Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Making Friends
One of the best aspects of the college experience is how many fascinating people you meet and subsequently engage in raucous shenanigans with. A good collection of bffles can be an essential asset in all of the tasks that you will face during your freshman year, from drunkenly yelling at buoys in Lake Michigan to figuring out how to torrent The Lion King 1 1/2 without getting caught.
At first, making friends with complete strangers in a strange, strange land replete with fraternities, an all-night Burger King, and theater students can seem like a frightening challenge. But that's no cause for alarm. Everybody is in the same boat as you, and upon completion of your freshman year you will be astounded by how many cool friends you have made and how many mysterious names still remain in your phone's contacts -- the forgotten identities of all your over-eager peers who decided to try and befriend you due to your proximity to one another at March through the Arch. Just remember that friendships grow organically and cannot be forced, unless, of course, you follow our sage wisdom on how to meet new friends.
Where To Find Friends Future friends can be found everywhere! Chances are pretty good that the person in front of you on Sheridan Road asking me for directions to the lakefill is just dying to find another friend to commiserate with. Here are some of the best locations to find your future bestie:
Classes - Thanks to Northwestern's stellar academics, you will undoubtedly find a fellow nerd to bond with over your mutual adoration of Chief Justice Earl Warren. From bitching about your Global History TA to bitching about your Chemistry lab to bitching about how much other people bitch about their coursework, the classes at Northwestern University play a vital role in bringing students together.
Parties - When the social lubricant starts to flow, your number of facebook friends starts to grow! In their relaxed and amicable state, most NU students are keen to befriend others during the interminable wait for a turn at the beer pong table. Careful though, as bonds forged as the party devolves into manic skinny dipping can be stronger than you'd think.
Greek Life - Apparently enduring hour upon hour locked in with your fellow pledges listening to the 100 ways to love a cat on repeat can facilitate friendship among bros.
Clubs/Extracurriculars - Spending hours working on a labor of love together is a great way to meet like-minded friends. Activities like dancing your heart out, tirelessly covering the minutiae of Evanston's affairs, and illogically protesting can all lead to great friendships. Or you could always just start your own self-indulgent blog.
The Keg - I've never actually heard of friendships forming at The Keg -- unless you count a repeat dance-floor hookup as a friendship -- but there's always the chance that you befriend the person lifting you over the fence to sneak past the bouncers.
Your Dorm - Dorm life is an excellent location to meet your future friends. Open your door, put "Born to Run" on vinyl, and let them filter through. Don't have a record player? It's alright. Just walk down the halls and enter every single open door you find until you have met a sufficient number of people.
Who You'll Meet It is imperative that you understand who you're dealing with. A basic knowledge of NU demographics can go a long way. Keep in mind that of the 48% of students who say that they're from New York, approximately 97.8% of them are from either Westchester or Long Island (you'll recognize the Long Islanders because they can't speak like regular Americans). Likewise, it is safe to assume that every goddamn person you meet who says that they're from Chicago was born and raised in the suburbs, and almost certainly attended Lyons Township High School.
But despite these chilling facts, there are still so many awesome people to meet! From Singaporean army officers to sexy seducers from Springfield, there's no telling who you'll meet next. But it's a pretty safe bet that pretty much anybody who enters Northwestern is either a) extraordinarily talented at some important skill, b) obscenely awesome to have around, or c) Stefan Demos.
How To Make Small Talk Once you find your future friend, you'll have to communicate with him or her to build your random acquaintance into an intimate ally in your quest for heinousness. Try memorizing random factoids about every geographical location in America, so that when you ask somebody where they're from, you'll be prepared with responses like "Oh yeah, I've spent some time in Cheyenne. Love the rodeo. Tell me more about yourself!" or "Oh yeah, I've had the misfortune of having spent some time in North Platte, Nebraska. Tell me, how the hell can you stand living in that pithole of despair and monstrous barbarity?" You should also be prepared to discuss your potential major with every single person you meet for the next nine to fifteen months of your life.
Upon mastering the staples of small talk, you might want to graduate to some more interesting conversation topics to add to your arsenal. Personal favorites that can hopefully start a fantastic conversation while helping you to judge the potential of strangers to be your friend include asking your peers who they think the hottest Vice President in American history is, who would win in a mudwrestling fight: Clarence Thomas or Ruth Bader Ginsburg armed with a fucksaw, or whether they would rather obliterate oral sex or cheese from the face of the Earth. Note all responses carefully, as they can reveal important qualities of the inner soul.
What To Do With Friends Here comes the fun part! Now that you have friends, it's time to enjoy them! Go ahead, watch every single episode of Archer at least five times. Stay up sporcling the hits of the 90s and debating how badly Morty would destroy Chuck Norris. Build forts in your dorm's study areas with University property. Superfan girls club waterpolo until you are escorted from the premises. Host dance parties into the wee hours and hold heart-to-hearts to your hearts' content.This college needs kids like you to befriend one another on a journey to test the very limits of heinousness. Make us proud.