Through most of my years of schooling, I was taught to know everybody in all of my classes. I remember having to play classroom games where I would have to name every single student. Heck, I even had “name quizzes” where I was given a piece of paper and I would have to name everybody in the class and their relative seating location (yes, it was horrible).
Once you get to a certain level of education, the importance of knowing classmates, names and all, just goes away. In some aspects, it’s a relief. There is nobody to force a friendship or partnership out of you and at the end of the semester, you part ways with the class and everything inside the classroom.
In other aspects, the idea of being in the same room with people for three months and then not knowing anything about them is just upsetting.
In high school, I dual enrolled which meant that I left early and took classes at a nearby college. Back then, I didn’t want anybody to know me (or know that I was actually only in high school). I simply went to class, did what I was told to do and then left. I wouldn’t be able to recognize anybody from those classes if I saw them and I certainly didn’t care to recognize them anyway.
However, keeping silent and not knowing anybody gave me a slight chilling feeling inside. When we stay silent, we potentially miss out on many different opportunities. For all I know, the future president could have sat next to me and I didn’t say one word to him (or her).
I guess my point is, say ‘hi’ to the person next to you. Who knows, that person could be the next success story.