Overcoming Religous Differences

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk that you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

First impressions mean everything, I've been told from elementary school on. A person forms their opinion of you in the first few moments of meeting, and it's important to make a positive initial impact.

I suppose that's why my classmates seemed surprised when they met my junior prom date, James. In school, I have the reputation of being the friendly nerd. In "getting to know you" activities, I was always described with vague adjectives, like "nice" and "smart." I dated infrequenly, and everyone, including myself, just assumed that, eventually, I would find a nice--but average--guy.

But James was not average. Not only did his height make him stand out from the crowd, but he dressed in all black and wore thick eyeliner. At one point, I heard someone ask who the "tall Goth kid standing next to Audrey" was. Based on appearance, not many people would have assumed we were together. And yet there we were, friends at the prom together.

One of the most memorable moments occurred at the post-prom party at a friend's house. Gathered outside around the embers of a dying fire, we talked about religion and spiritual matters. Among all the differences between me and James, this was the...

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