(Ariana Berkemeier/ The Signpost)
Saying something as simple as “Hello!” to someone you don’t know can make all the difference. (Ariana Berkemeier/ The Signpost)

The greatest secret to success is support. The power of “Hello” is a simple one. It is essential to developing a support group in college life.

Saying hello begins the engagement process. It may never go further than a hello, but enough calls of ”Hey!” and “How are you?“ will gather momentum. As the semesters continue, you will achieve the level of socializing that most people expect right out of the gate.

I am starting my 11th semester at Weber State University and am always asked, “How do you know everyone?” Here’s my secret: I am outside with my head up, earbuds out and am willing to see the people around me, say hello and/or wave. Most people take time to stop and respond.

No matter how socially awkward you might feel, chances are pretty certain they feel the same. Really, who doesn’t want to be popular or have the ability to talk with people? Never talking to your classmates or the people who have a similar routine robs everyone of each other’s uniqueness, and makes for a lonely situation. Then, when things get tough you want to walk away or drop out.

Each class of 30 allows for interaction. Multiply that by five classes and you have the possibility of 150 hellos. You might only get back 10 percent, but if you say hello to everyone, you can increase your successes and leave a positive memory for someone. You never know when, where or how you might bump into someone again.

I look forward to saying hello to you all as the semester starts and to seeing what magic can happen. Be sure to say hello to everyone. The president of the university, most of the provosts and vice presidents walk around campus to unwind and love to engage with students, so don’t be intimated. Just be polite.

To quote my favorite Leonardo DiCaprio movie, “The Beach”: “So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience.”

Remember to learn, grow and develop because that is what college is really preparing you for.

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