By LIU Xing, Jack (Jockey Club Academy Hall)

Social life at the beginning of a semester is never dull. You met this exchange student at the morning class and promised to go party Friday night; you showed a new City U student around and he/she offered to buy you dinner; you went back to your hall at night and your floor tutor told you to prepare for the karaoke night tomorrow to welcome the new floor-mates…

In classes, orientations and other gatherings, people are grabbing each other into their to-be-established new life.

“Hi!”, “Where are you from?”, “What do you study?”, “How do you like Hong Kong?”
You asked and answered these questions hundreds of times and after each time you got a phone number. You named them “Tony from Beijing” or “Jacky from US” so that you would not forget.  You feel like you are a social butterfly and your address book is growing like crazy.

But sooner or later, your growing address book stops growing and the face behind each number starts to get blurred. You used to make plans with a lot of the people you met. Then you just talk to them only when you run into them. And finally greeting and talking with them turn into just nodding and smiling and you find yourself surrounded by exactly the same people as last semester.

I admit we only have 24 hours a day and we do need to sleep and study. Friendship takes time and we cannot befriend everyone. While this could be a fair argument, it can also be an excuse, an excuse for shyness, laziness and social incompetence.

You should call back to make those plans you and your new friends have talked about come true. You should keep taking part in those social activities. If you really cannot befriend someone, it is not the end of the world. But with sincerity it is seldom the case.