DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have just started life in a dorm and I find it hard to meet people or strike up conversations. Do you happen to have any pointers to this?
GENTLE READER: Do your laundry.
Miss Manners does not intend this as a comment on your hygiene, which she has not the least desire to examine. Laundry rooms are the respectable place for accidental meetings, in dormitories and apartment buildings. They provide a legitimate excuse for clean people to hang out with nothing much to do and such surefire conversation starters as "Oops, I forgot my soap."