Student-to-student relationships poor at Simpson

Student-to-student relationships poor at Simpson

by Laura Dillavou

I have pretty eyes – I wish someone would look at them.

Actually, I wish any Simpson student would have the tenacity to maintain eye contact with me, or any other student they pass on the sidewalks.

This is not a new wave of personal relations at Simpson; this is a sign of apathy and of poor peer-to-peer attitudes.

Let’s face it, Simpson really isn’t big enough for students to act snobbish to one another – we pass one another every day on the same paths, going to the same classes. More than likely, you’ll end up having social contact with these people at least some point during your four years here.

So why start off on a bad foot – or should I say a bad look? What is it about holding a gaze or actually looking at people – rather than the sidewalk – that is so hard for young adults?

Squirrels, changing leaves and distant views of your latest crush can hardly excuse the lack of eye contact between students.

There is a certain approach to these situations:

Step One: See acquaintance, 50-100 feet away, contemplate human-to-human conduct.

Step Two: It’s still OK to look at one another, try and catch their eye.

Step Three: A smile or polite nod is given, if feeling friendly, say “Hi.”

Step Four: Now that the two parties are within 5-10 feet of each other, quickly look down or around the other person, avoiding all possibility of continuing conversation.

Step Five: Proceed to class or residence, practicing these steps along the way.

Step Six: Arrive at destination knowing you have successfully avoided anything more than superficial human contact. Whew.

What people signify when they don’t – or won’t – look at one another is a sense of cowardliness or just plain snobbery. And really, what student wants to be thought of in either of those terms?

Granted, there are times when we see someone we really don’t like – and there is certainly no reason to be overly friendly in those situations, but again, given our small campus and lack of room to, well, escape, why not make the most of Simpson’s 2,035 students?

Overcoming this problem is the hardest part. Unless a majority of students feel the need to start looking at one another and taking a genuine interest in their fellow students, our campus will only continue to cultivate a general “screw-you” attitude toward one another. Think of it as learning for the future.

In most work environments, people are exposed to other people and must maintain a degree of civility in order to contribute to office well-being or company contentedness.

And again, while you may not like everyone you run into, work with, live with or go to school with, it’s a point of maturity when two people can converse in a polite conversation.

It’s really nothing more than good etiquette and social grace. And who couldn’t use more of that?

It’s time Simpson students started looking up – and looking beyond their feet – there is more to campus life than beelining it to the next class. Take the time to know your fellow students – you might just find you were matched against them in that last great basketball game. Good thing you didn’t make eye contact with them then so you can now.