It was really easy making friends in grade school because all you have to do is run up to a kid and say, “Hey, wanna be friends?” And then, he or she says, “Yes!” And then you go off and read Twilight and listen to One Direction or whatever the children are into these days.
In college, things get more complicated. There is a ten minute period when students are filing into class and waiting for the professor to come that could hypothetically be used to make friends. It is a special time – a magical time – when you can interact with people on a level that isn’t academic. Instead of shutting down the person next to you by pointing out the logical fallacy of his latest ridiculous theory or vehemently disagreeing over Oxford commas or making a blood sacrifice of a freshman to appease an angry professor, you have the chance to ask him how his day is going or some such question.
Unless, of course, you have an eccentric professor who is dedicated to “icebreakers” and forcing his students to socialize for the duration of class time.
I’m not even going to pretend I didn’t have the best time ever during these icebreakers because I love
to embarrass myself hearing other people’s life stories. So, the class was divided into small groups and then we went around answering questions out of a hat and subtly trying to one-up each other with the coolest autobiographical details we could muster (obviously, I fared poorly).
One of the questions we each had to answer was, “Are you a morning or night person?” And then we each took a turn explaining our propensities for mornings or evenings. Except I was not satisfied with answering in a sane manner. My turn came and this is what I said, “I’m basically nocturnal. I like to go to bed in the wee hours of the morning. I’m half-vampire.” The other people in my group were amused but also exchanged looks of uncertainty.
Then, another question was asked, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?” The guy next to me said some boring answer because he’s vegetarian. And so, in order to prompt him to say something more interesting I said, “Well, have you eaten leaves from the rainforest or something? Anything exotic like that?” Everybody was weirded out. But I felt, in my heart of hearts, that this weirdness could be the seeds of friendship.