You only get one chance to make a first impression.
In the month that I’ve been here, I’ve made many first impressions and been on the receiving end of many more. Some have been better than others, but that’s life, right? If everyone made a great first impression, then the world would be a very different place. Luckily first impressions aren’t the only impressions. This is especially lucky for me, as I made a less than favorable first impression on my roommate.
Housing assignments came out in late-July, when I was working at a summer camp. It was midnight, and there I was, sitting in my cabin when I received the email I had been eagerly awaiting: my housing assignment. I decided to be randomly paired up with my roommate, so receiving this email was like finally receiving my Hogwarts letter.
So there I was. I opened my email and then, naturally because I am not Harry Potter and live in the modern world, Facebook. My roommate had already added me as a friend, and I quickly accepted and decided to message her to introduce myself.
I wasn’t quite sure what to say and sat there for a minute, trying to compose something eloquent yet witty that would make her say, “Wow, Emily seems like the coolest person on the face of the planet; I’m so happy the universe brought us together.” As I was struggling to make this impression, I noticed something I had never seen before on the Facebook messenger: a little smiley face icon next to the send button.
In my haze of nervousness, curiosity, and probably heat exhaustion (the camp counselor struggle), I clicked on this icon. What I saw was a collection of adorable cartoon drawings, one of which I decided I wanted to see bigger. So I clicked on the image of the hula-dancing gorilla, expecting it to open in a much larger format.
What happened next is straight out of the horror-movie version of my life, in which intense music plays in the background as I watch everything go horribly, horribly awry.
It turns out, as I learned, clicking on these cute images, does not make them bigger; instead, it automatically sends them.
Suddenly, the once-cute gorilla was more an object of pure evil.
“I’m done. She’s going to think I’m so weird,” I said to my co-counselors, as they laughed uncontrollably at my misfortune.
I quickly scrambled to add some text to the dancing gorilla and try to piece together what was turning out to be a horrible first impression. I went to bed, feeling embarrassed for myself and wondering if it was too early to switch to off-campus housing.
After what was probably six of the longest hours of my life, my roommate messaged me back the next morning, saying she thought it was funny. I was so incredibly relieved she didn’t think I was completely weird. I mean, I am, but that doesn’t tend to be the first impression I aim to make.
Everything ended up working out. We get along really well, and now we laugh about the incident.
As I finish up my first month here at Hopkins, my first impression of college life is much more favorable than this. I have met some amazing people, learned some things, and have really loved my life here. Hopkins has made a great first impression, and I am so excited for the next four years.
With that, I leave you with a joke:
How much does a hula-dancing gorilla weigh?
Enough to break the ice.