Zoe Colburn is a resident freshman and Arbiter opinion writer chronicling her experiences at a new university in a new part of the country.
Having to make new friends in college is the worst. No, seriously, all I can think when I think about making friends is, “I already did this once, like seven years ago when I started middle school. Now I have to do it all over again? I call shenanigans!”
But since the only other option is sitting in my dorm feeling massively sorry for myself and eating cookies by the handful while watching the entire Toddler and Tiaras series, I guess I kind of do have to make some friends.
Making friends totally blows, not because I hate everyone but because there’s this really super lame thing that happens when you are alone with a mutual friend or someone you haven’t spoken to on your floor: You both clam up and enter into this mutual agreement of I’m-Not-Talking-Until-You-Do.
Which doesn’t work.
And then you end up in this super self-conscious zone where all you can think of is the many times you saw them entering or leaving the dorm and do they think you snubbed them once?
You just kind of assumed they were waving at someone else but what if it was you? What if they just like totally hate you because of some super inane reason you couldn’t have possibly done anything about?
I spend my time in The Super Self-Conscious Zone glancing at the other person, silently willing them to man-up already and speak to me, goddammit! Don’t you know I’m an introvert? Don’t you know anything about me.
My point is basically this: We usually don’t say anything because we don’t know how to even begin a conversation, but in my experience there’s pretty much a word in place for that exact purpose: Hello.
And if they ignore you after you try to be friendly and open they probably hate you for some inane reason. Or maybe they have a great reason, but either way, totally not worth bugging about. Just do what I do: Obsessively avoid them until you have to eventually pass by each other while determinedly and mutually not looking at each other.
Works every time.