“Stand up if you … identify as lower class. Sit down if you … identify as Muslim. Sit down if you … have a family member who is a veteran. Sit down. Now turn to the person on your right, no, wait, walk around until you’re next to a person you’ve never seen before. Okay, now turn to the person on your right and give them a high-five. Have you done it? Great, okay. Now, every time you see this person on campus, give them a high five. It’s that easy: ayou’ve already made a college friend!”
As confident as Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, the speaker at the Diversity & Inclusion Essential NU session may have been that he had made you feel included in the Northwestern community (it’s as easy as giving a random stranger a high-five!) we at NBN are not as convinced. So we decided to ask 40 Northwestern students what their relationship is like with their high-five buddy now.
Out of the 40 people surveyed, half had actually high-fived their high-five buddy outside of the ENU. The same percentage still remembered their person’s first name, though, notably, the overlap between the two categories was far from perfect.
"Although my high-five buddy and I don't see each other super often, when we do – it doesn't matter what we are doing – riding a bike to class, or grabbing food in the dining hall, we always go out of our way to high-five each other,” said Weinberg sophomore Jessie Cohen.
We received reports of buddies ending up in the same sorority, taking some classes together and becoming friends, and the random few who actually still high-five each other two years later. Our favorite story came from someone who said she ended up hooking up with her high-five buddy a few days after the ENU, but wished to remain anonymous. Disappointingly, but probably not surprisingly, 32 people acknowledged that their high-five buddy is no longer relevant in their lives.
While they may not be the “instant friends” the ENU leader promised us our high-five buddies would be, at the very least they are a familiar face to pass on Sheridan during those first few weeks spent venturing into the big scary world of college. And besides, there is no better introduction to the Sheridan Road experience than not knowing whether to half-smile, wave or put your hand up for a high-five.