How To: First-Year Faculty Dinner

By Hannah Chung

Every semester, Annenberg holds its class-wide freshman dinner, where eager first-year students may invite the faculty member of their choice for an evening that very accurately portrays what it’s like to eat everyday at the Berg (read: roast beef and apple crisp are indeed not the usual menu items, dear professors - as much as we wish they were). This is a night that shouldn’t be missed, so if you find yourself terrified at the idea of having to invite a real adult to a real dinner, read on for tips on how to approach the night:

Step 1: Picking the Person

The first thing to do is decide what classes in which you’ve actually paid attention. If you sleep through your psychology class and you invite your psych professor, chances are that dinner is going to end up like your first “chaperoned” date did: awkward and silent. Remember, the person you ask to the dinner doesn’t have to be a professor. So pick a professor, TF, preceptor, or anyone else that is involved in a class or organization that you are passionate about.

Step 2: Extending the Invitation

You have a few options with this one. Every freshman received a handy-dandy card, which has room for your information and the details of the event. This is a great way to avoid repeated human interaction pre-event with your professor. Email is another minimal-contact option. The most personal option is to approach your invitee in person. Recognize that this person is in fact human. So don’t be scared. People love being invited to events that other people aren’t invited to. #finalclubs

Step 3: Dealing with other people that invited the same person

This is the moment your Hunger Game skills will finally come in handy. Kidding (sort of). If this happens, and it’s bound to with popular professors and TFs, just suggest you all go to dinner in a group. That may even make the dinner more enjoyable because it won’t be on you to carry a conversation, and you won’t be forced to have terrifying flashbacks to the many, many alumni interviews you went to pre-college.

Step 4: Picking a time

If you’re free the entire time Annenberg will be open for the dinner (no, your scheduled time to watch reruns of Glee doesn’t count as ‘busy’), you should let the person you invited pick the time for dinner. But if you do have something that conflicts, make sure you let them know from the get-go so that they can plan for it.

Step 5: The Dinner

Now this is the most important step of the process. You must actually show up to the dinner. And plan to be there 10 minutes early because you know you’re going to be running late. Dressy attire is recommended for the event so this would not be the time to show off your newly purchased sweatpants. If you’re not feeling creative about what to say during the dinner, Flyby has you covered.

And that’s it. It’s not always easy having grown-up interactions with people, but with Flyby’s guide, you’ll be just fine.

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