Sunday September 2 1997

Dear diary,

I'm in bed listening to music and thinking about tomorrow. Here, in my bedroom, I feel safe and indestructible. I know where everything is. Tomorrow, at the comp, I will feel out of place - everything will be new and I won't know many people - I'll have to meet new teachers. How will I know who is a teacher and who is not? At primary school I knew all the teachers. People talk about the teachers at comprehensive. They say bad things about them. What will the teachers think of me? I might do something that I'm not supposed to do. I might get told off and get a letter home about being bad.

I'm worried that I might get bullied. Someone said to my mum that bullies don't get told off. I might get picked on by people who are not my friends. My best friend is 9 so she won't be moving up to comp with me. Most people will try and make friends with people from other schools. I hope I can make friends easily. Once you get settled it's fine. I coped with induction week so it shouldn't be that bad. I hope that everything Mrs O'Reilly says is true.

I would like to do well at comp. I'm going to try my best and listen carefully to the teachers. I'm looking forward to doing new things like cooking and working on different computers. I'd like to have fun and learn a lot more things but I'm worried about getting a lot of homework in one day, like maths, English, art and R.E. I don't know whether to feel happy or sad - I'm trapped in two thoughts. I'd like to go back to the beginning of the summer. I've had a great time playing blocky with my friends, going swimming, playing tigi and football in Stanhope Park, taking the dog for walks, having picnics by the river, playing in the wood, going on bike rides with my dad - he kept racing ahead! I've seen my cousins and been to the old mine with my gran. I've really made the most of my holidays. Now I don't know what to do with myself - I'm feeling all crushed up.

My mam said to come up and get everything sorted out for tomorrow. She says she'll get me up at 7am. My new uniform is hanging on the wardrobe door. I've got a new school bag and pencil case. I'm so nervous I've sharpened my pencil 3 times in the last hour - now it's an inch shorter!

It'll be so weird being a "new" pupil at "big" school. You have everything and then you lose it all, like a piece of paper that's on fire - all the things that are familiar and then they're gone. I'm going to feel lost in such a big noisy school. I won't know where things are, like the classrooms, the hall and the dinner room. I think I'll waste time getting from class to class. I'll probably be late for every lesson. At least I'll be able to find my way home!

I hope I'll survive the first day and the next and the next and the next....