First First Day of School in 14 Years

My actual first day of preschool in 1988. I had not yet mastered the backpack. I had, however, mastered pigtails.

My actual first day of preschool in 1988. I had not yet mastered the backpack. I had, however, mastered pigtails.

Today was the first day of class. I got countless messages from people wishing me a good day, so thank you all for that. I wish I could say I had a blast, but the truth is that the day was varied. It started off pretty anxiety-ridden but ended on a positive note. 

I was emailed by 4 different professors in the last week about the syllabus and class lists. Plus we had a meeting last Thursday in orientation for fashion design incoming students which included the "standard" lists for the first day of classes. On top of that, I got my first class of the day's list last night. So many supplies, some overlapping, some specified in certain lists and generalized in others, all syllabi in different format and media. Trying to piece everything together has been somewhat stressful.

Yesterday I was shopping at Michael's for the art-focused supplies and literally just started having a panic attack, the kind where my chest gets tight, and I sweat A LOT. I suppose it makes sense with the cluster that was list deciphering, but I wasn't expecting to feel anxiety this late in the game about school.

But I guess it's real now. Mentally I am ready but my body is still catching up.

Then this morning I arrived early to buy a few sewing items for my first class. I ordered a backpack on Amazon last night and I am excited for its arrival. I have so much stuff to truck from class to class and I feel like a pack mule or something. I had an 18x24 newsprint pad today (for which I got a carrying case for as I remember from art school 14 years ago that the pages will get trampled in my commute). I also got pattern paper which is 45" and super awkward when you are also carrying a huge flat rectangle around.

Because of the 70 lists I had, of course somehow I didn't have the right materials for the first class. It wasn't my fault. The list said #1 muslin and plain pattern paper, which I purchased this morning. Then it turned out we needed #3 muslin and dotted pattern paper. There wasn't enough time for me to pick up the new supplies and get back to class before it ended either, so I still haven't threaded an industrial machine yet.

I *can* work on this at home but it won't give me the practice on the industrial machine. So my body panicked about this silly thing that I will certainly catch up on easily.

I had about 2 hours between classes and my body just continued to stew and panic. It didn't feel great. I know it's a temporary thing, worrying about supplies, and I am prone to panic attacks. It's okay. I just found a quiet corner in a Starbucks and tried to catch up with my thoughts.

My 2nd class of the day, and my only evening class, is figure drawing. May I just say this, thank the goddesses for Mary-Ann Kokaska. She was this tiny soft-spoken teacher at Colorado State who taught the summer course of figure drawing, and she was known for being one of the toughest teachers at the school of art. BUT if you really listened to her and worked hard, you would come out so much better at the end of the semester. I improved leaps and bounds in her class and hoped that I would remember her teachings.

Tonight my teacher kept coming up behind me and telling me how beautiful my work was looking. I know that towards the end of class she was parked behind me for a while, and I think she was watching how I worked. She pulled me aside at the end and asked me what my major was. I told her I was a one-year student and she basically implied that my technique was excellent and I mentioned I took a figure class 13 years ago (hoo boy) when I got my bachelor's degree originally. She was like "Ah, that explains it!"

It made me feel awesome. After a kind of up and down day, it was a reminder that I am not starting over, no matter how I feel on the first day. I am only adding on to the knowledge that I already have, as well as the life skills and confidence I've worked so hard to build up in the last 10 years. It was a nice ego boost to have a teacher personally remind me that I belong here and I'm going to kick ass here.

Here's to the rest of the week!