People are time consuming. They're hard to meet with. Hard to like. They judge your best intentions. They resist help and eye contact. They're unpleasant. They don't really care to know you, or go outside themselves. If possible, they'd rather stay where it's comfortable-and maybe a little dull.
So why are they worth investing in? Are they really worth the trouble? Why put yourself at risk for embarrassment or rejection? You are a person too, remember, with all those same tendencies and drawbacks. Why don't people let you take them out for coffee? It's coffee. Free coffee.
What's the point? Why relationships? Why try? Why bridge the gap between yourself and 7 billion egoists? It's exhausting to go outside your own "person-ness" and be nice. To be vulnerable. Many won't be changed by your attempts to reach out. They may even be scrolling through Instagram while you try to care about them.
But what if one didn't? What if one looked up, took out their headphones, and said, "me too,"? What if one agreed to the exchange of coffee for stories?
That response would be addicting, like the drug in your cup of joe. All the awkward stepping out would suddenly become rewarding, even beautiful. It wouldn't suddenly become easy, mind you, but it would, in a moment, become worth it.
You are a person too. You continually retract into your own interests and comforts. Yet somehow, something wonderful happens when you and another one of these people come together. You find common ground, sharing joys and sorrows. It makes life so much richer.
That is why you must try. That is why, amidst social norms and skepticism, you must continually smile at the strangers, and really mean the "how are you's."
Maybe someone wants to take you out for coffee. So take your headphones out of your ears between classes. Look up. Maybe, to someone else, your worth it. Say yes to coffee; share your story.