“Hello, (insertnamehere), how are you today?”

I wish I could say “Hey, <insertnamehere>!” to nearly every person I pass. For such a small campus, I barely know anyone. I see someone new every day I’m here.

That’s the thing.

I don’t meet someone new every day, I just see someone new. We should be a tight-knit little community…a cute little family… we’re just… not. From what I’ve heard, the people at this university used to be friendlier and more personable. What happened?

We each have our own groups of friends, but we could still say “Hello” to each other. We could still try to meet someone new every day.

Too often I see people staring at the ground during the walks to and from classes. I wish they would look up so they could see my smile. But then that brings up this thought of mine: I think my generation is weirded out by smiles. Nobody looks happy when walking alone. Faces either point to the ground or are in seemingly permanent frowns. I wish I could make more people smile. My parents paid a lot of money for me to have these nice teeth – you’d better believe I’m smilin’!

What kills me the most is when someone I do know completely blows me off when I walk by. Especially the girl who lives next door to me. We haven’t spoken two words to each other all semester. I smile at her when I see her and receive absolutely nothing in return.

I found a different group of people to hang out with this year and they accepted me with open arms. I don’t think every “group” on campus would do the same. I wish they would.

The other day, I wandered around the library talking to different people and asking them questions. I loved it. I met so many new people and heard so many different opinions – some I had never even thought of.

I have two different sides: quiet, subdued, anti-people Emily and Reporter Emily, the lively, outgoing girl. Reporter Emily made the first appearance she has made in quite awhile. For a long time I’ve hidden behind a computer, creating things on InDesign and never really receiving credit for my work. Reporter Emily goes right up to people, asks questions, records answers and begins conversations. She finds connections with people that she never knew she had (for example, I met another Emily that day – we have the same name and I never knew).

“You’re in a great mood today, Em!” my friend told me. Reporter Emily smiled. Nothing – not even being purposely ignored at the dinner table – could bring her down.

Reporter Emily just wants more people to say “hi” to her. She just wants a friendlier campus to live on. She – I mean, – am going to find a way to make this happen.

 

 

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