People Watching

Recently a friend of mine revealed to me a very interesting hobby: people watching. She swears that she can sit in the RFOC dining hall for hours and just watch the people that walk by. So, today, in attempt to see what this bizarre hobby is all about, I left my dorm about an hour and half early for class and made my way to the Sadler Center. Here is a chronicle of my findings:

9:45-I arrive at the RFOC, grab a bowl of raisin bran, a muffin and two glasses of juice.
9:46-I clumsily drop an empty cup, causing it to break, unbeknownst to me.
9:47-I spill juice on myself.

My set-up

9:48-I sit down, pull out my laptop and start watching.
9:55-I casually eavesdrop on the conversation next to me, to hear a discussion of birthdays and studying in Swem.
10:00-One of my fraternity brothers walks by sporting a W&M ultimate Frisbee t-shirt and a goofy smile.
10:03-I spot a friend of mine across the room grabbing a quick breakfast while she closely examines the book in front of her.
10:07-Several of the members of the Tribe football team enter the dining hall.
10:11-One of the workers in the cafeteria comes by to refill my napkins, we have a pleasant conversation about the beautiful weather (currently getting close to 80 degrees).
10:13-I gain a new neighbor, a man with a large plate of eggs.
10:14-My new neighbor pulls out his laptop and begins watching sports highlights.
10:17-My friend from before spots me, we exchange a wave and a smile.
10:19-A woman walks by in an extremely passionate discussion on the phone. I can only make the words “summer”.
10:25-The thought comes to mind that this is slightly creepy, I push it aside and continue on.
10:33-Incredibly loud laughter breaks out from across the room.
10:35-The laughter finally comes to an end.
10:42-I hear a passionate conversation about what meal plan to use next year, the verdict comes out that this student will switch from a gold plan to a block plan.
10:44-A man walks by with what must be his tenth slice of pizza.
10:45-I spot a friend from my freshmen hall from across the room and creepily text her: “I seeee you.”
10:46-I leave the comfort of my spot to go talk to my friend.
10:46- My walk around the cafeteria reveals several different groups huddled around phones watching the new viral video in which one of our own students invites New York Knick, Jeremy Lin to her sorority formal (
10:46-My friend and I discuss end of the semester tests and her semester in the business block.
10:50-I realize that its 10:50 and I have class in 10 minutes. I pack up and head out.
10:51-I exit the RFOC.

Now this experience has actually taught me a lot. While many of these events may seem minor and insignificant, together they made me realize what a living, breathing place this campus is. In my short time in the dining hall I probably saw close to 500 different people, each doing their own thing with their own agenda. Some of them I was friends with, some I have never seen before in my life. Even though everyone’s busy, there’s this weird feeling of a general understanding in the dining hall. Everyone seems to know that everyone else is having a busy day as well, and respects that.

Perhaps my favorite part of this was seeing all the different types of things people are involved in, via their t-shirts. Examples: A purple shirt that reads “Gay? Fine by me.”, an Intramural Champions T-shirt, a t-shirt with a sorority’s greek letters sown on, a yellow shirt that simply reads “Tribe Pride”, several shirts advertising different band’s summer tours and countless Kappa Delta Campus Golf t-shirts just to name a few.

I need to remember to thank my friend for telling me to do this. I feel at times, I can get very caught up in all I’m doing, and now I know that the best remedy for this is to sit back and enjoy my surroundings, because honestly, they’re unlike any other.

Alma Mater Hail!


Categories: Campus Life, Student Blogs
1 Comment
  1. Madelyn Smith

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