Tomorrow I have my first day of orientation for new undergraduate students at CCA. It's been such along time since I've had this feeling - the mix of nervousness, excitement, anxiety and curiosity that accompanies the first day of going to a new school. I wonder what my future classmates will be like, if there will be anyone in the jewelry program who is remotely my age, if I will be looked at as the cool older girl who has traveled the world and has fun stories, or as the lame old girl who is painfully out of touch with all things current and fashionable. I wonder what outfit I'll wear - the *real* source of agony for the first day :) - what shoes will look cute but be sufficiently comfortable for my 7-block walk from the subway to campus, whether I should bring an umbrella or a notebook or snacks or my portfolio, just in case.
At least the first day of school means that likely everyone is in the same nervous boat...
I remember the last time I had a first day at school. It was in 2000, at Ibmec (Wikipedia page in English here), the business school in Rio where I eventually ended up meeting Rico, as well as the friend who was responsible for convincing each of us to move to Mozambique. I was 18 at the time and had just moved to Rio two weeks earlier. I knew exactly one person in the city - a friend of a friend of a business associate of my mom's - who had kindly helped me check into a cheap but safe hotel in Flamengo neighborhood. I remember sitting alone in my room at Hotel Florida, watching a novela on tv, driving myself crazy with anxiety wondering if I'd manage to a) find the subway station in Flamengo, b) get off at the right stop downtown, and c) find the skyscraper in which the school was located without getting lost, getting mugged, or having a breakdown.
I managed, of course, and almost immediately met an equally nervous girl who ended up becoming one of my best friends. How was such a quick bond formed? In the midst of one of the swankiest, richest, chic-est environments ever, she and I were the only students wearing Havaianas flip-flops and carrying backpacks. The rest of the girls were all about designer purses, manicured nails and high heels. Which is funny, because my style is more like those girls now than I could have ever anticipated.
Anyhow, here's hoping I have the good luck at orientation to meet a nice, "old" (i.e. born before 1985) girlie-girl who loves fashion, dancing and travel, and who feels similarly in need of a new friend.