Being a new leader in charge of a large group of people is never fun. I was always a bit nervous when someone put me in charge of a group of cadets, and later a group of soldiers. Seriously, you think I knew what I was doing? Not at the age of 19, but I guess the point was to learn by doing.
Actually, one of the scariest moments of my military career was when I showed up for my first drill weekend with my first Reserves unit. After meeting the company commander, he called in a gentleman he introduced as my platoon sergeant. The moment my company commander left, the sergeant turned to me and said, “Okay Lieutenant, what are we doing today?” And all I could think of was, “Geeze! This guy is old enough to be my dad! And I’m supposed to give orders to him?!”
It got easier over time. I got used to being in charge and being the one who had to make the final decision and take responsibility for how things turned out (especially if they went badly). I even discovered that there were plenty of people out there older than me who did not know how to do their jobs and they actually needed me to show them. That was perhaps even more frightening than dealing with a platoon sergeant who turned out to be worth his weight in gold (the man was a professional and very good at his job – i.e. he never let me screw things up too badly).
But in the very beginning, when it was just me, a sophomore cadet, trying to lead a march a bunch of rats to the dining hall, it wasn’t so easy, nor was it a lot of fun. To all you new sophomore cadets out there, take it one step at a time. And if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, you have my sympathies.