Hi guys, I'm new to the forum. I have just joined my first college-level writing class and am working on my first draft of a narrative essay.
The essay is supposed to be about an experience that has changed the way I learn. Please let me know what you think. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
The shrill ringing of the school bell sounds, releasing my classmates and I from our first day of kindergarten. As I step outside the front doors, I see the long line of buses, which seems to infinitely extend into the distance. "Four," I said to myself, "Find bus number four."
After walking for what felt like an eternity, I finally came to my bus. I managed to draw a final breath of the heavy emission-polluted air as I looked up at the threatening yellow vehicle, which towered over me.
"I hate this," I thought. "I don't like this school. I don't like these kids, and I don't like my teacher. I just want to go home." But unfortunately, I couldn't. My first time riding a bus also happened to be the day that we moved into our new house. That wasn't home to me. Not yet at least.
As I shyly made my way down the aisle, careful not to make eye contact with any of the other students, I searched for an open seat. I settled on one in the center of the bus, distancing myself from the rest of the children.
I sat down and swung my backpack around to my side, letting it rest on the outside of the seat in an attempt to prevent anyone from sitting beside me.
The bus began to move and my stomach started to turn. As the school drifted off into the distance, I found myself wishing that I were still standing outside of that building which I so recently disliked.
I occupied myself by continually rocking back and forth in my seat firmly, which caused the backrest to flex and make a loud popping sound as if it were a giant Snapple cap. This soon irritated the older, and thus superior, student across from me, who glared at me as if to demand that I sit still. I slunk back into my seat and focused my attention out the window.
Some time had passed before I realized that nothing looked familiar and I began to panic. I remembered that my parents had given me instructions on where and when to get off, but my mind went blank. All I could think about was how I might have missed my stop and how I may never get home. I felt as though I had been hit by a wave of uncertainty. I looked around nervously for a familiar face but I knew no one. Everything suddenly felt sharp. The chilled leather bus seat pressed against my back and sent goose bumps down my arms. I could feel my face start to burn red, and my eyes began to fill with tears.
One thoughtful third grader must have noticed my distress, for he stepped around my backpack and sat beside me when the bus rolled to a stop. Despite his efforts to comfort me, I wept uncontrollably with my head tucked between the metal wall of the bus and my arms. "Is this your house?" he would ask in a gentle tone every time the bus doors swung open.
I refused to remove my head from its hidden position, afraid that what I would see would appear even less familiar than before. I didn't know what to do. I felt helpless.
When it was finally my turn to exit, I didn't realize it. My parents watched from the driveway as the bus paused for a moment and began to accelerate again when nobody got off. My mom, worrying, sprinted to her car and tailgated the bus to the next stop.
When the bus came to a halt, she threw the car into park and ran towards the bus doors with both arms waving above her head, startling the kids that had just gotten off.
She stepped into the bus, and angrily exchanged a few words with the driver. He then stood up from his seat and yelled, "Is there a Joel Morehouse on the bus?"
Everyone turned and watched as I stood up. I could feel their stares as I shamefully walked up the aisle with my head hung low while I shakily tried to catch my breath through my crying. My mom firmly grabbed me by the arm and shot the bus driver a displeased look that said, "You should be ashamed of yourself," as if it were his fault that I had missed my stop.
I later realized that my embarrassment could have been avoided had I just kept my composure despite the uneasiness I was feeling. I am now reminded of that embarrassment every time I feel nervous or panicked. Remembering how I reacted, and how it only made the situation worse, helps me to keep calm under stressful situations.
This hasn't changed my decisions to take risks, however. That has never been a problem. This has simply changed how I manage the stress that comes with these risks.
Taking challenging courses and being in positions of leadership in activities comes with responsibilities and a great deal of stress. I have learned to channel this negative energy into productivity instead of letting it take control.