no work

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There is no work on the first day.
All of us have a lot of feeling about first days. We worry about making new friends; getting the smart, nice teacher (or boss). We worry we won't know enough to keep up in class (or at the PTA meeting) or that everyone else will know something we don't. Neck-and-neck with the anxiety is the excitement, because this might be the year when we're voted school president (or promoted to VP of marketing)! This might be the day when the cute older guy at the bus stop (or a cute man at the French-cinema lecture series) finally instantly falls in love with us! But we forget the most crucial point: There is no work on the first day. There are no tests (or presentations) or research (or fundraising calls) or oral reports (or speeches to the committee). You just show up, get through the newness of it all, and go home where, hopefully, you will enjoy milk and cookies (or nachos and margaritas).

Leigh Newman is the deputy editor of and the author of Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home.

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