How I Wanted Pancakes But Got Friends Instead

The weeks leading up to Hopkins move-in were filled with excitement interspersed with intense moments of panic. Of all my fears, there was one that was more looming than Calc III and more frightening than getting locked out of my room in just my towel.

How do I make friends?

Should I say hi? Introduce myself? Meander my way through some awkward small talk in order to have someone to sit next to at lunch? Back in kindergarten, you could share your snack with the kid next to you and you became the best of friends. Is it still that easy?

The answer is yes.

People say, “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. For me, this is astoundingly true. (Ladies, take note).

Caught eating at Dorm Wars... typical.
Caught eating at Dorm Wars… typical.

It was the night of move-in. After a series of car rides, a train ride, a marathon of unpacking, and some painful goodbyes, you could imagine that I was pretty hungry. My roommate and I decided to head over to the FFC to experience our very first Late Night here at Hopkins. (For those of you who don’t know… the Fresh Food Café serves breakfast food from 9PM to midnight… aka heaven on earth and a one-way ticket on the freshman fifteen express). The ten-second walk (not exaggerating) over to the FFC from AMR II came to a screeching halt when we saw that the dining halls run on a different schedule during Orientation. They were not serving Late Night that night, and my dreams of a satisfied stomach were crushed. I let out an exasperated sigh, and shouted something along the lines of,

“UGH I’M JUST A HUNGRY FRESHMAN, WHAT DOES A BOY HAVE TO DO FOR SOME PANCAKES AROUND HERE???”

At the time, I had no idea that my empty stomach would lead to me meeting some of my very first friends here at Hopkins. It turns out a couple of hungry girls behind us also came to the FFC, expecting a Late Night meal. Hearing my very loud complaint, we shared our disappointment and stomach growls and spoke of our favorite granola bar flavors and instant mac and cheese. You could say it was the start of a beautiful friendship. I don’t think I will ever forget how I met these two…

Post-dinner in the Inner Harbor!
Post-dinner in the Inner Harbor!

…or how I befriended my first floor housemates after hoarding fruit from the FFC to make smoothies with their NutriBullet.

Smoothie ingredients: fruit from the FFC, orange juice and yogurt from CharMar, and agave nectar.
Smoothie ingredients: fruit from the FFC, orange juice and yogurt from CharMar, and agave nectar.

And now, we all try out every Baltimore restaurant together, make the best FFC fro-yo creations with each other, and constantly share how surprised we are that the sushi at CharMar is actually really good.

Food + friends = happiness.
Food + friends = happiness.

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I am a strong believer that food, even the food from a college dining hall, brings people together. Like the kindergartener who befriends the neighbor he shares his cookie with, I made friends with people who had a mutual appreciation for food. You might think it’s funny, but to me, falling into their lives in this way describes me so well. And isn’t that what’s so great about friends? You can be yourself around them, even if that means eating three grilled cheese sandwiches at lunch and not being judged for it. We’re already in the midst of planning our Thanksgiving dinner before break. Stay tuned, and good eats, my friends. Good eats.