Ah what a beautiful day to be walking to classes. The sun is shining, you’ve finished your assignments on time for once, and your outfit is–dare you say it–on fleek.
As you weave through what seems like the entire student body on defense, you can’t help but run into some of the very specific types of people that you’ve gotten to know from your time on campus. In attempts to bypass the crowds, you sneak through one of the shortcuts you’ve discovered only to cross paths with Person #1: Sally.
Sally, your friend from orientation.
Sally was your other half during those two bright, shiny introductory days of new food, culture and people from all over. Sally liked you even when you wore horrendous outfits (denim bermuda shorts, anyone?) and were overly confident in your career path (“oh, you’re a pre-med major with two/three minors too??”). You swapped embarrassing high school stories, got lost on Tulane’s “huge” campus together, and promised to stay in touch when classes started. But that proved more difficult than you had imagined; so much happens during the first year, and it’s hard to keep up with all the new faces!
Interaction: Both of you joyously wave to each other, say how much you miss them over your shoulder as you continue to walk slowly in the opposite direction, and promise that y’all will get together and catch up (but nay, you never do).
You look down at your phone–it’s 10:51. Seeing that you have *so* much time to spare, you pop into PJ’s to grab a drink only to find yourself smack dab behind Person #2: Dr. Limenstern.
Dr. Limenstern, one of your professors.
Dr. Limenstern, or Dr. L as they desperately suggested the class call them, is your typical college professor. You know they have a life outside of giving course lectures and exams, but my god, what kind of life is it?!
Interaction: Now this can go a number of ways. Maybe you loved taking this prof’s class and gently tap their shoulder in hopes that they remember what a kind and intelligent student you were. Maybe you didn’t do so hot in their course, and all both of you can muster up are quick smiles of acknowledgement followed by a tinge of regret on your part after reminiscing on your poor performance. Maybe they have no idea who you are because it was a huge lecture class and you never showed up save for exam days, so no interaction is made whatsoever. I don’t know, I only have my own experiences to base this off of.
A cold lemonade in hand, you continue on your merry way. Oh, look at all of those baby-faced freshman. They get younger looking every year, you reflect to yourself (like the tranquil sage that you are). Glancing around, you lock eyes with Person #3: Marta.
Marta, your friend from a prior semester’s class.
Whether y’all had bonded from the Spanish classes taken in the early years, or the 8am that was slaved over together last semester, there’s a special connection you have with Marta. They’ve seen you delirious and tired from the tedious amounts of work done for one class, and they still tolerated you (but let’s be honest, complaining is what really solidified this friendship).
Interaction: Quick inside jokes are made based on the class you had together. Fuimos jamon!! Jajajaja.
Ahh so fun, you really need to hang out with that person more often. Still smiling, you continue walking unt–oh no. Coming in your direction is none other than Person #4: Randall.
Randall, that person you added on Facebook way back when you thought it was socially acceptable to add people you didn’t know on campus.
No alternate description necessary.
Interaction: You see them before they see you (hopefully, fingers crossed), and you throw your face downwards searching your phone intensely, whilst silently cursing the Add Friend-happy moods that you seemingly relapse into on a weekly basis.
Scurrying along, you almost walk right by Person #5: Pam.
Pam, your BEST FRIEND.
Both of you cackle at the sight of one another, gleeful that you’ve managed to run into each other in a public setting without any planning.
Interaction: Weird phrases and jokes are exchanged, and they point out Person #6 to you: Gerald.
Gerald, that guy you’ve been admiring enough to know all of his profile pictures and its accompanying comments!!
You’re right, Pam. He looks really good today wow photos simply don’t do him justice.
Interaction: None, just as expected (aside from the creepy scenario your brain just made up).
Attempting to clear the questionable daydreams away from your head while simultaneously walking, you accidently smile at Person #7: Archie.
Archie, the person you met through friends that you are now socially obligated to acknowledge every time you see them.
Ughhhh you’re sure he’s a nice guy and all, but this relationship will never pass the small talk phase due to the level of friendship both of you have witnessed each other have with your mutual friend.
Interaction: Half-hearted pleasantries are exchanged only for both of you to dreadfully realize that y’all are headed in the same direction. Awkward giggles betray your discomfort as the two of you silently contemplate rehashing a story of y’alls mutual friend; however, you succumb to the lure of your phone and pretend the other doesn’t exist as you feed your Neko Atsume cats. Oh hey, Tubbs came back!**
**Please make Archie have class in this building coming up.
You’ve navigated the crowds and climbed the stairs leading to your approprate classroom. Yay!! You’ve made it! You confidently slide into your seat, feeling totally and utterly safe from awkward interactions–that is, until you open your laptop and see a familiar reflection on the black screen. You whip your head back and see Person #8: Josh.
Josh, the person you hooked up with at the bar.
Aka the person you hooked up with, but wouldn’t have if you had just realized you had classes with them.
Interaction: He waves at you, just a little too excited, and you smile-grimace and make vague, non-committal answers to his requests to ‘hang out again sometime.’ Sure, Josh. That’ll happen.
Save for a few uncomfortable encounters, having a small campus and student body does have its perks. Sure, you’ll have to redo all of these interactions on a daily basis, but what’s a small amount of discomfort on a cozy and beautiful campus compared to attending a huge college where you don’t recognize anyone, and you’re forced to drive across campus simply to get to your classes on time?? (everything isn’t walking distance, I don’t understand!)