Students ask classmates about their summers despite not actually caring

Amanda Relick, Staff Writer

Returning to the University from summer vacation has sparked the annual campus-wide plague of awkward hellos. The plague has hit hard these first two weeks of classes, while only the poor, innocent first-years were spared. Upperclassmen must make the life or death decision to acknowledge certain familiar faces, and further still, whether to stop and talk to them. Students who find themselves trapped in one such feared one-on-one interaction with an acquaintance become afflicted by the need to ask the polite yet painfully predictable question: “How was your summer?” (It is the equivalent of asking, “How are you?” during the first few weeks of freshman year.) No one actually cares about another student’s internship in New York City, or that amazing service trip they went on. Still, the cries of “Good for you!” and “That sounds amazing!” can be heard everywhere on campus. The stuff of nightmares–fake smiles and forced hugs–have become University students’ uncomfortable reality.

Among the most at risk are seniors returning from not only summer vacation, but also a semester abroad. Disoriented by their new yet painfully familiar University surroundings, returning seniors are struck with fear turning every corner, where there is always the possibility for an encounter with an acquaintance. Students must grapple with the tough decision of whether or not to ask these students about their time studying abroad in addition to their summers. Again, these polite yet blatantly empty questions mandated by the University social order place seniors in horribly awkward positions. It is safe to say that all University students are looking forward to the settling in of normalcy when they feel no obligations to acknowledge anyone.

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