peacocking

(v.) the act of attempting to attract potential love interests

It’s that time of year again. Birds are chirping, libraries emptying, social schedules filling to the brim. Spring Weekend marks the start of a full season of activities: senior week, then commencement, then, blissfully, summer, which can seem a like a three month-long party in and of itself.

For many, all these celebrations—particularly Spring Weekend—carry an expectation of romance. When else does the whole campus come together into a writhing, alcohol-fueled mass of bodies? Spring Weekend basically begs people to hook up. But still, we often find ourselves hanging out only with friends. We fail to meet new people, and, somehow, we find ourselves going home alone.

A study in Women’s Health Magazine cites that in 55% of the instances where men decide not to approach women in social situations, the reason is intimidation. Something similar can likely be said of women, though societal expectations about who can approach whom also play a role. If you want to meet someone, the best tactic is probably to just approach them, yourself. But if you aren’t feeling so forward this Spring Weekend (and are looking for some lovin’), there are still some easy ways to put yourself out there.

1.     Go off by yourself for a while. This tactic should only be used during the daytime and in safe environments, but it can considerably up the number of opportunities you have to meet new people. Potential love interests will feel more comfortable approaching you if they don’t have to break through a wall of your friends first. Walk to the porta-potties alone. Volunteer to get the next bottle of water. “Accidentally” lose your friends dancing. Maybe you’ll meet someone new!

2.     Be aware of your body. Crossed arms can make you seem closed off, while a straight posture makes you seem more confident and receptive to interactions. Obviously, this isn’t worth obsessing over—sometimes we just carry ourselves the way we do—but if you’re trying to make yourself look more approachable to someone, standing up straight and smiling is a good start. Also, try to avoid scrolling your phone when you’re by yourself or waiting for something. It makes you look busy, which can be a deterrent to potential new acquaintances.

3.     Talk to someone. Eyelash flutters and sideways glances become less effective at large events simply because they are less noticeable. If you want to talk to someone, find an excuse to do it, no matter how corny the reason. Lines are good places to make friends, and food and drink are usually good conversation starters. Try, “That taco looks amazing—where did you get it?” or “How did you manage to sneak in a whole 30-rack?” Conversation has great potential to blossom into something more.

4.     Don’t overindulge. Remember that guy last year whose pupils were the size of dinner plates? Remember how he kept stepping on your toes and sprayed you with sweat while he danced? Chances are, that guy probably had a hard time finding someone to make out with (though he probably didn’t care).

5.     Be determined to have fun either way. Finding love at Spring Weekend may ultimately come down to fate. You can look your best, achieve the perfect level of drunkenness, and meet loads of new people, and still not find someone you click with. And that’s okay. It’s best to go into these events with an expectation for fun, music, friends, and not much more than that. Be friendly, talk to the people you want to talk to, and let Cupid do the rest. Who knows, you might just get lucky.