You’re walking into school for possibly the first time in more than a year, and—how can we put this nicely?—you’re a total mess. Pounding heart, sweaty palms, shaky legs, and a major swarm of butterflies in your stomach. You might be tempted to turn around and run back home, but instead, take a deep breath.
That case of first-day jitters is caused by a surge of adrenaline, and, believe it or not, it’s there to protect you. Adrenaline is called the fight-or-flight hormone because it prepares your body to either do battle with, or run from, a threat—even if that threat is as minor as being late for first period. Here’s how it works: