Brighten Someone’s Day

The Conch

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We attend one of the most amazing schools in the state.

Although I may sound like an advertisement — it’s true!

We have stellar academics, amazing research opportunities, and we’re five minutes from the beach.

The only complaint I ever hear (other than “I need an In-N-Out on campus!!!”) is that our campus culture is a little bit reserved. This isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re really looking to help brighten up the campus and someone’s day, or if you just need a little help meeting new people, here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Smile! – I know, I know. You probably hear this all the time. But guess what? There’s a reason for that! I can guarantee that simply smiling at someone has the power to completely turn their day around. Plus, the more you smile, the happier you feel. Our campus is all about science, and you can’t argue with science, right?
  2. Take a break from the headphones – Listening to music is fun, and wearing headphones makes you look kinda cool (Don’t worry—I’m guilty, too). But maybe take just a couple minutes a day to enjoy the sounds of nature. If everyone took off their headphones for a day, imagine how many more “Hello’s” and “What’s up’s?” you’d be hearing. You can also enjoy the added bonus of looking more approachable to people in class or waiting for coffee. And speaking of waiting for coffee…
  3. Make conversation in line – Waiting in lines is possibly one of the most boring parts of life. Unless, you know, you’re at Disneyland (Fastpass is anti-social). What if lines are really just opportunities to meet new people? I, for one, would be thrilled if someone started to talk to me during a long wait. Maybe next time you’re at Price Center (PC), give the person behind you a compliment or ask for food recommendations. You might be surprised with the results.
  4. If you’re feeling bold, share a table – Like I said, this is a pretty bold move. But I think we’ve all experienced those lunch moments when every table in PC is filled—usually by single people. So next time, instead of taking the food to-go, try approaching someone to share their table. You don’t have to force a conversation, but after a few minutes, try introducing yourself or asking about their day.
  5. Study outside – We go to school in San Diego, arguably the best weather destination in the United States. It’s sunny 355 days a year. Take a break from Geisel and go lounge on the grass next time you need to study something without a computer. Not only will soaking up some sun help give you energy and vitamins, it’ll also help make UC San Diego feel a little more social and communal. Remember those college brochures you always saw throughout high school, where students were lying in the grass and smiling at each other? Be that student! There’s nothing wrong with being #stockphotoready.
  6. Take a flyer or two on Library Walk – Library Walk scares me. There are around a billion people throwing fliers at you, smiling canvassers, and yelling students selling food, so I don’t blame you for running through as fast as you can. But, if you take just one or two fliers every time you passed by, you would (1) make that person very happy that someone finally took their darn flier and (2) possibly find a cool new club or activity for yourself!
  7. Make a study buddy in every class – One of the easiest places to make new friends and socialize is in your classes. “But wait, this is UCSD, people don’t talk in class,” you say? It’s no secret that everyone wants to get good grades here. So, next quarter when you go to your first classes, make it a point to sit next to someone who looks nice and ask to add them on Facebook or exchange numbers; clarify that it’s for studying. And who knows, maybe that study buddy will turn into a lifelong friend.

All that being said, there are plenty of other ways to put yourself out there and help make our campus just a little bit more social.

Now that we’re entering the time between midterms and finals, there’s no better time to focus on being positive. It’ll help improve your mood, relieve some stress, and maybe even do the same for those around you!

So, as we begin the countdown to finals—and, more importantly, spring break, I wish you all a very happy and bright rest-of-Winter Quarter. Go out there and make UCSD shine!

Update: This article was updated at 6:45 p.m. on May 1, 2019 to correct spelling and grammar errors at the request of the article’s author.

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