One day, I was standing in line waiting for food in Dana. That’s how stories always start, isn’t it?…..with food. As I always do, I started up conversation with the girl in front of me, remarking on whether it was worth it to stay in line or not. Randomly conversing with a stranger is often met with two responses: either the person is friendly and we continue the discussion, or the person looks around as if wondering, why me?, gives me a ridiculous look, and ignores me. Luckily, the girl was friendly and we enjoyed our small time in line together. She was a freshman and we parted ways afterwards. I know these moments seem small, but they are the foundation to building a friendship. I realized that I really enjoy talking to freshmen, because they are always so open to talking to new people. Then it hit me, how come freshmen are the only ones being super friendly? Why is it so hard to start up conversation with someone? Why do we confine ourselves to our friend bubbles?
Although Colby is a relatively compact campus consisting of a small population of students, it never feels that way. There are always people you don’t know and can learn something new from. Last night, Colby put together an event in order to get people out of their set friend groups to engage with other students and alumni. I attended the Dinner with 6 Strangers in order to get to know new people, because I really like to talk to people. To start off, the food was amazing. Sodexo prepared a special meal for us that was exquisite. On the menu was a salad with a cranberry vinaigrette and pear slices, breaded chicken with apricots and rice pilaf, and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. Mmmmmm heavenly.
Although food is very important, the dinner was all about the people and the conversations that arose. I sat at a table with an ’09 alumni who works at the Career Center now, a freshman, two seniors, and two juniors. It was really interesting hearing from such a wide range of class years how their time at Colby has been. I loved hearing stories about their day, their study abroad excursions, their five-year Colby reunions, and their first experiences with such a grand campus. There were some awkward moments, but most of the time we were just talking about our lives and I laughed a lot, which is always a good sign. From this you really get to understand how involved and diverse Colby is for such a small campus. There are people interested in so many things and getting involved in some way. At the end, everyone concluded that every single person has a story to tell, whether you have been through some drastic change or not. Everyone has a story and if you are willing to listen, you can learn a lot.