Good Neighbour… Why Bother?

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Written by Jessica Wiper

Off-campus students, I’m afraid it is that time again. Everyone affiliated with off-campus housing is giving you all those welcome back tips on how to make friends with the neighbours – walk the dog together, bake them brownies, simply say hello, and so on. As great as those tips are (and basically guaranteed to work), why should we really bother? What do I have to gain from getting to know the Smith’s to the left of me and the Van Houten’s across the street?

Let’s be honest; I already have lots of friends and I don’t specifically need to add to that over-populated list. It’s hard enough to keep in contact with all these people as it is. Can you imagine the social nightmare of adding four or six or eight more people? Besides, I don’t buy that “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” cliché. The last thing I need is my neighbours coming over, acting all Ned Flanders-like and helping me cut my lawn, offering me the use of their snow blower, or showing me the ropes of Guelph’s crazy Wet-Dry+ thing.

And what about this offer to watch over my place while I’m home for a month during winter holidays to make sure nothing fishy happens? It’s just weird. Oh please, I’m sure nothing will happen anyways, and if they’re that bored that they’ll agree to watch my house for me, they don’t sound like fun friends anyways. I am a student and I work part-time. I just don’t have time to walk over to the neighbour’s house and say hi.

My fellow students, in case you were unaware, this piece is in fact littered with sarcasm. I feel it is my duty to enlighten you: friendly neighbours are the best resource you can ask for. They can help you out in times of need, help protect your house and let you know tips of Guelph living. And come on, who couldn’t use another friend to rely on and share a laugh with. So come on folks, bust out the brownies and polish those smiles, your neighbour is waiting!

Jessica Wiper is a Neighbourhood Relations & Off-Campus Peer

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