Making Friends in the Real World

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Sometimes you meet someone and you just know. There are people you meet and the bond is instantaneous, like you have always known them. This unexplainable cosmic connection, felt by us all at one point in time or another. It can happen with a co-worker, a classmate, a teacher, or a potential mate. The trouble is this feeling is often one sided and the object of your admiration wouldn’t be able to point you out in a police lineup.  If you find yourself in a police line up, by the way, then something has gone terribly wrong. It means, the person you see as a friend sees you as a stalker. If  forming meaningful relationships seems like an impossible mission for you, you’re not alone…It just feels that way.

How about we take a few steps back? Making friends, in fact meeting people, has become increasingly difficult in our high tech age.  How do you send that first text introducing yourself? What do you say, I want to meet you, can I have your digits? How socially awkward would that be? (no one says digits anymore.)  Is the only way to meet people Facebook to Facebook? Last time I checked, in real life there is no friend request button. So, what is a modern or not so modern person, in my case suppose to do? I ask because honestly, I have no idea how to connect with you kids these days. Just  today  I was asked if I have a smart phone, and my reply was “I don’t even have a dumb phone.”

Lucky for us, we are in the real world at a place called GCC where real live people walk the halls …texting to someone who is not you.  So how do you become the person on the receiving end of that tweet? My first bit of advice is to step back in time to the dark ages. Or more accurately the neon ages, the 80s.  No, I don’t expect you to put on parachute pants and hair spray your hair into a dome, that would be ridiculous. I just want you to set down your gadget and step away from the computer.  Really, I wasn’t kidding that time. Now, look around, tell me what you see. People, right? You were in a room full of people this entire time. Next, try saying something to one of them, not LOL or OMG…real words.  Tell them you like their outfit or ask to borrow their class notes. What’s that?  They are not in your class and they are wearing parachute pants… Let’s try something else then.

Common interests are a good conversation starter. Studies show it is the most effective way to meet someone that you’ll bond with.  (Okay I made that up.) If you’ll notice the flyers, and posters around campus you will discover a myriad of events sure to be of interest. (I know, first I made you stop texting and now I expect you to read something and it’s not even English class.) This past week I attended a football tailgating party, a matching game show, a wellness fair, and the movie Hunger Games.  They were all free events and they gave out food and prizes.  It surpized me more people did not attend these events. There was also a club fair showcasing a variety of clubs from anime to film to western art history. (Sorry I missed that one, but I heard it was pretty cool, as the Anime folks were in costume! Check out the club activities board for more information.

So you missed all those events because you were updating your Facebook status to “I’m bored”?  Not to worry, there are enough upcoming events to make your smart phone explode. The College Village and activities board host Dinner and a Movie every Wednesday from 5 to 7. It is a free event, you just sign up in the student union.  There is a Jim Malcolm Concert on September 21, and Rory Block will be here on Sept 27. In case you missed the posters, (look up from your phone.) there are Homecoming events on September 28 and 29 and the theme is the 80’s! You know I’m gonna be there to see the Poison and Motley Crue tribute bands. You should come also; it will give you another chance to strike up a conversation with the guy wearing parachute pants!

See you around campus,
-Rhonda

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