This is a topic that people have been asking me to write about. Well, when I say ask, the conversation usually goes like this…
“If you think you’re so smart, how do you think people should approach others at Osgoode?” – paraphrased and expletives removed.
Fair enough. Challenge accepted.
I gave this topic some serious thought, and to be honest, I was more nervous about writing this one than writing the friend zone article. Not because it’s necessarily more challenging, but that it seemed, at first at least, difficult to pinpoint specific answers which would make sense to everyone. Also, considering how many different situations happen at law school, it’s even more difficult to boil down a few answers and suggestions that can be beneficial to more than a few people.
Be that as it may, I did approach this topic critically and came up with a few thoughts. Essentially, there are only a few ways to actually approach someone at Osgoode. When I mean ways, I mean scenarios at school where conversation is even remotely possible that can still be of a private nature. Private enough that you can try to get to know someone and perhaps pursue something with them. Here are my scenarios.
At Osgoode Hall:
JCR: The only place you can actually speak to anyone at the school is in the JCR and in the Library. The JCR is fairly self explanatory. It has areas where you can sit privately, you can keep a low voice so people don’t hear you at other tables but speak loud enough that the person you want to hear you can. Moreover, it’s bright, spacious and has ample seating. On occasion, it even serves alcohol, which may bring you some of that courage you need. Also, unlike the Bistro, you can actually sit here without being surrounded by a herd of individuals trying to get all their food into that tiny, tiny cafeteria.
Library: Now, this may be a contentious one for people, but I believe that the Library offers one of the only places in which you can appropriately approach someone at Osgoode. It’s typically ok to be in close proximity to one another, which makes conversation easier. Moreover, it’s quiet and people tend to be focused on their own work. How then to spark up a conversation? Simple, you just need a study break. And talking to your nearest partner seems logical even if you’re friends aren’t there with you. As long as you’re not disturbing someone, you may be able to just pull this off and strike the spark that you were looking for.
Leaving Osgoode Hall:
A Pub: Yes, I know, I’ve railed long and hard in other articles about how you cannot sustain a relationship solely based on meeting someone at a club or a bar. However, I qualify this advice with two things: 1) This article is about approaching people and 2) It’s Osgoode, where else can you find us? I’m serious, there is a large statistical probability that if you want to meet people from school, you have to go to one of the better known bars typical to where the majority of law students live or can get to. The Pour House on Dupont seems to be a bar of choice for some and is quiet enough that a private conversation between two people can easily be accommodated and is, in fact, encouraged.
The TTC: Despite it being crowded, dirty, and the possibility arises of being attacked (yes, I hate transit), it does have one benefit, especially when you are leaving from York University; you have a very long time to wait for your commute. So, most people decide to read a book, or listen to their iPod, or just stare blankly into space, which is a look that is non-threatening and also avoids eye contact. It’s sort of a cross between “I don’t care about anything” and “Don’t fuck with me”, otherwise known as the Toronto Stare. At any rate, getting back to the point, the TTC provides a unique opportunity to actually engage an Osgoode student in conversation. Think about it, you’re probably at least in similar classes if not the same one. They’ve seen you around and are, on a balance of probabilities (thank you), not likely to think you are a creep. Plus, you have at least one thing to talk about. So if you can even attempt to engage in conversation, you can at least be putting your foot in the door. You can also try again and get them to warm up to you, as you clearly will be doing this at least for a semester. This is prime opportunity to see if you can start something with someone.
Facebook chat: Let’s face it, almost all of us use it during class. It’s our way of telling each other jokes, highlighting various meme’s, and distracting Kyle Rees from focusing on his class while you sip on your Starbucks. So it makes sense that this would be an awesome way to talk to someone who you want to get to know better. You get to chat about random class stuff as well as similar interests. Fair warning though about Facebook in general. It has the unique ability of telling you all the interests a person may have disclosed via their Facebook page, and also allows you to fact check any bullshit someone may be spewing at you. With all that though, I submit that Facebook chat is a viable option go get the ball rolling.
The general theme throughout this article is about starting that initial conversation. The conversation content is all up to you. At the end of the day, however, it appears that people are unable to make that first step of actually going up to talk to someone. Whether you have confidence issues, are shy, or just have had bad experiences, the important thing to remember is that if you don’t make that move, things will inevitably stay the same. You probably won’t find your soulmate through the initial conversations, but keep in mind that all long lasting relationships started that way.
Since this will be my last dating article, I wanted to take the time and just thank everyone for their input while I was writing and I want to thank my friends who have felt that I was trustworthy enough to share these stories with. Maybe someone else will pick up where I have left off because, if my 3 years here have taught me anything, is that this is a subject which everyone needs help in.