Know that guy from your Freshman Writing Seminar that you used to nod to on the Arts Quad in the spring? Now it’s fall — so what are you gonna do? Wave? High-five? Hello, how are you? Or, of course, there’s always — gasp! — the snub! The possibilities are endless as the start of the year means that all of your relationships have shifted back one step. Now you’re in a sea of confusion as to the proper way to acknowledge a peer. So without further ado, our team of crack social butterflies reports on various greetings — in order of ascending intimacy — and the optimal times to use them ...
The classic hello that only involves cranking your neck, tossing your nose towards the sky. Reserved for times when you’re in a rush and always for freshman hall-mates. (Except the one that smells.) Other acceptable individuals include: Guy-who-sat-across-from-you-in-seminar, Libe Cafe barista, girl-you-recognize-but-have-no-clue-how and the guy-who-is-wearing-the-same-shirt-as-you.
The wave involves more movement, but often times less emotion. It’s always a bit awkward, but it’s better than stopping to say hello. Try it out on your English Prof. from freshman year and feel free to give it a spin on the kid-from-your-rival-high-school. It also works well on someone that you’ve hung out with, but can’t remember his/her name. (If you’ve chilled with this person more than once, please see “Wave Plus Smile.”)
Wave Plus Smile
Size and endurance of smile might vary, but be wary of sending the wrong message — you don’t want to smile for too long at your girlfriend’s sorority sister! And if a wink finds its way in there, you’re a goner! Greeting also appropriate for family friends.
Audible Hello (Maybe, Also a What’s Up?)
When someone charges at you looking for a big ol’ bear hug, you can stop them in their tracks by saying, “What’s Up?” Possibly followed by the classic “bro-shake.”
Stop and Chat
For anyone you feel like you owe something to, the Stop and Chat works wonders. The Prof.-who-wrote-you-a-recommendation or the boy-who-had-a-slight-obsession-with-you-last-year or the frat-bro-who’s-bid-you-declined, all deserve a few seconds of your time.
If you’re wasted, all bets are off ... get in there big boy and squeeze your friend tight.