Why do firsts have to be so hard? There is the infamous first day of school when we hope to start class with people we already know or are related to. It would be so awkward and scary otherwise. Most children want to ride the bus the first day to start the “will you be my friend” process, but some parents insist on taking them to school. This only adds to the anxiety because walking into the classroom holding your mom’s hand gives off the impression you are afraid and would rather be at home watching cartoons. Everyone is staring and you just want to turn and run. You’re just looking for that one person to connect with so you don’t have to be alone.
There is the first day of college when you leave all of your familiar surroundings to start your academic career in a big new world. No parents around to ask questions or directions. You don’t have your friends around to talk about the new people because you are now the new person. New dorm mates , classes and responsibilities you never thought you would have to deal with on your own and you still don’t know anyone. Who am I going to bond with in class? Who am I going to get notes from? Who am I going to eat my meals with? How do I get to the class or the cafeteria? It’s all confusing and overwhelming and if you don’t ask for help, you end up looking like a lost tourist.
Starting a new job is one of the most exciting and terrifying things we can do. Finally you get the chance to work in the field you went to school for, but you have to learn all of the nuances of the company and the people you work for and with. Of course everyone offers to help you when you need it, but you don’t want to wear out your welcome. We all start with a sense of confidence, but it can quickly turn into ” I should know this already!” So then we don’t want to ask questions because of the fear of our co-workers whispering about the new girl.
The one thing firsts have in common is that it’s a new beginning. No one wants to start out being the newbie, but at least the we take the chance and actually start. As I was watching the 25th anniversary special of Def Comedy Jam, I saw a very old skit of Dave Chappelle. It was then I began to reflect on what it was like to be a newbie. When he first started his comedy, what if he had allowed the fear and anxiety of being a newbie stop him from doing standup? He had to start in order to begin his career. Today he is one of the most rich, famous, funniest and sought after comedians to date. I know I have used being the newbie as the reason I would not go to a function or start a new project. I was worried about not knowing anyone there and not having anyone to talk to. Why be a wallflower when I could be at home binge watching my favorite shows? That does not require me to have to try to interact with anyone and therefore no awkwardness. I was so anxious about starting this blog because it’s something new and I am not an expert on blogging. Before I started, I thought I needed to know everything or I couldn’t start. One day I decided to just start writing and hoped for the best. We don’t have to know everything or wait for the perfect moment before we try something new. Being a newbie means we started and we all have to start somewhere.