I didn’t introduce myself to Victoria Williamson for the first two years we went to summer camp together. Tall, Lebanese, and beautiful, she carried the nickname “Sass”. I, bubbly, cute, and child-like, frankly felt intimidated by her. Though she had friends, she seemed to have a cold, stony aura about her, and we stayed away from each other for the first six weeks we lived in the same vicinity. Finally, I decided to delve into what lay behind her attitude; I began talking to her over the school year and found that she was completely different than what I’d expected. In July of 2006, we reunited as if we had been best friends all our lives.
This was not the first or last time that happened. I used to be a firm believer in the fact that first impressions are everything. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even judge someone based on a first meeting; I’d just assume that someone with a sour expression was a sour person. This theory has been disproved so many times, each instance making it clearer that it’s not true.
As humans, we have good days and bad days, and that shows in our expression, posture, and body language. Sometimes, when I’m at my absolute worst, I think to myself, “I definitely wouldn’t want to know me right now.”
First impressions are crucial, but I know that it’s up to me to decide whether to make assumptions or not. I need to keep and open mind. Someone may look like an unhappy person, but other thing may lie hidden beneath the surface. A new girl at school may look too stuck-up to talk to anyone on the first day, but maybe she just got her braces tightened. Maybe she’s just shy.
We can miss out on learning so many things and meeting so many people by drawing conclusions based on what we see or hear one time. Let it be known that in order to really understand someone, we need to take a closer look. Everyone has something we can learn, but to get to it, we have to give them a chance.
Sass is one of the best friends I have ever had. I wasted too much time not knowing her just because of the way she appeared. Now, I only have one summer left with her. As we’ve known each other, this girl has taught me what true love and friendship are, but mostly that appearances can be deceiving. This I believe and always will.
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