent Study to me, and I thought it was great! A time when we could do our homework at school! I finished my maths homework, and all my homework for the day -- I’d never felt this feeling of finishing homework before I go home before! Soon, Independent Study was over, and I’d survived my first day! So I went to my locker and packed my bag to go home.
“Congratulations!” Jun Ha sang, “on your first day!”
I laughed, and my Mum came to collect me. We saw Jun Ha, Talia and Yuliya and they waved goodbye to me and said that they’d see me tomorrow. I was feeling happier -- there were some people who were actually willing to talk and be friends with me! I didn’t think there’d be anyone, let alone on my first day. I went home, still nervous and anxious for the next day, but a little more reassured, and my Mum could see that.
“I know it’s hard. But see! I told you there were nice people here!” said my Mum.
And oh, how my Mum was right.

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