This I Believe

Tom - Cataula, Georgia
Entered on April 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

In a series of essays called The Rambler, Samuel Johnson said, “Few have strength of reason to overrule the perceptions of sense, and yet fewer have curiosity or benevolence to struggle long against the first impression.” I believe strongly in the power of first impressions. Nothing influences a person’s overall perception of anyone else quite like the first impression. In my own past experiences, whether I liked it or not, people have judged me based solely on how I acted or even looked when they first saw me. I cannot blame them of course as I have done the same thing plenty of times. I have known some people for years who I thought knew me pretty well. However, more often than not there are certain misconceptions that they have had of me, or vice-versa, from the first time we ever meet. These are unbelievably hard to live down. More specifically, there are some friends of my parents whom I met while I was going through my middle school depression phase. Now, years later, I am still considered by many to be the moody, unsociable kid who is dragged along with his parents everywhere against his will. Being in a bad mood, wearing something strange or possibly even suggestive, these things tend to hold up a bright sign that says “Look at me, I’m a stereotype!” I know that I am never guaranteed a second chance and I never know exactly when we will be making a first impression. With that in mind, I try to be at my best, no matter what is happening. After all, a first impression can last a lifetime so I would rather let it be a good one.