Don’t forget the friendliness from dorm living

Remember when you knew every one of your neighbors in the dorms. Sure, some of that had to do with the natural camaraderie that comes with sharing a bathroom. But now we’ve graduated to apartments and have the luxury of a private shower, and where has the love gone?

Being friends — or at least friendly — with your apartment neighbors is a benefit in more ways than one. And yes, it takes a bit more effort to reach out now that we are not in the dorms, but the positives of making new acquaintances outweigh all the negatives.

Take my sophomore year as an example of what not to do. I lived with 5 guys, and guess who lived next to us? Yes, five girls.

Awkward exchange after awkward exchange ensued until about January, when we finally invited them to walk 5 paces north and come out with us for the night. It was a success, but all I could ask myself is: why did it take so long to initiate the hang out?

Maybe because we’re shy. Or maybe because we were intimidatingly handsome. But most likely the reason is because you aren’t trying to branch out as aggressively as you were freshman year, when living was a more communal experience.

Being friendly with your neighbors affords you the opportunity to ask for a cup of milk if you’re out. You can ask them to look out for a package being sent your way so that it doesn’t get stolen. And instead of resorting to calling the police, you can politely ask they turn down the sub woofer.

And in the rare occurrence that you’ve lost your keys and jacket after a long night and pass out outside your apartment door, maybe your neighbors will take pity on you and shelter you from the cold. (Thanks, apartment 2.) See, you never know when that relationship with your next door neighbors will pay dividends.

I mean, your neighbors only see you walk past their place 10 times a week. How much more pleasant would the day be if you could exchange smiles and waves?

There are ways to approach your roommates, and drunkenly passing out outside their door is not the most endearing of them. Like freshman year, leave your door open when it’s nice outside. Have some music playing. Above all, make sure you appear friendly, and it might be enough for them to let their guard down and foster a conversation.

One more note of advice. If you live a block away from County Market and haven’t yet uttered a word to your next door neighbors (and they are of the opposite sex), asking if I have a plunger to borrow is not the greatest ice breaker in the world. We live away from dorms to get away from the communal bathrooms, so please leave those tidbits of information to yourself.

_Joe is a senior in Media._