This I Believe

natalie - new orleans, Louisiana
Entered on November 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

I strongly believe that you should never judge a book by it’s cover. During the past year, my three roommates and I have tried countless times to find a roommate to fill the fourth bedroom. This past May we came across someone who was working in New Orleans for the summer and needed a place to live. Being a High School acquaintance of one of our Tulane friends, we knew he came from an respectable background. We also knew he was going to be a senior at Yale, seemed respectful in his e-mails, and was described to us as an “All-American” guy. Overall, he encompassed all of the qualities that would make up a perfect summer roommate.

I can remember the first day I met him. He opened the front door and stood there, chin up, for what seemed like an hour and eventually glanced down at us, managing a “hello.” With his snooty posture, tightly buttoned oxford shirt and perfectly combed hair, we should have foreseen trouble, but he clouded our doubts with an invitation to dinner and drinks. After a few weeks of getting along and spending time together, we began to notice things about him that took a backseat to his pompous veneer. We realized that he was not only borrowing money from each us for parking, utilities, and groceries, but he also never had the funds to pay us back. To make matters worse, he voided his rent checks subsequent to his departure from New Orleans. Only then did it dawn on us that his smug and condescending façade was just a cover for his deceitful character.

In contrast to this negative experience, 9 months ago I met Dan, a junior at Tulane whom I never saw myself becoming friends with. All of my guy friends are either my age or older, so when I met Dan I was immediately put off by his immaturity. As I got to know him, however, I looked past our obvious differences, and in return discovered a side to him that I easily related to. There turned out to be a lot more to him than what I saw when he was out with his friends. Since then, Dan and I have not only become best friends, but we have shared many unforgettable experiences together such as traveling to Amsterdam and Germany. If I had relied on my first impressions of Dan, we would not have the amazing friendship that we have today.

Since these two particular experiences, everyday I try my hardest to never judge people or jump to conclusions about who they really are. It is very important not to judge and cast stereotypes on people because you could be forfeiting a life changing relationship.