The first day at any new school is a careful scrutiny of hierarchies and full of quiet signals that set up the whole popularity system. It's a stressful affair and you really want to make a good first impression. Well here's a story where I epically failed to bring home the bacon on that one.
I studied dance in Amsterdam when I was 21 and for the first day of school we all rented bikes (oh no) and took the ferry out to one of the grasslands just outside of the city. Well, I'm no loser on a bike, but I'm not a great master either if you understand what I mean, so I was feeling pretty nervous (palms sweaty, heartbeat up, trying to keep my head cool while everyone else we're peddling away like they'd never done anything else in their lives).
It was going ok though, and I managed not to ride my bike in the water as we were getting on the ferry and I was actually enjoying the field day. Fresh air, beautiful green meadows, lots of laughter and the feeling of freedom. Until...
At some point we took a break and I stepped off my bike for a second, but as I was about to hop on it again I noticed that the steering wheel had turned and oh shit there's a really steep ditch right there and oh no I'm heading towards it and oh no... I am waist deep in mud with the big and clonky (and stupid) bike on top of me locking me in a tight grip.
I am stuck in a very wet and sticky ditch and can't get out. And yes, everybody is staring at me. “Hello new classmates!”.
In the end the whole things was kinda funny and absolutely everybody remembered my name after that day. I think the worst part was actually having to borrow dry clothes from one of the teachers, although being stuck in a ditch where people have to help you out aren't exactly my dream first day at school scenario haha!
But, you live through even the most mortifying Bridget Jonesian situations, and one thing my parents always thaught me was the ability to be able to laugh at yourself and not take life too seriously. Actually, making a fool of yourself can be a great way to break the ice and get to know new people because you're much less intimidating after you've shown you're human and imperfect.
So the lesson of this story is: take the plunge, ride your bike in the ditch or fall on your nose and you'll connect with people and they will for sure remember your name ;)
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