What do you want people to feel when they’re around you? For example, when you meet people, what is the main thing you want them to remember about you? These questions inspire today’s team blog, written by students in a journalism writing course at MBU.

Have you ever heard people say that “first impressions are everything,” or something along those lines? Well, there is social science to support the understanding that opinions people have about you are generally formed within the first few minutes of meeting you. So what about your first impressions? What about your last impressions? What exactly do you want people to think about you when they meet you?      Photo by Anna Jeschke

Life Experiences Can Build Your Confidence


When people are around me I want them to feel wanted, comfortable and important as this was something I used to struggle with.

From about ages 9 to 13 I had a group of friends who were two to three years older than me who would talk and joke about things that I didn’t fully understand.  

Their intention was never to make me feel left out or incompetent but as a quiet 11-year-old sitting in a group of 13- to 15-year-olds trying to be included in the conversation, it was sometimes hard to feel included when I didn’t understand what they were talking about or when one of them in particular would look at me and say, “You wouldn’t understand what that means.” 

I have since then grown in my confidence and am no longer the quiet one standing on the outside, but this experience is something I have learned from and I always try my hardest to keep people included in whatever conversation I may be having. 

Because of these experiences, it is important to me to remember to help people feel included and confident in themselves.


Joy Over Happiness


First impressions have an impact on the future of people’s relationships because, when meeting people, you communicate yourself both verbally and nonverbally.

As a Christian, the most important thing I wish to communicate is my faith. 

My hope is that those I meet see Christ through me and I am a light to anyone whose path crosses mine. 

In high school, I had a teacher who was a ray of light to the whole school, her smile and loving attitude radiated pure joy. 

Christ was apparent in her heart and I admired that.

She became a role model for me and I now strive to be a light and source of Christ’s joy everywhere I go. 

Happy is not always the emotion I feel but I focus on the joy I am blessed to always have with me at all times. 

Joy and happiness are commonly assumed to be the same, but for me, happiness is a temporary emotion felt whereas joy is an overwhelming feeling of contentment I find in Jesus. 

I long for everyone to experience this joy and hope they catch a glimpse of Christ within me.


Creating an Encouraging Space for Authenticity


My only desire for when I interact with people is to create a space for them where they feel free and encouraged to be their most authentic self.

In a world that is constantly trying to define our identities or pressure us into conforming to a certain image, I very quickly recognized the significance of a space where we could be whoever we wanted to be. 

After meeting me, I really only hope that people remember that I gave them the ability to take up space as well as be seen, felt and heard.

When looking around at society, most of us could understand, if given the time to think, that everyone is the main character in their own life.

In my opinion, too often we forget that sentiment, leading us as a society to treat people as support characters instead of valuing them wholly for the people that they are.


I Want People to Know a Kind Person


In a world where it is often easier to be indifferent, being kind shows that you care about the person.

Even if the interaction only lasts for a few minutes, an act of kindness can brighten someone’s day. 

I still remember nice comments from kids I met in middle school, teachers I had in high school, and coaches I practiced under in college.

Anna Garrett, left, chats with Lucy Drinkard at La Cosecha coffee shop in Maplewood. Photo by Anna Jeschke
The sun sets behind the iconic building on MBU’s campus, the rotunda of the Chapel Fine Arts Building. Photo by Kate Goodberlet

During middle school, my friends talked with me during track practice, making me laugh when the workout was hard.

In my high school creative writing class, my teacher gave me encouragement in addition to criticism, boosting my confidence in my writing. 

After my first college cross country race, my coach gave me an excited high five and a huge smile. 

These memories push me to offer the same kindness toward those I meet every day because you never know what someone is going through. 

As a naturally shy person, conversations are not always enjoyable for me, but I hope that those I do talk with remember me for being kind.


Such A Good Soul That People Crave Your Vibes


When people are around me, I want them to feel welcomed and have good vibes and energy. The world around us is filled with a lot of bad energy and you never know when someone is having a good or bad day.

It’s important to want to spread positivity in today’s world. Personally, I’m a positive person with good energy when people come around me. I often make people laugh and help brighten up their day.

I want people to feel comfortable around me and not have to act nervous or shy. I talk to people as if I already know them. 

This will help whoever I’m conversing with to relax and enjoy the company. It’s normal that when people first meet each other they may feel nervous. But the more they converse with each other, the more they’ll open up and engage in the conversation. 

The first day of school is a good example of new people meeting and getting to know each other whether that’s around campus or in the classroom. 

In the classroom, teachers normally have everyone stand up one by one and introduce themselves along with a couple facts about themselves. This helps other students get to know who that person is and learn things about them. 

What people would remember about me is that I’m a person to catch a cool vibe with and that I’m funny. Personally, I like being known as someone who is funny with positive energy and vibes because you never know who may be going through a rough time and need a smile to be put on their face to feel better.


The Influence of Calmness


Meeting new people can be exciting, intimidating or nerve-wracking, but no matter who meets you, there is definitely an impression that you want to leave them with.  

The impression that I want to leave with others is an undeniable, influential calmness. I want people to know me as a person who makes their heart, mind and spirit calm.

I hope that people see me as someone who quiets the noise in their head and allows them to feel the love of Jesus fully encompass them.

I want others to feel comfortable bringing their thoughts, problems and emotions to me because they see me as someone who always has an open mind and heart.

The impression that I want to leave with those who meet me is that I am someone whose peacefulness affects them personally.

Ultimately, I hope that people can see the light of Jesus through my actions and feel peace in their spirit while being around me.


Confidence in Christ and His Love for Us


When people are around me, I want them to feel and see Christ and that He is the life, joy and love in me.

I want all people, no matter who they are, to feel peace when they are near me, a sense of comfort and reassurance and unconditional love that motivates and encourages them to extend generosity to all people they encounter.

I strive to make people feel comfortable being their uniquely created selves around me and others and that they are valued pricelessly by God and by others.

I hope to assure people of their inherent, God-given worth and individuality and that they are created with individual talents and gifts that are special to them and can be used to glorify God and to help others in all journeys of life.

I believe it is the job of all people to show kindness, compassion, love and care to all they encounter, and as a Christian, I take this duty seriously and endeavor to represent Jesus Christ as best I can throughout all my life.

In a world where people may struggle and sometimes may not realize their magnificent value, I want to share a word and heart of encouragement.

I ultimately want to love others as Christ loves us, remind them of their incredible worth, steer them toward Christ’s love and show them a kindness that encourages them in their daily walk and that encourages them to help every person they meet.

A beautiful sunset over Creve Coeur Lake certainly leaves a lasting impression of God’s immeasurable wonders throughout our world, so how can we personalize this truth into our own lives and the impressions we leave for others to see in us?        Photo by Madison Coumerilh