College, an exciting place where you meet hundreds, if not thousands of new people in your four years. A place where, after you meet someone and talk about something awesome for ten or fifteen minutes, you part ways and decide to avoid them for the rest of your life. “Wait what? Someone seems friendly at first and then they don’t know you the next time you say hi to them? How’s that possible?” You might ask, in disbelief that the awesome girl or guy you met that one day is a stranger the next. Having a high school grade of about 130 people where you knew nearly everyone’s extended family tree, the small (10,000 students, roughly) atmosphere at the college I have been the last three years has really surprised me about human interaction. Social anxiety might not be the exact way to describe the phenomenon I am putting into detail here, but it hits the general target of people avoiding encounters with those they have met before but do not necessarily know well. One thing I have noticed about people acting this way is that if I (somewhat assertively to get their attention) say hi to a person who I’ve met once or twice, they do generally say hello back and in a way that signifies that they know who their peer is that’s talking to them. I’ve had plenty of classmates where it’s like alright, I’ve had multiple courses with you, by now you should recognize me. After that sentence (if I were in your seat reading this) I’d immediately jump to comment “well dude did ya ever think that maybe you’re not that noticeable?” and you might be right, I am definitely not ruling out that some people just do not notice me in particular. So just to be sure, I bugged a few guys and girls I know pretty well, and I heard they have experienced the same thing. If I put a number on it, I would say nearly 99% of the people who I know from class that normally look the other way or pull their phone out at the same time I walk past are happy to have someone say hi and ask how they’re doing. More often than not, I will run into at least one or two people that do this at a mutual friend’s house party. Once they have had a few drinks in them, suddenly it’s all “hey I think we had such and such class” or “hey you work at that place on campus,” to which I can’t help at least doing a mental eye roll. My point in all this is that you will have a ton of friends if you kick down that social barrier that many seem terrified of (unless they’re intoxicated) by just saying hi when you see them around. Sure, occasionally you will get someone who isn’t that pleasant and really doesn’t want to talk to you. But you know, that’s not too many people. Think about it next time you run across a situation like this, you might just make another friend!