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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

“Oh! I Almost didn’t see you there!” (A guide to your daily walking interactions)

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You know that feeling when someone is walking by and you gotta decide how your interaction will go within seconds? Most people resort to looking at their phones, pretending to be engrossed in some meme their friend just texted them, and hoping the awkward times will be over soon.

I, like most, have been employing the same technique. However, after walking straight into a pole that left a deep cut on my face while I was on my phone recently, I decided to look into the methods of maintaining a cool disposition while walking past people.

1. As you walk past with your eyes glued to your phone screen, you hear the person (cutie in your Psych class, you know who I’m talking about) say “Hey Nam/ Brynne/insert your name here!” You glance up, smile radiantly, and say, “Oh, I didn’t even see you there! Wow, I’m such a busy person!” You player. You saw him/ her. You’re just too cool to admit it. It’s ok, it’s clear they love you anyway. Keep playing hard to get.

2. Pretend you’re getting a phone call from someone who has misdialed. He/she tells you that you have a beautiful voice. You smile and take the compliment glamorously, laughing as you flip your hair. You’re a star. That person walking by will witness your charm and inevitably fall in love with you. The end.

3. Become one with the squirrels. Run after them as they prance through the mud/snow and never look back (Never look back is generally a good life tip, too).

4. Look at the wall. Any wall. Inspect the building- are there any cracks? Become the safeguard of the structural integrity of Carleton.

5. Before you look at the person, wait until you are three seconds away, then glance up and give a hurried smile/wave. Three seconds is the rule, proven by science (aka Nam and Brynne’s past awkward eye contact adventures). The stars need to align; they probably won’t look at you until the three seconds arrive, so don’t be that awkward person who keeps trying to make eye contact. When the time comes, imagine that you’re receiving an Oscar or a Carleton diploma and dwell in pure bliss as you make contact.

6. Reverse psychology approach: Start staring at them when you’re five hundred feet away and don’t blink. Assert your dominance. They’re the awkward ones if they don’t look back at you. Got ‘em.

7. You suddenly remember that you forgot your favorite pencil in the Libe. Do a quick 180-degree turn and go get that prized belonging–who needs to meet new people when you’ve got to look for your pencil? We live in a capitalist society, you gotta pick materialistic goods over friendships. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY WE SPEND REPLACING LOST STATIONERY EVERY YEAR. (I’m looking at you, people who steal the staplers in the Libe and never bring them back. Shame.)

8. Break out in song. Many options are available to you, but I’d suggest avoiding “Hello” by Adele if you really don’t want to make eye contact with that one person you sat next to in the dining hall uncomfortably that one time through mutual friends. Invite said person to join you in the chorus, that’s how friendships are formed, by glorious harmonies!

9. Show everyone how studious you are by taking a book out of your backpack and walking while reading. You send a strong message to the world that way: Yo, I’m a true scholar and a gentleman/woman. I haven’t the time to meet your eyes because I’m busy becoming the next great generation of this country through my Carleton education.

10. Turn around in the same direction the stranger’s walking in, but WALK BACKWARDS! Which way am I walking? No one knows. (You do, though. You just don’t want the stranger to know, and that’s ok because you have the right to be mysterious.) It would be too painful to actually walk side by side and learn about their life story, so let’s just not do that.

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