Other than freshman year, living in the dorms may consist of the most awkward moments of your life.
Sure, it was great freshman year, but think about it: you were all as desperate as dingos that haven’t had a meal in months. Desperate to be one of those people that rave about college 5 years after graduating. I don’t know about you, but my hall freshman year was great because of this desperation. We knew every single person to the extent where it was no strange thing to knock on a random door and ask them if they want to grab lunch.
It may have been totally unrealistic, but we all (we meaning my roommate and I since I don’t exactly know other people on my floor) figured it would be the same this year. New floor, new pool of friends, right?
Not at all–and this isn’t just me, the fluke! I’m talking even my one really extroverted friend doesn’t know anyone in her hall. Granted, their doors shut automatically.
But sophomore year… the only interaction I’ve had with the hall mates (it even feels weird calling them that since hall mates, or anything that has the word “mate” in it implies too much association) was the little introduction spiel at the beginning of the semester.
There are 5 different awkward interactions I’ve had so far, and to be honest, there’s probably going to be so much more later on.
1) The Faraway Sighting
This is the one when you see someone walking towards you from a distance too far away to say hi, but too close to avoid, assuming that you even know them to say hi. But saying that you do, the entire walk consists of figuring out where to look and judging the distance before it’s appropriate to finally acknowledge the other person’s existence.
Say it too early and you’re filled with awkwarder silence during the extra seconds it takes to pass them so you can pretend they don’t exist anymore. You may feel a need to start more conversation. But there is a fine line. Too much conversation and you’ll have to stop midway to keep chatting up a conversation you never wanted to be in. Too little and you’re stuck with more awkward silence.
Solution: The guarantee is to just perfect when to say hi.
2) The Walk-By
There’s a natural curiosity to know what everyone is doing at every moment. This includes when you walk by an open door. But this comes in hand-in-hand with the awkwardness of making eye contact with the other curious soul inside. As well as the increasing awkwardness when you avert your eyes without saying hi.
Solution: only look straight on, though you may look like a self-absorbed jerk, it’s all worth it in order to avoid the awkwardness.
3) The Follower
There’s a limited amount of time in which you can walk closely behind someone and not become noticed or suspected of something. The amount of time it takes to climb to the fifth floor and walk to my room is definitely above this time limit. And when people have no idea what anyone on your floor looks like, they might start to think you’re following them when you really just live on the same floor. Or you might start to think that they might start to think so. Either position, you will feel awkward as hell.
It’s even worse when you’ve made the mistake of walking out of your room with public-inappropriate clothing. This includes unshaved legs that look like pants.
Solution: either walk super slow or super fast and bypass them.
4) One of these things is not like the other
The awkward moment in which you realized that you chose the wrong hallway bathroom to visit because an entire village seemed to have erupted from this kid’s room. Not only that, but you seemed to have walked too fast and are inside the group boundary (group boundary: the boundary in which you will be mistaken as part of the group).
So there you are awkwardly part of the group, trying desperately to find a gap in between all the people to break free from the crowd, when the two football players in your hall start come in the other way.
You are now in the most awkward high-five line of your life. And what’s worse: the village all seem to know the football players and this theoretical high-five line has turned into an actual high-five line. They are actually all high-fiving the football players and your turn is rapidly approaching. Do you go for the high-five?
Solution: whatever. just go for it. It’s not like you’ll see any of your hall mates ever again.
5) Seeing hall mates anywhere else
The nagging feeling that you know someone and the frustration of not being able to place them. Too late, after throwing a smile their way, you remember that they’re your hall mate and that you usually try to avoid them. Crap.
Solution: just never acknowledge anyone’s existence
6) Passing the same person… twice
If you didn’t have anything to say to them the first time around… you definitely don’t have anything to say to them the second time around!
Solution: one of you is bound to say something about this weird occurrence. This usually goes along the lines of “Oh… hey… again…” or “You again!” said in an accusing manner. When that happens, you both will laugh regardless of what he/she said and its score on the funny scale out of pure awkwardness. Just walk away…
7) Everything Above, But Only in a Towel
Solution: none. You have to shower, don’t you?