Since childhood, the first day of school has been synonymous with fresh haircuts, new clothes and shiny shoes. But of course, it’s also the start of gossip season, a rite of passage each fall.
GW and its mile-wide social circles make asking ‘what’d you do?’ and ‘who’d you do?’ an art form, especially after we’ve been forced to rely on Instagram photos and Facebook relationship statuses to get our fix of artistic inspiration over the last three months.
Now, we get to ask the questions. Who broke up with whom? Who got tan? Who got fat? Who was stuck at home working at Old Navy?
All of the dirt that’s been swept under the rug for the past three months is about to be aired out to a congregation of hungry drama-suckers. Still, this long-celebrated practice does have standardized etiquette.
Spread it out – don’t focus too much on one incident. Someone’s photo op with a senator or backpacking trip across Europe can be fodder for a substantive conversation, but you can’t get much mileage out of one drunken beach escapade photo or a short-lived summer fling. The more you know, the better you’ll be prepared for all the social pop quizzes at frat parties and over Sweetgreen lunches.
Have the courtesy to at least talk behind peoples’ backs — this way, they can’t calculate how many people know about the finance internship they only nabbed via nepotism.
If you do muster up the gall to talk to someone face-to-face, offer your most apologetic tone when bringing up the dramatic breakup you monitored over Facebook as if it were your favorite television show. Nevermind the semester you spent trashing their relationship.
Never repeat the same story twice. It’ll make you look like a has-been who doesn’t know the right people with the right dirt. If it’s last week’s news, just take it elsewhere.
Gossip is juicy and fun, and everyone does it. So when someone tells you they don’t enjoy the catching-up process, laugh, because later they’ll be telling their roommate that you got fat over the summer.