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Fixing your hallway hellos

Nora Smith, Executive Opinions Editor

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Photos by Richard Chu

There are many ways to be awkward in the hallway, and we each have embarrassing habits. To make our hallways encounters less painfully weird, we need to decide on how to go about saying “hi” to each other. I’ve come up with some ideas, so find which character matches you the best and discover what you can do in the hallway so that you aren’t as cringe-worthy.

The Half-Smiler: The half-smiler is that kid you recognize from the back of your math class. You know his name is John, but you aren’t really sure if you should say “hi” or not. John keeps his head down until he’s about 10 feet away from you, and then he looks up to flash a painfully forced half-smirk that makes him look slightly constipated.

How to fix it: John should hold his head up and start to say “hello” to the other person as soon as he makes eye contact. His greeting only has to last until he passes the other kid. If that’s still too much for John, he should at least smile fully.

Very Loud, Overly Energetic Person: Stacy actually scares you when she screams your name in the hallway. Taken aback by the noise, you usually end up confused and saying “hi” in a stunned way with barely enough time to react. On the outside, Stacy doesn’t seem fazed, but inside she’s sad that her enthusiasm wasn’t returned.

How to fix it: Stacy needs to recognize that not everyone is on her cloud-nine-super-beast hype level, so she should try to read other people’s body language when saying “hello.” She might need to contain herself if the other kid seems tired or dead inside. If you’re the person who’s tired or dead inside, try to muster up the energy to say “hey” back in a more hyped up way. Maybe it’ll even bring you some energy.

Headphones-and-Hoodie Kid: It’s that Matt kid from your welding class with headphones in and a hood up. He falls asleep in class every day, but he did give you gum that one time so now you feel obligated to say “hi” to him. When you’re in the hall, Matt ignores you and pretends to change the song on his phone.

How to fix it: Matt should be aware of his surroundings in the hallway and say “hi” to other people around him because that’s just common courtesy. If you’re the person who received the gum, you could try yelling out Matt’s name, but if Hoodie Kid doesn’t seem approachable, don’t take it personally. It’s not you, Matt just might not see that much of a bond in gum-giving.

Teachers: Some teachers are easy to say “hi” to, like Ms. Rogers who you’ve had twice already and sometimes you accidentally call her “mom.” But if you run into someone like Ms. Jones who you had for World Civ. during freshman year, sometimes you don’t know if she remembers you.

How to fix it: If you’re the student, say “hi.” Ms. Jones likes feeling appreciated just as much as her students do. If you’re Ms. Jones, say “hi” even if you don’t remember the student’s name. Even if you’re unsure whether you recognize the face or not, just say “hi” anyway. You’ll be known as a friendly staff member if you actually never had the student in class, and if you did have the student, then at least that student will feel remembered.

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Fixing your hallway hellos