- You love video games more than any other activity. You play them every day after school and with your friends on the weekends.
- Once in a while, you ride your bike down the street to get an ice cream cone.
- When your friend has her annual pool party, you like to go in the pool.
Now let's say that you're applying to college and when asked to list your hobbies, you list biking and swimming but not video games. Technically you are telling the truth, but are you really presenting yourself in an honest way? You can say that it doesn't make a difference, and there are cases when that's true. But it matters when all your friends are swimming laps at the pool and you'd rather be playing Marco Polo. It matters when you have no one to play video games with because all your friends are out riding their bikes. It matters when your peers look down on you for what you enjoy the most.
While it may seem innocuous to fudge the truth a little in order to get something that you want, you run the risk of ending up in a situation that you won't be happy with. A simple "yes" when someone asks if you want to play intramural sports or study abroad when you don't really plan to can have more impact than you realize, because you're classifying yourself as a certain type of person that isn't really you. Even if we want to be honest, most of us have a natural tendency to say what we think the other person wants to hear, to give the answers that will get us where we think we want to be.
I don't worry anymore about making a good impression - I worry about making an honest one. When I applied to college, I said everything I could about myself that I thought schools would like, and ended up miserable. When I started dating my boyfriend, I shared everything that I thought someone might have a problem with to make sure he really liked me, and we fell in love. Total honesty may seem daunting, but it can be the light that guides you to where you truly want to be.