The first few days of school have always been very interesting to me. As an avid people-watcher, I have the arguably bad habit of comparing the actions and words of those around me to my own current or past thoughts; a practice that becomes particularly easy on weeks like these.
For example, the night before the first day of classes, I can never sleep. I don’t know why, but from kindergarten through this first semester of my senior year of college, I feel the need to think all night instead. Sadly, I worry about how the people around me are going to perceive my work, personality and appearance; so I toss and turn as opposed to getting a much-needed 5-hour nap.
That probably seems pretty spastic, and granted I am a very high strung person at times, but my specific insomnia is nothing compared to some of the mannerisms I see in others during the first couple of times a new class meets. I remember starting some of the nervous conversations I’ve heard so far this week when I was a freshman or sophomore here. We talked about things like books, the professor or the number of guys versus girls in class not because those things were important, but because we were testing the waters. Those trivial conversations actually determine who we’ll smile at for the rest of the semester and who we’ll actually call to study or work with.
I guess what I’m saying is I’ve seen apprehension in many of its forms this week. It’s apparent in professors as well, or at least in the choice few who are socially gracious enough to admit they practiced their introductory speeches or lectures.
I had one professor make a pretty stomach-wrenching joke, but the fact that he admitted he had run it by his wife that morning humanized him, and it actually made me look forward to the rest of his lectures.
It’s so funny to me that every single time classes re-start, it feels like a completely new experience, yet “just another semester,” all at the same time. However, when I really think about it, I’m kind of glad to have those beginning-of-the-semester jitters. It makes things exciting, and God knows we need some of that in beautiful Huntsville, Texas.