It all starts with “hi”

By Kendall Tich


Dear fellow USDers,

You may know me as that girl in your 10:45-12:05 class, sitting two seats back from the board, drinking a club soda and sneaking a couple texts in before the professor actually starts teaching.

It is no surprise that none of you know my name, where I am from or even what year I am. I wasn’t ever waiting for you to introduce yourself and I don’t mind just playing on my phone until class starts.

But why is that? Why are we so completely content with avoiding all human interaction as soon as a situation feels somewhat awkward?

I am not the type to arrive to class late. For the majority of my classes since I’ve been in college, I take my seat around 10 minutes before I am expected to be there.

Not because I am nerdy, an overachiever or a teacher’s pet but because I’d rather attempt to socialize with my classmates than walk in late and have them silently stare at me instead.

It should come as no shock that there is a social avoidance here at USD if it involves someone who is not in your immediate friend group.

My first day of freshman year, I was walking to math class and noticed another girl who appeared to be looking for the same class. I asked her if she wanted to walk together, so we did.

She was a year older than me and I was hoping we would sit next to each other and become friends in our math class after meeting on our way there.

However, once we got to class, she immediately went to sit in a seat two rows over from me, where it would be impossible to continue our conversation.

I soon learned that this was the way some students are — they don’t feel the need to make new friends when they already have a group of people with whom they are content.

Having moved around many times in my life, I have always had to make new friends. I am used to being the new girl and I’m used to having to put myself out there to find a new group of people to hang out with in each place I’ve lived.

Because of this, I have never had a problem with socializing with random people, starting conversations with my server at a restaurant or the cashier at a store.

In every place I’ve moved, I’ve been forced to make an effort to meet new people and sometimes that all starts with gaining the confidence to just say hi.

When we all first arrived on campus, chances are we knew absolutely no one.

During those awkward Torero Days we had to make an effort to say hi to anyone and everyone.

So where did that awkward confidence go? We go to one of, if not, the most beautiful schools in the country in an area with the most perfect weather in the country.

We should be smiling, waving and saying hi to everyone we walk past. Is it the tedious day-to-day life of a college student, the stress before finals, and the pressure we are all under that keeps us from making the effort to meet new people?

Next time you see someone sitting alone at lunch, someone walking to your same class by themselves or someone who is new to USD, give them a smile or maybe even work up the courage to say hi.

Everyone here picked this school for a reason, which means we all have something in common.

And I know I can’t be the only one wanting to be more social with students who I know nothing about. However, when I see other people walking around campus with their heads down in their phones, I can only assume they aren’t really looking to make friends.

Starting up the conversation with a “hey,” “hi” or “hello” is the hard part but after that, you may end up continuing a conversation with the person who will become your best friend during your four years here.

All you have to do is say hi.