In my very first post, I mentioned how I usually just type down entries and save them on my laptop. Well this is one of those entries. A couple of months into my first year of university, I was struck with a severe case of insomnia. My lack of sleep left me in a rather sombre mood (Sidenote: I thought ‘maudlin’ and ‘sombre’ were synonymous but I recently found out that they’re basically opposite. I’ve been misusing the word ‘maudlin’ for years and now I’m constantly haunted by that fact) and as a result, this post was born.
Meet A Stranger Initiative
So, here’s the thing. It’s 5:18 AM and, thanks to a recent bout of insomnia, I am unable to sleep. This lack of sleep led me to ponder my very existence.
I am 17 and in university. When I was younger, I always assumed I would grow up to be interesting. Yes, famous and successful were part of my aspirations but, no matter what I was, be it astronaut or veterinarian or world-renowned author (still working on this one), I was always interesting. And famous also; that one’s important too. Or at least be able to surround myself with important people. Clearly that hasn’t happened yet. (“Hey!” exclaim several of my non-important acquaintances, “We are offended by that.” “So?” I retort, caustically. “You are not important.”)
Now however… this is not to say that I am, by any means, boring. Simply put, I am quite delightful. But I am also kind of introverted as I have recently discovered. 2 months into my first year of university and I have made no new friends. I have friends I knew previously, acquaintances, roommates, course mates (not very nice ones; how hard is it to tell me that we have a test on a particular day? So inconsiderate) and the rest of the ilk. But I have made no new strong bonds. Now, granted, this is just my first year and I have four more ahead of me and plenty of time to make friends but… that’s not the point. “So, what is the point?” you ask. The point is… I’m trying to explain my reasons for doing a thing so just keep quiet and keep reading. Gosh.
So, the Meet A Stranger Initiative is my new project. I might not go anywhere with this because, as previously stated, it is 5 AM and this could just be attributed to the sleep-deprived ramblings of a teenager. But I still want to give it a whirl.
MASI (that’s Meet A Stranger Initiative, in case it wasn’t clear) is simply a way for me to express my own special kind of uniqueness and have a reason for doing so.
The strategy is very simple:
Talk to someone new every day
Alright, well that’s just more of a guideline. It doesn’t have to be every day, it doesn’t have to be one person (I once spoke to 157 people in one day, but that’s a story for another post) but you should endeavor to talk to someone new, let’s say, at least once a week.
Notice I said ‘you’. That’s right, you, o much gratified reader. Why should only I suffer – I mean, expand my horizons.
So, take this pledge with me:
I, (insert name here), solemnly swear I am up to no good.
Haha, jokes jokes. Little Harry Potter humor. I love Harry Potter.
But, for real this time:
I, (insert name here), do solemnly swear to try, to the best of my abilities, to talk to at least one new person a day for as long as I wish to do so.
Now I don’t expect this to be easy. Given that this is Nigeria, you can expect a brush-off from at least one person. Or, if you’re a guy, from most of the girls you choose to talk to. Unless you’re good looking. Then good for you.
Here’s a sample conversation to help you get started.
Stranger: … Hi
You: Are you headed this way?
You: Alright, me too. Would you mind if we walked together?
You: Cool. My name is…
And there you go. If, by chance, ‘Stranger’ should deviate from this script, do not panic. Keep calm and improvise.
Of course, this is just how I’d go about it but, do keep in mind, I have very little experience with social interaction so you just do whatever works for you.
I would love to hear how your interaction goes so be a dear,and leave me a note in the comments.
On this note, I bid you adieu. Have a great day and happy mingling!
Of course upon further reflection (and a good night’s rest) I realized I would not be able to carry out the MASI because
1. It’s kinda totes creep
2. I hate talking to people
On the plus side, I do have friends now so yay for me. Still working on the famous thing but that’s all in due time.
Do you find it easy to talk to people? How do you make friends?
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