Do you believe that first impressions are accurate? When I meet someone for the first time, I make sure that I keep my squeaky voice at an appropriate decibel. I know that I can be loud at times, but during the initial meeting, I am self-conscious about the pitch and level of my voice. I also try to balance my serious and witty sides so I don’t appear to be too jovial or too serious. It’s not that I’m trying to be phony, but you don’t want your first impression to be memorable for the wrong reasons. I’ve always heard the cliché, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and I always keep the idiom in the back of my head when meeting new people.
For the past two weeks I’ve had class with the same four women. We are enrolled in a full time Masters program in which majority of our classes are in a cohort. In short, most of my classes have only four students. Today was the beginning of a new semester for the first time; we had additional students in our class. First day of classes are usually filled with the formulaic introductions —where you went to school and your career goals— and today were no exception.
I finished my introduction and the next person began to speak. I sat there listening to this one of the new students speak and all I could do was shake my head. “I hope this girl isn’t serious,” I thought, “There is no way in the world she’s serious. When the professor asked when did she graduate from undergrad, she replied with, “I don’t remember when I graduated.” I was stunned. How could she not remember such a memorable occasion? The more she spoke, the more I shook my head in disbelief.
After graduation she moved to another state for about a year and she expressed that she did absolutely nothing. When the professor asked, “how did you pay your bills,” she replied with, “well, I had a few odd jobs but nothing serious.” I know this might seem stupid, but things went further downhill. In the midst of her mindboggling introduction she mentioned that she had absolutely no idea what she wanted to do after graduation. In fact, she didn’t know when she wanted to graduate. Apparently, she is still trying to “find herself.”
Eventually the professor interrupted and expressed, in a nice way, that it’s expensive to enroll in this graduate program and not have a tentative end goal in mind. I did my best to not look at her because I didn’t know how to camouflage my facial expression. As she finished her spiel, the professor asked if she was in the full time program and she laughed as she said the following, “No! I can’t commit to a full time program at this time.” She ended her
My first impression of her was that she’s a free spirited and has some commitment issues. She approached every answer as if it was a joke and for the love of God I pray that I am not put into a group with her. Graduate school is too expensive to not have some sort of a career goal in mind. I know it might sound a little judgmental on my end, but honestly, would you want to work with someone like that?
First impressions can be misleading and I’ll admit that her first one wasn’t good. Who knows, maybe I’ll like working with her. I can only hope that my initial impression of her was false and she turns out to be the complete opposite.