Dear Flyby: How Do I Meet New People?

By Tina Chen

We’re back again with our weekly advice column! This week, we’ll tackle the beauty of friendship. When the excitement of the first few weeks of a new semester settles, finding time to connect with new people on campus can become hard. You may find yourself wondering, what are some ways to make new friends to wave to and say hi to as you pass them in the Yard, without the time commitment of “grabbing a meal,” which sometimes takes an hour out of a busy day, while still making meaningful connections… So many things to juggle, but that’s what we’re here for!

Q: Dear Flyby, how do I make new friends when we’re all busy?

A: Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Become friends with the person you kicked out of a room in Smith because you reserved it. I’m not kidding, I’ve actually made not one, but TWO new friends this way. After you open the door and say, “Hey sorry, I reserved this room,” strike up a conversation with the person who’s hastily gathering up their things (this will also make things less awkward). A simple “How’s your day going?” will do the trick. In Room 4 of the Smith Collab Commons, I met one girl who also lives in Eliot (and now we always say hi to each other!). In Room 2, I met a fellow junior who I’m actually grabbing dinner with soon. Who knew that such a lovely acquaintance could be made while kicking someone out?

New friends are always around the corner… even when you’re doing laundry. Last week, I talked to a girl in the laundry room for 20 minutes. Granted, she started the conversation with me, but she has inspired me to make more laundry room friends. There’s usually another person down there who also has three minutes left on the washing machine after their timer went off too early — why not strike up a conversation to pass the time?

One of the easiest ways to make a new friend is to introduce yourself to that one person you see everywhere in your House! I know I know, everyone says to do this, but no one actually does. Everyone has those people that they somehow see everywhere around their house. You see them while crossing the courtyard, in the dhall, on your 2 a.m. water refilling trek… they’re just everywhere. I promise you, knowing their name and waving to them is so much better than awkwardly looking down at your phone as you pass each other for the third time that day. It’s as easy as, “I feel like I see you around the house all the time, what’s your name?”

Okay, so I highly encourage you to read the room before asking a random person how their day is going. Sometimes people are not in the mood to socialize (myself included), so make sure the target isn’t in a hurry, doesn’t have their AirPods in, or looking like they’re on the verge of bursting into tears.

Happy friend-making!


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