Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Big Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
My alarm goes off at 6:30. I had set it 30 minutes early because I wanted extra time to make myself look semi-presentable. The second I wake up I feel knots in my stomach. I begin running a million possible scenarios through my already stressed-out mind. What will it be like? Will everyone hate me? Will they think I look stupid and lost? This flood of questions delays me from rising from my bed, getting in the shower, and readying myself for my first day of high school.

I lie in bed thinking of the movies, books, and songs that depict the first day of high school in all its glory and trauma. My parents have told me about their first days – the clothes they wore, their teachers – and how this was going to be the start of an amazing four years for me. My brother, who is starting his senior year, told me all about his first day. He gave me a speech about being myself and not getting lost among all the fake and unkind people who might try to tear me down in the next four years. I have heard a million stories and been given a deluge of advice, but despite all this, I still feel completely unprepared.

I lie there feeling nauseated over the fact that these next four years could potentially be the worst, not the best, of my life. I'm horrified at the thought of the 200 freshmen I've never met from the other middle school. I lie in my bed for a few more minutes pondering all these thoughts when I realize it's already 7:00. I push past my fears and haul myself out of bed.

I get ready slowly and nervously. My shower takes longer than usual; I shampoo my hair three times without realizing it because my brain is so focused on the day ahead. I manage to blow-dry my hair without any casualties, but straightening it is a different matter entirely. I burn myself twice, once on my neck and once on my finger. I apply makeup with shaky hands, which forces me to start over twice.

By 8:05, I've miraculously made it through the “getting ready” process, and my dad is yelling at me to hurry up. I grab my books and head downstairs. My brother is already waiting in the car. He looks so cool, calm, and collected. I feel as though it will be a thousand years before I'll be driving to my first day of ­senior year.

I'm quiet the whole ride. My brother attempts to make small talk as he fiddles with the radio. He is obviously excited about the day ahead, unlike me. He can't stop smiling, and he keeps talking about what a great year it's going to be.

It's easy for him to say this. He's a senior; he has all the friends he wants; he's popular and has a pretty girlfriend. Then, of course, there's the promise of graduating this year. I, on the other hand, have no boyfriend, a small group of girlfriends, no identity, and four long years before I get to walk across the stage at graduation.

We finally pull into the student parking lot; my brother wishes me luck and immediately goes to stand with his friends. They're all tall and mature-looking. They look so comfortable as they play-wrestle with each other while their pretty girlfriends stand nearby, looking amused. I slowly trudge ­toward the school, my mind racing and my stomach in full nausea mode.

It isn't until I step into the school that I realize I'm not wearing pants. I panic as I think of how this could have possibly happened, how nobody could have noticed and said something …

This is when I wake with a jolt. I glance at my phone. It's 10 a.m., May 25, 2012 – the day of my high school graduation. I lie in bed, still breathing heavily, as I think back to my first day of freshman year and all my fruitless worries. So many things have changed, and I've grown and matured. I think of all my failures and triumphs, the tears and the laughter, and all the people I've met along the way who helped me become the person I am today, four short years after I walked into my high school for the first time.

I think about my four amazing years in high school, and I look to my future with excitement. I get out of bed with ease and get ready for the day ahead with enthusiasm and joy.

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





Join the Discussion


This article has 1 comment. Post your own!

The~Watcher said...
Sept. 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm:
Ha! Great job. That was a really clever approach. I was so drawn into the story that it actually came as a surprise that it was a dream- there was a moment there where I went 'How on earth did she forget PANTS?!"
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback