Every school year, a new student will show up from places unknown. The new kid will keep to himself. He will be stronger than you imagine. He will be fast, but not too fast. He will be tall, but also short. He will be named John, or maybe he won’t be named John at all. He could be named Roger, but he tells everyone to call him by his middle name, which is also Roger. Or it could be a woman…named Roger.
This is the mysterious student, a bizarre, intriguing teen with a secret past, and it’s up to you to befriend him (or her). Why do you want this mysterious student as your friend? Because they know things…important things…amazing things. Plus, they have a pretty great music collection.
Talking to the new, mysterious student isn’t easy. They are fearful of their new surroundings and tend to be anti-social. So how do you strike up a conversation with the walking enigma? Easy.
Step One: The Greeting
Don’t say, “Hello.” The mysterious student is expecting you to say, “Hello.” You need to keep him on his toes, or else he’ll win. Maintain the upper hand by offering up a new, hip greeting. Chose from any of the following:
“Boom it to the max” (Best if used while making gun gestures with your fingers.)
“Boom it 2,000” (And then you look at your shoulder dramatically.)
Step Two: Ice Breaker
After the greeting has been given, you need to say something that will break the ice. The mysterious new kid doesn’t trust you yet, so don’t say anything incendiary such as, “We must slay all the bees, for they are servants of the government!”
Keep things causal, and bring up a topic that is non-confrontational. Talking about the weather works well, but be careful you don’t say, “The weather is good because our government controls the wind with the power of bees.” Instead of the weather, talk about something calmer. For instance, start off by saying, “Pretzels are things. Wouldn’t you agree?” Such a statement leaves little room for debate.
Step Three: Respond
After the ice is broken, the mysterious kid will say something to you, or perhaps he may just nod mysteriously. Don’t get sucked into an awkward moment of silence. The mysterious student will walk away, or curl up into a mysterious ball of mystery unless you keep the conversation going. Have a verbal response ready. Here are some things you can say if the conversation grinds to a halt:
“Where are you from?”
“Do you like it here?”
“What was your old school like?”
“I can eat any food.”
“Quick! Name all the primary and tertiary colors, or else!”
“Do you think a blind person that is suddenly given the power of sight will be disappointed when they first see a giraffe? I do.”
“Have you seen Eat, Pray, Love?”
“Guess what time zone I’m thinking of, or else!”
Step Four: Listen
The mysterious student will warm up to you and your powers of conversation. He will begin answering your questions, or replying to your statements. It’s now important that you listen carefully to what the mysterious student is saying. Look for code words. For example, if he mentions clowns and socks in the same sentence, he’s probably a spy. If he doesn’t mention eggs, he is not a magician. If he mentions a prime number, that doesn’t mean anything (unless the number is 17). And if he brags about his car, walk away because he’s kind of a tool.
Step Five: Establish Common Ground
With small talk out of the way, focus the conversation on something you both agree on, such as hatred for a particular teacher. You should also remember that most people like the way corn tastes, so you can say something such as, “Corn tastes good,” or, “Corn doesn’t taste bad.” The mysterious student, no matter how mysterious they are, will agree with you. And with a common interest established, you’re on the road to friendship.
Step Six: Leave Him Wanting More
If the conversation is going well, you should end it with a cliffhanger. This ensures that the mysterious student will seek you out later, and the two of you can talk again. To do this, say something like, “This one time, I saw Harrison Ford eating raw Jell-o powder out of the box and then he…well, I better get going to class. I’ll talk to you again, I’m sure.”
Step Seven: Confirm the Friendship
With the lines of communication open, it’s time to invite the mysterious student into your circle of friends. This can be done by simply saying, “You are hereby my friend for life. Please fill out the online form, show me a photo I.D., and pay the $30 membership fee. Also, your new nickname is Cubby.”
Talking to the mysterious new kid isn’t easy, but it’s well worth the trouble. Once the mysterious kid is your friend, you will learn new things, see new places, and smell new smells. And, with the mysterious new kid on your side, the two of you can both team up on Mike, because Mike is being such a jerk this year. What’s his problem, anyway?
Got any tips for talking to the mysterious new kid? What about tips for eating raw Jell-o powder? COME ON, GIVE US SOMETHING.
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