I started on HF with my novice ticket (KA5NVN), upgraded to General in 3 months, and upgraded to Extra (ND5S) in another 3 months. In those days the FCC would visit Oklahoma City from their Dallas office every 90 days.
My first experience as a General on 20 meters was to go to the Morse portion of the band (my comfort zone) and rap out a CQ. The fellow that came back to me congratulated me on my fist and my upgrade to Extra.
In my exuberance I had transmitted out of band for my license class. I quickly signed with him and went up the band.