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Tag Archives: small talk

12 Brutally Honest Responses to Give to an Acquaintance Who Asks You “How’s It Going?”

22 Apr

It’s spring bitches! Warm weather is here now and people are starting to interact outside again. Anonymity is a thing of the past; no longer can you trudge up Sheridan in your puffy coat and blanket-sized scarf, blending in with the rest of the amorphous blobs in backpacks.

The newfound warmth is fantastic, but it definitely comes with some baggage. For instance, when you’re walking into the wind, your t-shirt might cling to your stomach and reveal the small gut that you weren’t so motivated to work off in the winter. If you’re a girl, maybe you have to shave your legs more often than you did in those cold winter months. The worst side-effect of the nice weather, by far, is that people will be able to recognize you and they will be more prone to try to engage you in a social manner.

Inevitably, you’ll make eye contact with a loose acquaintance at some point when you’re walking to class or hanging out at the Lakefill. Because you go to Northwestern, both of you will probably be awkward as fuck and not know what to do. However, if you’re extremely unlucky, your acquaintance might try to be normal and wave to you or ask you “what’s up?” or “how’s it going?”  This would be a nightmare, because Continue reading

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How to Tell People You’re a Writer (Without Telling Them Anything)

2 Sep

writerIf you’re anything like me, making small talk with strangers is high on your list of least favorite things, just below unpacking groceries and losing a limb. Most people don’t have a lot of trouble making meaningless chit-chat, but then again, most people aren’t socially anxious writers like myself. Even if I wasn’t socially anxious, I’d still be a writer, and therein lies the crux of my small-talk impairment.

Say you’re at a party, bar, or a very boring orgy and someone asks you, “What do you do?” Most of the time the questioner is trying to determine how you make a living, your hobbies, interests, etcetera. Most people can reply with, “I’m a teacher,” “I work for a PR firm,” or “I find money on the ground.” Any of these and countless other responses are perfectly acceptable, and will barely create a blip on the questioner’s conversational radar. However, when writers answer this question, the questioner’s nostrils expand, their pupils dilate, and in some cases, salivation has been known to occur; in short, they smell easy conversational prey, and are ready to put you (the writer) on the defensive.

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Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Making Friends

4 Sep

I see 2,000 future 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.

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