Why it should be normal to just reach out

Picture this. You got your dad to battle his way through the Ticketmaster line for tickets to see your favorite band in the history of ever, and he actually manages to get tickets. Pit tickets, at that. 

You have your outfit planned, and you look absolutely incredible. You have saved up money for the merch that you know you will want, because who wouldn’t want a shirt with their favorite artist’s face on it? 

You have everything planned out until you look up how far away the venue is. An hour? By car? Absolutely no way. You have a couple of options.

One, call your dad and beg him to drive you to the venue. It’s 100% free if you don’t include the cost of losing your dignity as you look your dad in the eye while wearing your super-awesome-but-not-Gen-X-friendly concert outfit. 

Second, you can hitchhike. This is feasible, as long as you are okay with the possibility of being murdered.

Third, share an Uber with a random person in your dorm building. This is way cheaper than taking an Uber by yourself, but it means that you actually have to work up the courage to talk to a new person. This is a terrifying proposition, but it might be worth it to save on the outrageous price of an Uber at surge pricing. 

Last, you can weep in your dorm room alone as you skip the concert because you can’t afford a ride and don’t want to be murdered, either by a stranger in a van or by the look of disappointment that your dad will give you when he sees your outfit. 

I was recently in this situation, and I chose to share an Uber with someone in my building. I was going to see the Arctic Monkeys, and although I love Alex Turner, I didn’t love him enough to spend $100 on an Uber. 

I sent a text in my dorm group chat asking if anyone would be willing to share an Uber to the concert, making sure that I tried to sound as cool as possible in my text. None of them could know that I was fending off all my fears of creepy people who would take pictures of me without my consent and then make a shrine dedicated to me in their dorm wardrobe, complete with candles and incense. 

I got a DM from someone later in the day, and he said he was contemplating buying tickets to the concert because “the Monkeys” were one of his favorite bands. Being the concert buff that I am, I told him “YOLO” and that he should definitely come with my roommate and I. 

He ended up buying tickets in a different section than us, but we were still able to ride to the venue together. Wonderful, Uber problem solved. However, I now had to actually ride in a car with a random person for an hour. Not as much of a wonderful moment. 

We ended up texting back and forth all day about our concert outfits and favorite Arctic Monkeys songs. Every other text included a pun with a lyric from our favorite songs, and I caught myself actually enjoying a new friendship with a random person that I had just met. When it came time to leave for the concert, I walked down the stairs of my dorm, trying to convince myself that this guy wasn’t somehow a 40- year-old catfish who disguised himself as an Arctic Monkeys fan who goes to Tech. 

My roommate and I met him in the parking lot to wait for our Uber, and it turned out that he was just a regular dude who happened to like the band we were going to see; there were no disturbing kidnapping plans or blueprints for a shrine for his dorm room. 

We ended up talking for the entire Uber ride and by the time we got to the venue, my roommate and I decided that we were going to sneak him into the pit with us. 

After carefully plotting our way in by the concession stand, we snuck in and had the best concert experience ever. 

We screamed along to every song, commenting in between songs to one another. By the end of the night, we were so hyped up on concert adrenaline that we forgot all about our initial fears of reaching out to someone new. 

Now, I have a new concert buddy, and we are already planning to go see John Mayer in concert together.

You may not ever have the issue of needing to share an Uber to afford getting to a concert, but you might have the issue of needing a new chemistry lab partner because your old partner disappeared off the face of the planet. 

Whenever you have a moment where you need to reach out to someone new, in the words of Shia LaBeouf, just do it! Maybe you will end up with a cheaper Uber ride, but you might end up with a new friend too.