Warrior Words: First impressions
People have a natural tendency to gravitate towards perceived normalcy with the standard-bearing example being oneself whether or not they care to admit so. A microcosm of this behavioral phenomenon is the admitted-students pages for colleges that seniors proudly join in anticipation of meeting future classmates.
Blood violently coursing against your temple, heart dizzy with anticipation, your eyes skim over the word “Congratulations!” and in a nanosecond, the potential outcome of the next four years of your life flashes before you. Or, of course, the lack of this one simple word connotes a completely different, heartbreaking reality. This brief flash of adrenaline, I think warily, is the fruition of the last 13 years of schooling that I’ve endured. Regardless of the outcome, however, you assume that the pressure ends here. Right? Wrong.
Before you know it, you’re catapulted into the middle of a very complicated, long-term decision in the midst of an insurmountable amount of schoolwork, plans, and obligations. This decision, however, is not as simple as it used to be.
With the lovely advancements of social media, you can now seamlessly connect with potential future classmates by joining the Facebook pages of your accepted class. As soon as you join, however, your timeline is constantly swamped with posts by admitted students that impressively convert long, rambling narratives of life stories into concise, quirky snippets accompanied by a few carefully selected photographs, each crafting a specific persona for you to digest before you’ve even met.
I have never been very good at creating a distinct “social media presence,” due to both a lack of talent and interest. My Instagram doesn’t have a coherent “theme,” something of which is supposedly quite important to garner new followers; instead, my profile still brazenly boasts of a picture of me donning a onesie in Stop ‘n’ Shop from seventh grade and another of me wearing a horse head in my New Year’s Eve dress.
Despite my inherent inability to effectively use social media, I thought I’d try to make one of these posts myself. Yet as I tried to condense my love of writing, improvisation, Mac Demarco, and nature documentaries into bullets, I was taken aback by the contrived, awkward nature of my soon-to-be first introduction.
When I first moved to Wilton, I didn’t have the supposed luxury of getting to pre-screen all of my potential friends before even meeting them. Instead, I was blindly thrown into the first day of field hockey camp, left to pick apart the quirks of each new person as I interacted with them through time. While I am not close friends with everyone that I first met in seventh grade, eighth grade, ninth grade, or even this year, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to forge unexpected friendships while simultaneously learning how to let others dissolve naturally. As I begin to leave new first impressions on my future classmates, I want to mimic my experience in Wilton, catapulting myself into the dynamic nature of interaction blindly, unencumbered by a pre-constructed persona or Facebook post. I delete my post, my stomach comfortably settling back into place after seeing my painfully awkward post delve back into the black void of the Internet.
Skyler Addison is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with four classmates.