‘What is your problem? You give the impression of being all moral, and noble, and normal. And helpful in the kitchen…’– Bridget Jones
I am finally writing from the comfort of my own flat; I have moved out of the library and will only return if I require books. I am having problems letting go, clearly. The hourly countdown to finishing accompanied revision of Hitler and the Nazis’ for my Political Violence exam. I learnt that Nazi Germany’s propaganda videos featured Jewish slaughterhouses as an attempt to portray Jews as inhumane. I drew a parallel between this and the coincidence of the media’s portrayal of Halal slaughterhouses and the current headlines about the British National Party. I decided not to feature this in my exam following my tutor’s advice. I am hoping the impression I left upon noting this was not a bad one. This week saw voting day come and go; I left my pyjama day behind and voted Green after reading their policies. There were too many ‘baddies’ on the voting card; it is concerning that many voted (UKIP) upon first impressions. Do we ever see past an impression?
Do we ever really know a person, or do we make our own versions? In politics we can never know for sure that policies will be followed, but there are safeguards. Do we safeguard ourselves when we make personal decisions about people? Impressions are strong, and can change an opinion of somebody in no time. Social-media personalities are not reflective of reality, and people can behave differently in social situations. With many closed-books and only glimpses of the blurb, it appears that many acquaintances only reach the impression of you; perception is in the eye of the beholder. Acquaintances may only ever encounter a first and last impression of you, but not friends. Friends are supposed to get more than an impression; the real you. With many people not knowing the real them, how can friends obtain this? Many arguments and break-ups are a result of people ‘changing’. Did the individual really change, or is this simply a new impression? Behavior defines the impression people perceive, but behavior does not always accord with what we think or feel, it merely gives an impression for a certain amount of time. Relationships and break-ups; can impression explain these when intimacy can be a mere collection of impressions?
I contemplated first impressions and realized I must endeavor to leave positive last impressions upon people. Finishing university is the most bittersweet/strange feeling I have ever encountered; so much has changed since the first impressions of September 2011. Three years happened all too quickly, and the anti-climax of all the things I’d been waiting to do was short-lived. Have I ended university as I started? My last days led to conflicting desires. I wanted to both remain a UWE History student, and also to fast-forward to September and the beginning of my Masters’ degree in New York. I am beyond excited. Having managed to obtain £1,000 funding thus far, I am currently engaged in a game of limbo. I applied for a very exciting summer internship with a publishing company in Bristol. Although it ends before I move to New York, I mentioned my offer in the hope that it will not jeopardize my chances. I still have $43,500 to gather. Now what?