We all have those people that we would rather not run into, whether it is because you have sat next to them in section for the past three months without learning their name or because you had a particularly unforgettable but unfortunate experience with them. Now that you have decided you can no longer see this person anymore, they suddenly pop up everywhere in your life, including the most important time of the day—meal time. Here are some tricks you can use to avoid them in the dining hall.
Eat at different times
You may have noticed that they get breakfast at 9, lunch at noon, and dinner at 6 everyday. However, many people spend a lot of hours in the dining hall. One way to get around this is to bribe the dhall staff to let you eat at other times. Breakfast at 6 a.m., Lunch at 11, and dinner at 3:30 are guaranteed to be times when you won’t see them— in fact, you probably won’t see anyone. Enjoy the solitude while thinking about how glad you are to avoid awkward eye contact for those three seconds.
Have your friends protect you
True friends always have your back, and they should help you to spot and avoid anyone in the dining hall. For optimal protection, have your friends form a pod around you and shield you anywhere you go, Secret Service-style. Bonus points if your friends commit to wearing ear pieces and suits while escorting you through the line and to put your tray away.
Wear a mask to the dhall
Keep your identity a secret à la Superman by wearing a mask to the dining hall (tights and cape optional). With your new identity, you can confidently walk past the person you need to avoid without batting an eye. Just make sure that you let a few confidantes in on your secret, or the dining hall may be a lonely time.
Develop a code with the HUDS staff
HUDS workers, specifically the people swiping students into the dining hall, can be your first line of defense. Creating a code where John from Annenberg hoots like an owl whenever said person enters and distracts them would give you enough time to start planning your escape.
Hopefully, with these tips, you will never have to make awkward eye contact or small talk with that weirdo from the MQC or that friend of your roommate who you cannot stand. If these don’t work, house transfer applications are still open or a nice, relaxing gap year might do the trick to ease your dining hall woes.