“The game was pretty simple: give your name, one of your hobbies, and why you like that hobby,” said residence don Laura Fitzsimmon. “But Dennis, wow, I learned things I did not need to know.”
“You expect a little over-sharing, but that was basically a one-man show.”
When it came to his turn, Lawson, who had arrived to the mixer already looking nervous, immediately dove into a prolonged story about how his father pushed him to play basketball when all he really wanted to do was to dance.
“He just kept going,” said Elizabeth Molloy, another freshman. “That’s not to say that he wanted to keep going but once he got to the stuff about his cousin, well, we all knew we were just going to have to ride it out.”
Observers say that Lawson spoke without stopping for about 30 minutes before suddenly realizing everyone in the circle was a complete stranger. He then spent the next 20 minutes trying to explain why all that emotionally fraught stuff wasn’t a big deal and that he’s actually a “really chill guy” once you get to know him.
“The stress of being around new people combined with a strong desire to have those people like you can sometimes lead to what we call an ‘all-in’ response,” explained McGill psychologist Aaron Singer. “That’s when you dump your entire personal history onto the floor because you assume it’ll be easier than summing yourself in three words.”
“It never is, by the way.”
At press time, Lawson had escaped his shameful spotlight by disappearing into a first-year lecture filled with 1800 other anonymous students.