I started sparring a month ago; I've gone about 30 rounds (I lost my exact count).
Before I started sparring I got a lot of advice from other fighters:
1. When you first start out you'll probably get discouraged, because everything you thought you were really good at will feel completely different. Just stick with it.
2. When you get overwhelmed don't throw your technique out the window.
3. Learn how to control your breathing and your head.
4. Spar as much as you can, but if you're not feeling it, don't let anyone force you or talk you into it.
All of those other fighters were right. Sparring has been discouraging at times, overwhelming with certain sparring partners, and a fight with my own body and reflexes. At the same time, the new challenge is very exciting. I've taken some very hard shots, I've given a few bloody noses, and I've learned something important every time.
I have so much more to learn and and work on, but so far I've discovered that I have one consistent strength in the ring: I can stay calm under pressure. When things get intense I don't panic and I don't get angry; I can keep it together. One trainer told me it's the hardest thing to learn.