As someone who is about a 100% awkward with first encounters, no one understands the butterflies that come with them better than I do. More importantly, all of the pressures associated with first impressions leave me more nervous than Frodo when he first got a look at Mordor.
In job interviews, a first impression is really important, perhaps too important. Sometimes I think we put way too much on these first impressions, especially in first year, when everything is brand new and scary, and everyone on the sidelines telling you to just go for it.
My first impression of U of T was a mixed bag of emotions, but was leaning more towards a terrified feeling of emptiness. Naturally, a school as large – and as beautiful – as ours can come off as intimidating. Coming to campus for a tour in August, right before the school year started, my impression was nowhere close to the impression I have now. Everything seemed so much larger, and scarier. Even Robarts looks and feels different! For example: before U of T, the vision of everyone’s favorite home away from home always had me thinking about its architecture, now it just has me thinking about all of the hours I have and will continue to spend in it. See? Impression changed!
Another first impression was daily life in terms of going to classes, the sizes of them, the interactions (and often the lack thereof) and the wonky times that some classes were assigned. Some of the first few days were rough, but this first impression certainly wasn’t a lasting one, and I couldn’t be more thankful about it.
When you end up spending a few years somewhere, it’s worth re-examining your first impressions. These are the times when first impressions shouldn’t matter so much, because when they do, we potentially lose out on meeting a future best friend, finding a favorite activity or making top-ten kind of memory.
It kind of makes me wonder how many things I may have missed out on from letting a first impression become such a deciding factor in my own thoughts. First impressions should never become the roadblock that stands between you and the changes that come your way.