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Get Past First Impressions

By Lana P., Grade 12
I’m sure you have all heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but the reality is that many people do not model this phrase. As human beings, the first thing we notice about someone we meet is their appearance. Without any knowledge of their personality or who they truly are, we make an assumption, either positive or negative. But why do we not look past that initially?
 
I’m sure at some point in your life you didn’t like someone at first and then became friends with them. I have to admit I have felt this way before, even in the last few months. Every year, when new students come to our school, I always find myself making an initial impression on them either positive or negative, even though it is not necessarily on purpose, as it is common human behaviour.
 
With most of my closest friends, I honestly didn't have a good first impression of them, but as I have been around them and learned their stories, I’ve discovered that they are some of the most genuine people I have met.
 
The majority of the time, I’ve come to realize, that these first impressions are not correct, and beneath the surface, people are different than they seem. People may be able to do things that you would never expect, or they may have gone through something you could never imagine going through, and you find yourself only being able to sympathize with them.
 
Every person in the world has their own stories, all different from another. Everyone’s story has shaped them to become the person they are today. You can never fully grasp what someone else’s story is from your initial impression on them. Everyone is unique and special in their own way, so next time you meet someone, maybe try to get to know them before creating an uninformed impression of them, because their appearance does not dictate who they truly are. Try to be more open to the ideology that there is more to somebody than your eyes can see, and somebody’s appearance is only the beginning of their story.
 
Get to truly know somebody before judging them and become more open-minded. Treat everyone with kindness and remember that you never know what other people around you have experienced and the challenges they have had to overcome. Because, ultimately, you would never want someone to judge you solely based on a first impression. There’s more to your story than what you initially present, and there’s more to other people’s stories too!
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