Don’t Act Oblivious

Danielle DeVries || Asst. Feature Editor

This past week I walked into Tu Mercado to grab a sandwich and was faced with an interesting situation. I went to get in line and found I was waiting behind a friend of a friend. We have never been formally introduced,however we have encountered one another in group settings, and even follow each other on social media. Yet, here we are in person, and nothing, it’s like we are total strangers.

Since USD is such a small school, it’s inevitable to have these types of odd relationship where we don’t know someone personally but we definitely recognize them. Perhaps they are a classmate, a friend of a friend you see out on occasion, or a younger member on your team or of your sorority or fraternity.

Whatever the case may be, you know who they are, and you are almost positive they know who you are, yet neither one of you acknowledges the other until you
find yourselves in the same room. And even then, people may ignore one another, instead busying themselves with their phones or something in their bag to avoid a potentially awkward encounter.

My question is, why do we pretend to be oblivious? What’s the harm in simply acknowledging each other? I’m not suggesting having deep life chats with casual acquaintances, but a simple smile, introduction, or hello never hurts.

Remember when you first started at USD, and someone would make casual conversation in class or at the SLP, how good it felt? It’s nice to meet new and unfamiliar people, and just because you’re no longer a first year student, doesn’t mean that friendliness and new relationships need to stop. So what if you already have a great friend group, everyone can always use another familiar face around campus.

So next time I have one of these encounters, I am going to simply say hello and see what happens, and I suggest you try the same.

The worst that can happen is I have an awkward conversation, and in my mind that’s not a big enough risk to avoid potentially being rewarded with a new friend.