Published: April 13, 2016

Students on campus outside of Norlin library

Dear CU-Boulder Class of 2020,

Scenario: It’s lunchtime. You’re sitting at a table by yourself enjoying your kale salad—when you look over and there’s a group of three laughing and telling jokes. You think they seem really cool, but are too shy to go talk.

Hypothesis: Whether it’s to do with romance, simply meeting new people, or really any situation that requires talking to a stranger, I find that many people I know (myself included) become nervous, and too flustered to initiate a conversation. Fortunately, in my old age of 19 I have become wise through copious life experiences not only in my youth, but throughout my many years of adulthood as well.

Question: What is this wisdom you ask?

Answer: Just say hello, it won’t turn out nearly as badly as it did for Ryan Gosling in his most recent 'rom-com', I promise.

Point: Humans are a social species, at least as far as I—Ben the Anthropologist—have observed. We want to be talked to and to have conversations with people. My very educated guess is, said person of interest would be more than happy to talk!

Reaffirmation: If you are in a group, and you notice someone struggling to get up and introduce themselves, and your group is willing, why not make the initiative to integrate them into your group. I’m sure they don’t bite! But you might just want to check their canines to make sure…

Worst Case Scenario: You approach whomever you are wanting to approach, and ask to join and/or strike up a conversation—and they say no. While it is a bummer, you can take solace in the fact that that was as painful as it’s going to get, just like ripping off a Band-Aid. It’s their loss, as they won’t get the pleasure of your graceful company.

Conclusion: With all that said, this blog post is mainly aimed towards the incoming freshman class in 2016. The moral? Don’t be afraid to get out there and introduce yourself to your fellow classmates. Throughout your entire year, keep in mind that everyone is in the same boat as you, and everyone’s just as eager to make new friends and share memories—especially during the first few weeks of classes. All it takes is a simple “May I join you?”, or a “Hi! What’s your name?”… it’s that easy. Now, with that being said, don on your best frock, pop in a tic-tac, and go and get yourself out there!


Ben, CU-Boulder Class of 2019




Benjamin Rains