The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
We all have our secrets, so avoid judging others
By , Staff Reporter
Published: October 24 2012
School has started, and people can see the aftermath of hundreds of students beginning to find their ways amongst the Queen Anne streets. Classes are in full swing, homework is beginning to pile up and the time period for mass amounts of introductions is coming to a close. By this time, you have probably found the people you get along with, whether they are on your dorm floor/apartment complex, in a class or any other sort of gathering.
Everyone has a journey to get to where they are today. This journey continues throughout all points of life, including college. As I look back over all of the people I have met in the past four weeks, I find myself wondering: what was their journey? How well do I actually know them? Why is it that introductions now are so superficial? How can we judge a person before knowing what they have gone through?
We are all prone to judging: the classic, surface level introductions that include your name, major and where you are from. Yes, even we SPU students catch ourselves leaving a conversation already judging the person we just met based on these criteria. This judgment could happen even before we talk to one another, just based on the clothes we wear. We judge based upon our own likes and dislikes: wow, that shirt is hideous, or who would want math as a major?
Those surface level introductions do not give people justice, which therefore gives you no right to judge them. It is natural for people to dislike what they don’t understand. If we feel like we do not wholly understand someone based on a first impression, we might not get along with them based on our preconceived notions. But really, we have no idea what that person has gone through in order to get where they are today.
This dislike for things we do not, or refuse, to understand has been going on for years. Because of this, most people find that college is a fresh start. You have anonymity, which can be both a blessing and a curse. People may see you and think that you have a great outfit on, while on the inside you are starving yourself to fit into that outfit. Perhaps your roommate sees the pictures of your life laid out in the frames along your desk, secretly hating your seemingly perfect life, while having absolutely no idea how divorce has shattered it. Everyone has had a journey to get to where they are today. And the fact of the matter is, everyone’s life is different and is filled with its own history. No one’s life is perfect. You live in a distant reality if you disagree.
It is a scary thought to think about opening up to another person. Our deepest secrets lie amidst our plaid shirts and friendship frames. These treasures of our lives tell the stories that led us to this point in time. That tattoo that you think is hideous was made in memory of his mom. That girl who never leaves her room feels so alone at school because no one has reached out. That girl who looks like she has the perfect family, her dad actually has cancer, which makes her scared out of her mind.
People will only open up when you take the time to listen. The secrets have created their journey, right up to the point of you meeting them. But these stories will never be their opening statement about themselves in an introduction.
So, with your list of new faces in mind, take the time to get to know them. Find the person who you know you pre-judged, and reach out. Seek to have this new school year truly be a fresh start, and leave those preconceived notions, whatever they may be, behind you.
Kate Morgan is a sophomore pre-nursing major at Seattle Pacific.
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