Georgetown has approximately 7,552 undergraduate students, and as a senior, I often feel like I know every one of them. I’ve met hundreds of my classmates through extracurriculars, projects and parties. Knowing that I can spot someone in Tombs or walking across campus is comforting, but the truth is, I actually know only a fraction of our Georgetown community. There is a whole other world of random Georgetown people out there for me to meet.

My roommates agreed, and they revealed to me that they had a solution for this problem of missed opportunities. Instead of accepting that our friend groups and our Georgetown destinies are predetermined, we needed to invite new people into our lives and throw a dinner party with the most random guest list. They had me at “dinner.”

Dinner meant cooking baked ziti and thus having a legitimate reason to keep four types of cheese in our home, but I was also intrigued by what this party entailed. The initial rules of the dinner were that each roommate needed to invite two random people (one boy, one girl) whom they didn’t know well but would like to get to know better. While we were at first strict about adhering to this rule, each of us ultimately chose at least one person that she knew.

We soon realized that with a dinner party comes cooking. This preparation proved quite fun as we searched food blogs and the Martha Stewart website for the perfect ziti recipe. I decided I would make pumpkin cheesecake to pair with the ziti. Our other menu items would include roasted vegetables, baked brie, spinach salad, apple pie and seven-layer bars.

Besides food, we also needed to decorate, which led us to T.J. Maxx to buy wine glasses, candles and a tablecloth; we weren’t letting any detail go untouched. After hours of cooking, shopping and hypothesizing over how this social experiment would play out, our random dinner party was finally about to begin.

At first, it was undeniably awkward. My roommates and our guests stood in a makeshift circle around the table and engaged in icebreakers.

“Hi, I’m Mary. I’m a senior in the College, studying English and Jewish civilization, and I’m from outside of Philadelphia,” I said, to which everybody replied, “Hi Mary!”

Fearing our dinner could transform into the worst part of New Student Orientation, I stuffed my face with my roommate’s brie, smiled and kept on checking my ziti for the first half hour.

Finally, we took our seats, and dinner was served. Earlier in the day, one of my clever roommates taped questions underneath each chair. She wouldn’t tell us about the content of the questions, which frightened us a bit. As we suspected, they dealt with probing topics that shall not be mentioned, but our fear subsided, however, as the game finally generated to fluid conversation. The wine helped with that, too. Dessert was soon served, and before we knew it, the clock chimed midnight.

We had managed to entertain people for four hours. We had passed the awkward silence. We had overcome the uncomfortable introductions. We were now all best friends! That’s probably not true, but I left that night with seven more acquaintances than I started with, the knowledge that I, along with my roommates, could successfully execute a fabulous dinner party in campus housing, and finally the satisfaction of knowing Georgetown a little bit better than I had before this feat.  If you take anything away from this article, feeding people is the perfect way to make friends, but more importantly, putting yourself out there can lead to rewarding experiences in which you learn more about yourself and others.

Mary Burgoyne is a senior in the College. This is the final appearance of ALMOST ADULT this semester.

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