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Making it hallway official

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Walking down the hallway to third period, I see my old friend from middle school walking towards me. Do I say hi? Are we still friends? Does she remember my name? Maybe if I didn’t make eye contact…too late. The awkward smile and wave went unreturned, and I hoped that no one saw me.

As a high school student, there are many social worries. Are there good people in my classes? Are there clubs I can join with my friends? Do I have friends? Perhaps the most important definition of your social life, however, is the often underestimated impact of hallway interactions.

Students spend, on average, 35 minutes in the halls on any given school day, and those minutes can be crucial to an individual’s overall success of the day. Students say that the most memorable encounters are the most awkward ones.

“It’s really awkward when you see someone, and you think they see you, but they don’t…and they just kind of reject you,” said Devyn Callen, junior. It seems the more these encounters make students cringe, the more they are burned into their brains.

“(A girl was walking) next to me, and she said, ‘I like your outfit,’ and I thought she was talking to me, but she was with a group of friends, and I said, ‘Oh thank you,’ and she looked at me, and it was so awkward,” said Suraj Marwaha, junior.

Despite feeling the burning pain of embarrassment themselves, students don’t seem to mind judging others for their hallway interactions. It seems students have no tolerance for public display of affection, better known as PDA.

“There’s a lot of PDA, which is really annoying,” Marwaha said. Other’s felt the same way.

“The worst is when it’s your locker,” said Emily Brosius, senior. “You’re just like, ‘Excuse me,’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, sorry,’ but then they only move down one locker, so you’re awkwardly opening your locker, trying to get out of there.”

Many students also admitted to going to great lengths to avoid a fellow classmate in the hallway. “I almost passed the same person in the hall every day, and I wasn’t particularly fond of this person, and so every time I saw this person, I’d go up to some random person and pretend I was laughing,” said Samantha Strausser, junior.

As if seeing other students in the hallway is not stressful enough, the strategy for dealing with teachers is another story.

“Sometimes I try to avoid (teachers) because the conversations I’m having are really dramatic,” Marwaha said. “If a teacher overhears, it’s awkward.”

Callen also dreads teacher/student interactions.“You don’t want to get into a conversation with (a teacher) about how bad your grades are,” Callen said.

Regardless of who happens to pass by, there is a pretty universal agreement as to when it is okay to make a friendship “hallway official.” The verdict among students is that as long as they conversed with a passerby in the hallway more than a few times outside of the hallway, they are fair game.

“You have to have classes with them, actually talk to them in those classes, and then maybe it’s okay,” Brosius said.

Among the various class levels and ages, perhaps the only time every student is in an equal situation, is when they are in the hallway. Despite the timidness of his fellow students, Emmett Ferguson, sophomore, recognizes this hallway equality, and has a hallway philosophy that perhaps other students could learn from.

“I’ll (greet) a lot of people, just anybody, random people, [and] give them a hug,” Ferguson said.

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Making it hallway official