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The first day at a new job can feel a lot like going back to school

No matter what your age or how cool your new bag is, first-day jitters affect us all.

Remember the butterflies in your stomach as you got dropped off for the first day of the school year? Although a new job means getting to know your new boss instead of meeting your teacher and wondering about performance reviews instead report cards, in many ways, the thoughts and feelings you have when starting a new job and starting a new school year are exactly the same.

Don’t believe us? Here’s proof:

1. You stay up too late the night before.


Whether you’re too excited to sleep or anxiety leads to insomnia, you’ll wake up for the first day at school and the first day at a new job wishing that you can hit the snooze button. Your taste buds may have outgrown the sugary cereal that used to give you a burst of energy, but luckily, that’s why coffee was invented.

2. You spend hours planning the perfect outfit.


You need an outfit that says you’re smart, friendly and cool all at once while still abiding by the dress code. As a kid, you raided your older sister’s closet, but adult you has a credit card for times like these.

More: First day fashion

3. You show up wicked early.


Being fashionably late is out of the question on the first day, plus you’re not quite sure where you’re going or where to park. As a kid you had to wait for the school doors to be unlocked so you could start the hunt for your homeroom, but now you can play on your phone to pass the minutes until the maintenance staff unlocks the building.

4. Too many new names to remember.


Yearbooks would be so much more helpful if they came out at the beginning of the year. Hopefully, your job has an office directory you can sneak a peek at to make you look like a name ninja.

5. You agonize over where to sit at lunch.


As a kid, you had to choose between trying to find a familiar face or eating in a bathroom stall, but as a grown-up you can say that you had an errand to run and nosh in your car as you text your partner for moral support.

More: Making the first day of school special

6. You might make a new friend.


All it takes is one kind face in the crowd to turn you into a stage five clinger until the clock ticks to quitting time, but sometimes the acquaintances you make on the first day become your very best friends by the last day.

7. Or identify your new nemesis.


You thought your middle school locker was a pain to deal with, but the fax machine won’t stop blinking “LOAD LTR TRAY” and you’re pretty sure there’s a scrap of paper stuck in the cogs somewhere.

8. You’re bound to get lost at least once.


You can study the building layout or your class schedule ahead of time as much as you want, but chances are still good that you’ll be looking for the bathroom and end up in a storage closet.

More: How to find a job you really enjoy

9. There’s just something about the feeling of a brand new notebook.


Freshly sharpened pencils, pristine folders and a box of pens with no missing caps. As a kid, your school supplies may have looked worse for the wear by Halloween, but thanks to a fully stocked supply closet, you’ll never run out of Post-it notes at work.

10. No matter how the day goes, you’re relieved when it’s finally over.


New experiences are hard no matter your age, but the rewards for a job well done are also universal: something tasty, a snuggly blanket and the remote control.

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