People-watching is a sport that takes great technique and skill. It's a risky game that requires planning and accuracy. Most people just assume that it's casually looking around in a park or restaurant, but it's more than a simple time-passing activity. It can make friendships and ruin relationships. Thankfully, UNC Charlotte has a lot of great areas for me to use, like Crown, the Library, Prospector, and, my favorite, SoVi. Here are the reasons I find people-watching so beneficial:

1. You can critique other people's fashion choices


You can find outfit ideas by copying other's style. Take note of the most important aspects and use those notes to make outfits for the next week. On the other side, you can silently judge people based on their clothes without seeming rude.

2. It can help you find a cute guy or girl


Usually, if I'm eating dinner at the dining hall, I'll find a guy near me and make subtle glances to observe their facial structure, clothing, and mannerisms. Observing them in their natural habitat can tell a lot about a guy. I'll probably never talk to him, but it's nice to look.

3. You get see funny moments that would go unseen


One of my favorites on this list is funny moments that would go unseen by others. We all have those moments where we do something embarrassing and hope that no one's watching. For the people in SoVi, I'm usually watching (and I've already laughed,) but go ahead and play it off like nothing happened.

4. It can help you make new friends


It's easier to make new friends. I'm not the type of person to invite someone to sit with me, but my friends definitely will. There are actually nice people in the world that are willing to be friends with a loner.

5. It’s a nice distraction when you’re bored


The normal thing that people do when they're bored is to watch Netflix or hang out with friends, but occasionally I prefer to "study" at Dunkin' or the top of SoVi. I've got my laptop out and a notebook open, but my eyes are on the people surrounding me. I'm looking at that one kid who's mostly on his phone, the loud group of friends, and the bystanders.

People watching is a whole new world that too often goes unnoticed. You have to be stealthy and precise to do it successfully. The goal is to not get caught but to still find an interesting target. You have to find a purpose and stick to it or else it can be a confusing mess. I recommend it to anyone who wants to casually stalk but not pass as a creep. So sit back, relax, and keep your eyes open.