My favorite way to meet people is to get out. I don’t necessarily mean this as getting out of my house (although that is obviously a key part), but I mainly mean it as getting out of my own way. I am a quiet person until I get to know someone well enough to have a conversation with them. In my last years of high school I began to go out of my way to start up a conversation with someone I didn’t know. I admit, I am still pretty shy when I am in a lecture class of 400 people and I don’t know anyone else, but for the most part I try to get to know at least one other person in the class. Getting out of my own way has helped me gain friends that I have had since my freshman year of college, and meet celebrities and professional baseball players that I wouldn’t have if I had kept quiet.
Freshman year in the dorms, the closest dining hall to my dorm was Hassyampa. (And for all you non-ASU folks you’re probably thinking – who would name a dorm that?! Don’t worry, I think half of us ASU students are thinking it too) Although I didn’t eat every meal at Hassy, I tried to go there often for dinner before I went back to my own room. One night, a girl asked if she could sit across from me at the table and eat her dinner. We started talking and exchanged phone numbers, which lead to us grabbing dinner together almost every night and hanging out when we weren’t in class and on weekends. After freshman year, I was moving into a house that my parents bought and I was in need of a roommate. I asked her because we had become really good friends during that first year. Now, four years after I met her and three years after I asked her to be my roommate, we are still living together (with my brother) and both about to graduate in May.
One of my other friends that I’ve had since freshman year I actually met in Long Beach, at an ASU Orientation for students who didn’t live in Arizona. We were sitting across from each other during the lunch break (with my mom, another ASU freshman and her mother) and began talking. She and I were actually both in the Herberger Institute so we were registering for classes together, which led to us both taking the same Color class freshman year. We’ve had classes together throughout the past four years, but we’ve also gone out to dinner for each other’s birthdays and gone to football games together. Although she isn’t graduating this year, I have a feeling we’ll keep in touch and hopefully even see each other over summer or if she moves back to California after she graduates.
I have been attending award shows since I was in Junior High, particularly Teen Choice Awards and Home For The Holidays. Like I said, I was very quiet and didn’t spark up much of a conversation when I was meeting people. Thankfully, one time at the TCA’s I asked Dwayne Johnson to take a picture with me. I was incredibly nervous when I asked, but it was a great first experience because even after his publicist started moving him further down the red carpet, he came back and took a picture with me. After that I was still nervous when I tried to ask for photographs, but his response made it worth trying every single time, and it’s given me the opportunity to take pictures with some really great people. [Below are a couple opportunities I’ve had]
That first interaction with Dwayne Johnson has also encouraged meet to talk more when I am surrounded by professional baseball players. The Angels have Spring Training practice at Tempe Diablo Stadium, which is close enough that I can go over on weekday mornings and watch them. It’s also a great chance to ask for pictures and autographs because not as many fans show up as they do for the actual games. I have met more than half of my favorite team throughout these past four years in Arizona and I am hoping to come back even after I graduate to continue watching them and talking with them. [The pictures below are just some of the pictures I got from being out there on Saturday alone]