I promise you, even if you are the biggest dork during your first day of school as a Plebe (freshman) at the Naval Academy, YOU WILL RECOVER!!! How do I know this for sure? …because I had an extremely embarrassing first day of school that I can laugh so hard about now that I cry!
It was the first day of school, my Plebe Year. I had a backpack full of textbooks and I was executing my famous power-walk so that I could get to class before the other students and secure one of the front seats – yes, I am a nerd, and I cannot drink caffeine without it upsetting my stomach so sitting in the front row helps me stay awake during class (but mostly I wanted a front seat because I am a nerd). I was not a huge fan of our working blues uniform that we had to wear (though it was better than the clothes we had to wear for Plebe Summer and I MUCH preferred summer working blues to winter working blues that buttoned up so high that I felt like I was choking.) One of my least favorite parts of the uniform (or any uniform for that matter) were the shirt-stays. The point of shirt-stays is just like the name suggests – to keep your shirt tucked into your pants in an orderly fashion. You wear one shirt-stay per leg and one end clasps on to the front and back of one side of your shirt and then the other end formed a loop that went around your foot. (I was going to include a picture of shirt-stays for people who do not know what I am talking about, but when I looked them up online, I found some pretty funny but slightly awkward photos that I didn’t feel like posting on the blog…) I know many people did not wear the shirt-stays but I certainly was not going to break a rule. Rule-following was my style. Anyways, I always had the hardest time getting the shirt-stay to stay attached to my shirt, especially after the uniform had been laundered. So there I was, first day of school, power-walking across campus with all of my textbooks, looking eager as ever to get to my next class early so that I could snag a seat in the front row, and oh, no! One of the two clasps on my left shirt-stay popped off. I kept going, praying the second and last clasp on the shirt-stay would hold. Of course, it didn’t…seconds later the remaining clasp popped off and I felt the shirt-stay fall down my pant leg and spool around my ankle.
Now the next logical step would have been to wrap the shirt-stay around my ankle and then proceed to class, but I was so determined to make it to class early that I kept walking, kicking the shirt-stay around my legs as I walked, as if it were a “Skip-It” toy. I can only imagine how absolutely ridiculous I looked! Thankfully, a minute or so later after almost tripping and falling, common sense prevailed and I wrapped it around my ankle so that I could walk normally.
After that incident, I remember feeling like my world was ending. Surely, I had just labeled myself as the most socially inept Midshipman on campus. However, here I am, 9.5 years later, laughing my head off as I recount that story. It makes me think about all of the times in my life when it felt like the world was crashing in on me, or I had made a mistake or done something silly that would be impossible to recover from. If I could go back in time, I would tell 18-year-old Brynn to laugh a little and not take herself and her “social standing” so seriously!
Do you all have any funny first day of school stories? I would love to hear them!
Post by Brynn Gray