The sound of the school bus makes my heart beat faster. I breathe in and out, trying to calm my nerves. I mean, I’m not really nervous, but I’m still apprehensive of the year to come.

     It’s a new start. A new year of school. High school.

     When the bus turns into the school, my jittery nerves start up again. The building is massive. Like, super massive. My elementary school had one hallway. My middle school had one and a half floors. This high school has three full floors, with multiple hallways in each storey and tons of classrooms.

     I’m lucky to find some people I know right away, and we all nervously walk around, trying to find our way around and where our homerooms are and are you in my French class and do we have Science together and what bus am I taking home? We totally look like new grade 10 kids, with our worried talking and nervous laughter and our/my five-foot-nothingness.

     But then after what feels like two hours (but is probably half that much) of homeroom boredom, we meet in the gym for an assembly about drugs and alcohol, open-campus, and not skipping class, and then we wander again until the buses show up and take me home. For the first time in three years I’m dropped off right at my house so I don’t have to walk. For the first time in three years I can wear casual clothes. And for the first time in three months I’m actually at school.

     Tomorrow is my first day of actual classes. Sure, I’m less nervous because I’ve been inside the school, but questions still run through my mind: What if I get lost? What if there’s no one I know in my class? What if I can’t find my class? But of course I know in a few months I’ll laugh at my present worries. Soon I’ll join some clubs and a few sports teams and make friends. Soon I’ll cruise around the school as if I own it.

     Soon I’ll smile at the new grade 10 kids who walk through the doors for the first time, searching for their friends, trying to ignore questions about getting lost, and breathing steadily despite the butterflies tumbling inside.

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