Don’t Sweat First Impressions

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Don’t Sweat First Impressions

Abby Choy, Staff Writer

When meeting someone for the first time, I always feel anxiety about leaving a good impression. After all, it’s the one that can’t be taken back and will influence future actions towards you. Once you screw it up, what then? Is it really impossible to change what you think fate has set for you?

I remember meeting one of my friends and being so horrified by my own actions; I was scared to even talk to her in fear of being seen as weird. It was eighth grade during the “Great Eight Debate”, where two people would battle two other people on a controversial topic. We were choosing partners and I, being socially awkward didn’t have many friends, so I paired up with someone I barely knew. All that I knew was that she was a friend of another friend who I wasn’t all that close with. During our first meeting, I was trying to break the ice by being funny, and I accidentally did something that left her staring at me with raised eyebrows. I, on the other hand, was dying inside. I was so mortified; I kept panicking about my actions and wondering what I had done.

The next day, I was so embarrassed that I kept avoiding eye contact and talking with her. That was a terrible idea since we were pairing up for debate, which obviously required communication. I thought I was going to fail the assignment by messing up any chance at talking with each other. However, she was also panicking, which led to the mutual anxiety that bonded us together. Through struggling with research and shouting at other 14-year-olds, we managed a wacky bond forged by being group partners and having a good time. Even though we lost the debate, we gained something better than a win. A friendship. We started to talk outside of class, learning about each other’s interests and listening to each other’s problems. Through the rest of the time I’ve known her, we have grown closer, and even though that first impression was terrible, through time and effort, anyone can make amends.

Although it seems impossible to change someone’s opinion of you by the next meeting, there’s plenty of ways to make it up to them down the line. As long as nothing extremely traumatizing happens the first time around, time can slowly mend hurt and damages. Nothing is permanent or set in stone, especially a human’s opinion.

Graphic courtesy of VECTEEZY.COM