Does your reputation really matter?


Amanda Black

Drops of Ink staff members believe students care more about other people’s opinions of them in middle school and high school. We believe that while what people think of others in high school is not going to stick with them forever, it can be smart to listen to some of these critiques.

    How others’ opinions affect you and if they do, or should matter, is very dependent on the person and the situation. We live in a very interconnected society; for example, having connections to others can help you get a job and having a positive reputation makes it easier to make new friends.

    These opinions affect us significantly more as we are growing up, particularly in middle school. When students are given the freedom to choose where they sit at lunch and who they hang out with at recess, they often become more concerned with how others perceive them. By the time students enter high school, they start to find their place: who they like to hang out with, what type of activities they enjoy and the type of person they want to be. We believe that this new understanding of yourself helps high schoolers care a little less about what their peers think of them.

    In high school, people seem centrally concerned with how they appear on social media. Teens struggle to take the “perfect” photo to show their happy and easy life. There is a constant struggle to get a certain amount of likes and followers so people try to display the life they think others will approve of, even if it’s not real. These concerns are constant among teens, however, we think that social media shouldn’t be praised the way it is. The person you are on Instagram isn’t who you actually are.

    Although others opinions of you are important and can help shape who you are, our staff agreed that your reputation in high school does not not define you and frankly, won’t matter after these four years. High school is just one chapter in your life and, for the most part, people are ready to move on afterward.

    People are social beings; we want to be able to interact with others, and the easiest way to do that is to be liked by others. It is human nature to seek approval from your peers, as we all have the desire to fit in. This is not a bad thing; it can help make you become a better person, but there needs to be balance.

    When interacting with others, it’s important to think about their opinions of you. If you need to work with someone else, having mutual respect for each other is crucial to completing your goal. When collaborating with others, their opinion of you can affect the work you are able to get done and how effectively you can achieve your goals.

    A more important factor than how other people view you is what you think of yourself. For example, some people want to be nice people, but if a lot of their peers think they are rude, these people should look into how to treat others better and try to adjust accordingly.

    One issue we found was that people often have uninformed and inaccurate opinions of others because people too often believe their friends’ opinions of others, even if they haven’t met the person in question. It is important to be open-minded about others and give them a chance to show you who they are.

    This goes for first impressions as well. Everyone always discusses how crucial first impressions are and how these impressions are often the foundations of our relationships with people. When it comes down to it, your first impression only counts until you get to know someone. Once you form relationships with people, you are able to judge them on the way they treat you and your interactions with them, which help form a more accurate and fair opinion of them.