“ … palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy…” Excuse my reference to Eminem’s “8 Mile,” but I’ve been there, we all have, especially when the cutie from chemistry walks in late to class and you can’t help but stare. They just got a fresh cut and maybe look a little more mature than usual. Maybe you didn’t notice them much before, but they have definitely caught your eye now. Once in a while you’re flashed a smile, their way of greeting you through the door. You even try to dress up a tad bit more, so you look semi-better than last class (though you are a knockout all day, every day).
The lecture hall is big enough, so it won’t be too cramped if you sat next to them this one time, right? I mean, you could even say that it’s better that you do sit next to them just in case they missed some of the notes; who else is better equipped to deliver carefully written and highlighted notes? Whether you’re asking yourself a million questions like I am, or you’re simply just curious, “shooting your shot” doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.
You could walk in with your new fur coat, freshly made face and cute new booties and still feel like you don’t have the confidence to speak up. It could be your anxiety, your doubt, or your self-criticism telling you that there is no way that they could even come close to being interested in you. Your class is swimming with options and most likely you’ll never see them again after this semester, right? It doesn’t have to be like this and you certainly don’t have to hold on to this mentality.
Everything starts with you and you won’t be able to do anything if your mind isn’t right. Lauryn Hill, R&B/Soul legend, said it best when she rose the important question in her song, X-Factor: “How you gon’ win if you ain’t right within?” This means that no one will ever see you the way that you want them to see you if you don’t even see yourself that way. Makeup or no makeup, hair done or thrown up in a bun, if the person that is looking back at you in the mirror isn’t proud, then there is another issue at hand.
Once Beyonce’s lyrics, “I’m feeling myself,” start resonating with you, it’s time to make that first step. That’s right, it’s time to begin that conversation. It can be as small as joking about the day’s lecture or asking them what class they have after. It’s a segway into a conversation, however long or short it is, making it easier for you both to approach each other on a regular basis in class. Don’t be afraid to show them that funny video you saw on Instagram and suggest that they follow you for some more content. As nerdy as it can sound, even asking them to be a study buddy can open up possibilities because it not only gives you the space to spend time with them, but it gives you the opportunity to get to know them on a more intimate level. Now I know all of this is easier said than done, but a little can go a long way whether you’re complimenting their new Vans or asking for a pen to borrow.
For all my bold ladies out there, I’ll tell you how I met my first boyfriend and that was with three simple questions: Are you in a relationship? Are you attracted to me? Can I have your number? You don’t have to be this direct or even ask these particular questions, but this was my tactic and it fortunately worked in my favor. Though I was successful in this situation, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t showered in fear just five minutes beforehand. It’s not always easy but I always told myself that I’d rather deal with the answer than the question of “what if?”
Who’s to say that they aren’t feeling or thinking the same thing? There’s nothing wrong with letting them come to you but for those who are less patient like myself, it’s okay to have the ball in your court. It’s okay to go straight for their number, and it’s also okay to wait until you’re ready to start that first conversation. Just remember the famous words of Eminem and once you have that opportunity, “the moment, you own it, you better never let it go…”