By Ashley, age 18, Kentucky
Whether you're starting high school or college or changing schools, there is one thing that usually sticks with people ... first impressions! Sometimes people get the wrong impression of you. Say you're really shy, and when someone speaks you don't look at them or say much either. They are probably going to look at you as if you were stuck up and mean. When you enter a new school or meet new people, they usually judge you in about the first 5 or 10 minutes. So what's the best thing to do when meeting new people? There are tons of ways to make that first impression great!
First, there's your appearance and attitude. Walk with your head up, and smile at people as you walk past them. Also, making sure you're well groomed and dress cute will help too! Even if you just wear jeans and a cute shirt, you can make it look even cuter with some accessories. Wear perfume, fix your hair up really pretty, even just once or twice a week. Confidence is key!
Another important factor is communication. Even if you're a little shy, just compliment somebody on their hair or outfit. Even if you don't strike up a conversation, they will think of you as a nice and respectful person for complimenting them. When meeting new people, it's always good to have eye contact, show kindness in your voice, and to talk to them as if you've known them forever! Talk about things that interest you and see if you have anything in common. Doing this will let them know you're easy to talk to, and eventually you could end up being the best of friends! Also, join a club or try out for a team. You will make a lot of friends with common interests by doing this.
There are some things that create bad long lasting impressions and reputations. Being judgmental and rude towards people will only make them dislike you. Then their disliking you leads to them telling others how you were rude, and that's no good! Even if you didn't mean anything by it they will take it as if you were being mean. Sometimes even if you are friends with someone, and you talk mean about someone else, it could end up being a person they are friends with, and it will come back to bite you! It's natural for everyone to gossip, and it's a real temptation to do it, but try your best to keep stuff to yourself, because it will almost always get back to that person. Gossip just causes more trouble and drama than it's worth.
Whining and complaining about everything will also make people think you're annoying. Sure, it's okay to tell someone about how you hated all that homework, but you don't want to complain about everything. Just make sure you are always looking on the good side of life and not the negative.
Remember, no matter who you are, everyone loves making new friends and being around nice positive people. So just be yourself, and you will be loved for it! I hope this helps you like it has helped me!