At the beginning of my freshman year I was asked multiple times if I had learned about the “Linfield hello.” At first, I had no idea what anyone was referring to, but was quickly enlightened.
The class ahead of me, and many before that, had learned about this phrase in Colloquium. It essentially stands for the idea that nearly everyone you run into on campus says hi, regardless of if they know you or not.
For whatever reason, teaching about the Linfield hello is no longer incorporated into Colloquium classes.
Now, perhaps because of this, the Linfield hello is not entirely present in the culture on campus either. I have noticed, especially at the end of last year and this year so far, that people are increasingly keeping to themselves.
Yes, Linfield is a small community and the majority of the students are friendly. No one has ever been rude to me as I walked down the sidewalk, and I appreciate that many people do seem friendly.
However, I cannot help but feel somewhat dismayed whenever I see people glancing awkwardly side to side or at the concrete or pretending to text in efforts to avoid a greeting.
The worst is when I say hello to someone, and it’s obvious they heard me, but they seem to choose not to respond. I acknowledge that some people may not hear perfectly, or are caught off guard, but it still can dampen my spirits a tad.
I do not mean to be critical or bash people who do not go out of their way to say hi to strangers. Starting college can be socially stressful, and it usually takes a long period of time to meet a lot of people.
I am a generally outgoing person but do not expect everyone to be that way. In fact, I prefer people to be different. The fact that everyone is unique and has their own traits and opinions is the reason I find communicating with others interesting.
It is refreshing to speak with people who don’t chatter like I do, because usually whatever they say is well thought out. Most of the shy or soft-spoken people I know are caring.
Every person has a right to live as they please, but it would be great to have a friendly campus.
Yet I must press on with the notion that our small college should pride itself on being tightly knit. Most people tell me they chose Linfield because they enjoy the small community feel. So it is our duty to make others feel welcome and noted.
There are only 2,664 students enrolled at Linfield, and I like to take advantage of seeing their familiar faces. Saying hi or smiling to fellow passersby can make their morning if not their day. Let’s create a friendly campus atmosphere. Hellos, waves, winks, even the “what’s up” nod makes a difference.
I am not sure why the Linfield hello lecture was removed from Colloquium, but I wish it would be reinstated. Perhaps we all need a friendly reminder to be more friendly.
Carrie Skuzeski can be reached at email@example.com