University of Cincinnati students has begun the 2018-2019 academic year! As crazy as that seems, I know I am definitely ready to get back into campus life. I am ready to wake up and walk through our beautiful campus, I am ready to see my friends, I am ready to go to one of the Starbucks on campus and listen to the rad playlist, and I am most definitely ready to go to football and basketball games again. I never thought I would say it, but I think I am also ready to go to classes again just to be on a regular schedule.

Over the past two years, I have made several friends within my majors and I am incredibly blessed that I do have a great group of friends on campus, however, I remember being a freshman and how awkward and nervous I was going into my first week of classes. In most cases, it is your first time in a lecture hall with what feels like hundreds of people that you don't know, and you are about to walk into a class that you could potentially love or despise but you don't have anyone to express your feelings to. Well, to the freshman or even the students that have trouble making friends I have a little advice as to how to avoid that awkwardness. Talk about laptop stickers.

Now, this might seem like a very strange idea but trust me, it works. Laptop stickers can tell a lot about a person; from what their favorite shows or sports teams are to what fraternity or sorority they are in or what animals they like. By simply saying that you like or admire someone's sticker on their laptop it can progress into a really great conversation and you have easily made a friend. I will say, however, even though this plan often works it isn't exactly full proof but there are ways around that.

There are definitely people out there that will give you the vibe that they don't want to talk or are not in the mood to make friends. If they are giving you that vibe then I would probably back off and try again with someone else. But, if someone is giving you an encouraging vibe but all they say is thank you, don't be afraid to try to continue to spark a conversation. A great question to ask is where they get their stickers from or if any of them were gifts. Another great route to take is to ask the meaning behind a sticker. Whether people like it or not, everyone loves to talk about themselves it is just human nature. Because you are showing interest in something they clearly like and giving them an opportunity to talk about themselves, it is a great way to start a friendship.

I have found that after the conversation gets rolling the next step if you haven't done so already is to introduce yourself and begin asking more personal questions, (i.e. what their name is, what's their major, what year are they, etcetera.) I am not sure who created laptop stickers or why, but it is the first week of classes that I am very glad that they did. Again, I know it seems like a weird way to try and make friends but it really does work and I have made some really great friends just by saying "hey, I really like your sticker!"