First Day of School This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   The minute I woke up, I knew it had arrived. I could tellby the butterflies in my stomach and the foreboding sense in my spirit. The newsneakers by my bed, just waiting to be worn, and the stiff, blue backpack staringdown from my dresser were not a dream. This was real. It was my first day ofkindergarten.

Apparently kindergarten was a big deal for my mom, too. Shefluttered around and fussed about how nice I looked, how much fun I would have atschool and how special this day was. I weakly acknowledged her smile with one ofmy own as she took my picture to be immortalized in the family album. As theminutes ticked by and the time grew closer for the school van to pick me up, mymisgivings grew into a monster that threatened to overpower me, and I burst intotears.

Tears or no tears, the van arrived right on schedule and I wasforced to climb its big steps. I sat tensely on the edge of the cold, hard seat,not talking to anyone. Concentrating on not crying, I numbly stared out thewindow all the way to school.

I apprehensively followed the rest of thekids into the mouth of the large brick building. Just inside the door, we weregreeted by the smiling kindergarten teacher who led the way with clicking heelsto the classroom, bright and dizzy with color. Everywhere I turned, there wassomething new and strange to look at.

I don't remember any of the otherkids in my kindergarten class that first day, but I do remember my teacher. Herface seemed to be one enormous, never-ending smile. She smiled when she showed methe bathroom, the sink and a table with my name on it. She smiled when she showedme the workbench in the corner with wood and real tools to play with. She smiledwhen I struggled to write my name and draw a picture. I felt overwhelmed by somany smiles and so many new things to see and do.

I breathed a sigh ofrelief when the teacher finally announced it

was time to go home. It hadbeen a stressful day and I could hardly wait to return to the safe, familiarenvironment of my house. There

I could muster courage to face another dayin this brand-new world called school.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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