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The First Day Fever: How To Conquer The First Day Fever Dream

(Image credit: Getty. Image courtesy of

You have been waiting for your whole life for this day. You wake up before the alarm goes off and take extra effort to look "presentable." You wonder, who do I want to be? Should I come across as effortless or purposeful? Do I need to sign up for extra-curricular activities or focus on the task? Regardless of how I present myself, I need to answer these questions, Who are you? What do you look forward to most? Where are you from? Then, with the same enthusiasm, you must answer the same questions no matter how often you are asked. No one seems to answer the most vital question: how can you survive this day? The answer is simple: a person needs to remember their ABs.

(Image courtesy of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. The image was found

A: Acknowledge.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock. The image depicts President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) at his desk, 1907)

It's important to remember that the first day is universally felt. The first day can have conflicting emotions ranging from excitement to dread. If you dive deeper, you realize that these surface-level emotions reflect how you view the unknown. Some people are thrilled by the adrenaline coursing through their veins, while others pray for an uneventful day. Everyone can relate to President Theodore Roosevelt's perspective despite the first day's conflicting sentiments. In 1910, President Roosevelt gave his Citizenship in a Republic speech at the Sorbonne in Paris. In the speech, Roosevelt says the following:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

President Theodore Roosevelt described how courageous it is to put yourself into a new situation. As you walk in unfamiliar hallways, remember that it takes strength to do something new.

(Image courtesy of Media from Wix)

B: Build

Whenever a person starts something new, I think people expect themselves to build the next world wonder. The first day is often seen as the first page of an untitled chapter devoted to professional, personal, or academic development. But the act of building does not need to mean eradicating the old system; instead, you can build upon an existing functional foundation instead of starting from scratch.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock. The image depicts construction workers on site)

In college, I was a part of a club. Let's call this club The Learning Lab. Every year the Learning Lab's president and vice president would recreate the lab's skeletal structure to fit current demands, needs, and supplies. When I was involved with the Learning Lab, the organization's President and Vice President decided to rename positions, merge departments, and "revolutionize" operations. But they did not understand how their mass destruction in the name of newness deterred progress.

The following year, a new president and vice president led the organization. The new president understood how, instead of wiping away years of team models that worked, he could fuse old and new ideas to create a more cohesive Learning Lab. When you start your first day, be like the new president of the learning lab as you understand that sometimes new does not equate to automatic correctness.

(Image courtesy of Media from Wix)

Taylor Swift encapsulated the first-day fever dream in her song Fifteen. Swift sang, "take a deep breath as you walk through the door." I urge you to remember that your legacy is not tied to your first day. The first day is whatever you make of it.

(Video courtesy of Taylor Swift)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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