Well, who knew that there were so many social butterflies in Monash?
There were at least 139 of them at the Flash Friends event organized by the Activities department, which was held in the Foyer on Friday the 4th of August. The event, or as one person described it, “Tinder, but for friends” (or apparently just Tinder for some people), was evidently a real crowd-pleaser as new and old students alike felt it was a complete hit.
In fact, Herman, Aiman and Parvin wished they’d had a similar event during their first year, as “the first semester in university was very intimidating, and you need a group of people you’re familiar with”. They were amazed by the sheer number of people (not just freshies) who’d come for the event, and the fact that the students were so comfortable talking to completely diverse strangers.
Despite some decorations going rogue (streamers vs fans), Flash Friends started off seemingly without a hitch as students were given their instructions for the event. Two people would be seated at each table with two minutes given for them to get to know each other. Then, following the emcee’s cues one student would have to pick an UNO card once the time was up, which would direct them to another table where another round would begin.
Jay, an engineering student -who had come to the event to expand his circle of friends to students from other schools- wondered if it might be awkward if there was absolutely nothing for people to talk about; the Activities team, however, had thoughtfully provided each table with questions in case anyone was a little tongue-tied.
Still, it hardly seemed necessary as everyone looked as though they were having a great time. Seriously, I’m pretty sure they talked for an hour straight, had a quick nasi lemak dinner, and went right back to talking. For hours. Help.
The only criticism with the event seemed to be regarding the ban on phones and names-they were perfectly comfortable leaving their phones aside for the evening (shocking, I know), but names were a little trickier. Parvin and Herman, for starters, thought it was weird to call people by their numbers (they got their names anyway) and Aiman agreed because he said it was more intimate.
Despite that minor flaw, everyone was obviously happy they’d joined Flash Friends for the evening, and were doubly glad once the organizers announced there would be free desserts for the crowd. While lining up for the treats (red velvet cake, lemon meringue, brownies, and macaroons), most students were grouped -and still talking- with their newfound friends, which was a pretty great testament to the success of this event.
So, here’s to hoping there’ll be another one next semester!
Words by Natasha Fernandez
Photos by Celine Chua, Khosyi Musyaffa Muhammad & Terence Kong