Hello, everyone! This is my first ever blog post, and so I thought ‘first impressions’ was a good place to start 🙂 . I have already written this in speech format, so sorry if it sounds a little stilted or excessively colloquial.
SIDENOTE: It’s also Halloween today, so Happy Halloween if you are into all that! I for one am not, but good for you for embarrassing yourself in moderately frightening outfits 🙂
ANYWAY! Perhaps I should start by listing some of the things I’d like to share with you. I have a whole load of different interests, thoughts and ideas; opinions, controversial or otherwise, and general emotion it seems blogging is perfect for offloading onto.
Poetry. Behavioural Economics. My stories. The Tudors, and History in general. Moral Philosophy. How language is used in politics. Extremism, and Religion as a motivator. Counterfactuals and the probability of life. Atom theory and Radioactivity. Pink Floyd, Jake Bugg, Bob Dylan and the poetry of music. Plato’s Cave and the relevance of Classics today. What social media is doing to society. What it’s really like attending an all girls boarding school. Why some people think I’m shy, and are really surprised to find out I’m not.
And then I started thinking on that last point. I sort of remembered all the times I formed an opinion of someone, and turned out to be massively wrong. Our brains box people; orders them into categories and subcategories, sorts them out and assigns them a stereotype when we first meet whoever it is. This all happens very quickly, often on the tiniest evidence.
For me, my friends have said they based their first impressions of me on my uncontrollable, slightly eccentric looking curly hair (dead straight at the moment, thanks to four hours of accidently burning my scalp!) or my glasses forever slipping down (I wear contact lenses now; look how their words have affected me!) or the fact that I won a scholarship to my school when I first arrived, four years ago now. I was ten.
I do it, too. We all do it. I’m surprised when someone who I’ve boxed as ‘cool’ or part of that clique produces the most amazing artwork that is genuinely superb. I’m surprised when someone I thought was ‘nerdy’ and shy turns out to be a national girls’ cricket champion. I don’t like that I do it, but I’m not the only one. We all form opinions quickly.
I’m not trying to preach, and I’m sorry if it’s coming out that way. Life is too short to reserve judgement with every new person you meet until you’ve at least had a proper conversation. It’s much easier to categorise the acquaintance into a stereotype, but it’s got to be something if we are at least aware we’re doing it.
Think about it; I know how many different things make me unique. Stands to reason you all have the same amount of aspects to your personality as I have to mine. But we all take only the most glaringly obvious before assuming we ‘know’ the type of person he / she is.
So what can we do? Well, I promise you that the hundreds of little likes / dislikes, interests and passions that make up the average human being are actually really interesting and important. And with so many of them, there’s bound to be something you have in common with everyone. So, the next time you come across someone you feel you have not much to do with, someone you may have unintentionally boxed (whether as cool, sporty, geeky or just plain boring) rethink. You don’t have to do anything – just please, please think about this message I’m trying to get across, and if the doing part comes naturally and sincerely to you, then maybe the world will be the tiniest bit of a better place because of this post.
This was meant for an audience of other fourteen year old girls, but I think its pretty relevant across society. It was quite serious and preachy, but at least we can do something about it, right? 🙂