“Reserving Judgements is a matter of
said by Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby (written by Scott Fitzgerald)
Exam season at uni starts today, and although my own exam isn’t until the 30th, it means that my first year has all but finished. I had my last lecture last week. I will no longer be a fresher. And in some sadistic way it’s fun to think back to my very first week, and very first term even, of uni life. That time when are three questions on everyone’s lips : What’s your name? Where do you come from? What do you study? The above quotation is from what is possibly my favourite book every to be written (extra points to you if you can tell me why I chose to colour it green), and yesterday it made me wonder: what if I had maintained all of the initial judgements I had made in that time? I have no idea where I’d be now, I doubt I would be as happy as I am now. Let’s have some examples of the kind of judgements I made on people, who I now count as friends….
S- “Complete ladies man. Please don’t let me be in any classes with him…” I was. He is a ladies man, but is also extremely funny, hard working, and he cares about his friends. Turns out we live 10 minutes away from each other back home.
E- “God, she’s stunning. I hate her.” This is probably the one I’m most appalled at myself for: instinctive hate triggered by will-be Vogue model. It took under an hour to show me that she’s hilarious, caring, intelligent, and a little shy when you first speak to her.
H-“Wow, you’re tiny…How old are you?” I wasn’t entirely sure she was 18, or that she’d be able to hack uni, where people ending up in weird places after a night out isn’t all that unusual. BUT. One creative writing class, and I learnt that how you look doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about a person. Inside H’s head is this explosion of powder paint, and sparks going off every few seconds. I will be buying her book from Waterstones one day, because she can out write me by a mile.
J- “Posh” That was genuinely the first word through my head on meeting this flatmate. And I was right; up north “posh” is synonymous with “southern” and “boarding school”. And he did go to boarding school, and we may have different upbringings, but he’s also generous, and I have had many a good laugh with him, and I hope we’ll remain friends despite the fact he pronounces grass as gr-arse.
It works the other way around too though, sadly. When you make initial judgements they’re bound to be shattered. I met people in my first week that I thought would be my life long buddies; I was wrong. You grow apart, realise you weren’t that similar after all, you think that you know them better than you do- in short, they turn out to be arseholes.
Many judgements I’ve made have been wrong, and only a handful have been right (usually to gut-instinct ones). Making initial judgements is fun, because it makes you human, and gives you something to laugh about later. Just don’t let your judgements prevent you from getting to know your next best friend.