First impressions should not overshadow character

madison-mug-color

After going to an all-girls school for almost 13 years, I have pretty extensive knowledge on drama. All schools have their fair share of rumors and gossip, though from time-to-time an all-girls environment may have a more emphasized version.
When I was a freshman I was asked to be a Safe School Ambassador, a program which aimed to curb gossip and drama through discreet peer intervention.
Once I was trained to notice and prevent drama, I started seeing how cruel teens can be, and how easily they judged people they don’t know without a second thought. Even I noticed myself looking down on others for the way they dressed at school.
Judging someone on a first impression is inherent for everyone — it’s easy, and doesn’t affect us. We are all guilty of it, whether it is conscious or not.
The school environment is a microcosm of a bigger problem going on in the United States.
Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and more recently Tamir Rice and Eric Garner, were all killed after being subjected to racial profiling. None of the four law officials accused of these crimes were indicted for the deaths of their victims.
Many people argue that their deaths could have happened to anyone, yet blacks are two to eight times more likely than whites to die at the hands of law enforcement, according to a study done by the FBI.
Although it doesn’t seem like much, the first impression we project onto a person can have an effect larger than just a mindless opinion. Letting our first perceptions of someone dominate our opinions can lead to a narrow-minded and un-empathetic life.
A change in the general happiness of our school, and even country, begins with each one of us bringing an end to judgement and first impressions. Rationalizing mean comments as “girls being girls” not only makes it okay, but also instills in us that it is acceptable for the rest of our lives, when it really isn’t.
When we make the changes in ourselves by rising above catty comments, whether said out loud or internally, we will begin to influence others within our own community and bring those stuck in an 18th century mindset into the 21st.

Madison Riehle
Editor-in-Chief

After going to an all-girls school for almost 13 years, I have pretty extensive knowledge on drama. All schools have their fair share of rumors and gossip, though from time-to-time an all-girls environment may have a more emphasized version.

When I was a freshman I was asked to be a Safe School Ambassador, a program which aimed to curb gossip and drama through discreet peer intervention.

Once I was trained to notice and prevent drama, I started seeing how cruel teens can be, and how easily they judged people they don’t know without a second thought. Even I noticed myself looking down on others for the way they dressed at school.

Judging someone on a first impression is inherent for everyone — it’s easy, and doesn’t affect us. We are all guilty of it, whether it is conscious or not.

The school environment is a microcosm of a bigger problem going on in the United States.

Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and more recently Tamir Rice and Eric Garner, were all killed after being subjected to racial profiling. None of the four law officials accused of these crimes were indicted for the deaths of their victims.

Many people argue that their deaths could have happened to anyone, yet blacks are two to eight times more likely than whites to die at the hands of law enforcement, according to a study done by the FBI.

Although it doesn’t seem like much, the first impression we project onto a person can have an effect larger than just a mindless opinion. Letting our first perceptions of someone dominate our opinions can lead to a narrow-minded and un-empathetic life.

A change in the general happiness of our school, and even country, begins with each one of us bringing an end to judgement and first impressions. Rationalizing mean comments as “girls being girls” not only makes it okay, but also instills in us that it is acceptable for the rest of our lives, when it really isn’t.

When we make the changes in ourselves by rising above catty comments, whether said out loud or internally, we will begin to influence others within our own community and bring those stuck in an 18th century mindset into the 21st.