This is a tricky environment. You can’t assume anything about the personality of a girl in the dining hall because, you know, everyone eats at least a little. (And especially freshman year since you’re forced to buy absurd meal plans.) That said, there are still two factors to judge when honing your dining hall target: what she’s eating and what she looks like. You’ll know your type better than I will so I’ll just skip the search and get to the wooing.

1. Don’t just plunk down at the girl’s table. Only a handful of guys could pull that off and chances are, you’re not A.C. Slater.

2. Instead, sit at an adjacent table (with at least one friend) and then talk audibly but without yelling.

3. Sound cool. Don’t talk about video games, your parents, or “keggers.” All that stuff is no way to draw positive attention to yourself. Your best bet is to tell an anecdote about that foreign guy you (kind of know) who does ridiculous stuff that everyone laughs about in a really cool, “in the know” sort of way. Like that time he rubbed a beanie baby on his dick. Don’t be excessively crude though. Girls like it if you’re cruel, not if you’re crude. (Don’t ask me why.)

4. Then after you’ve told your punch-line, you’ve got your friend laughing, and you sense that your girl-target has been listening, it’s time for the magic connector: Ketchup. Everything in a college dining hall needs ketchup and your table never has any, but your girl’s got some (God, she’s perfect.) Remember, you have to still be laughing about your story when you get up, walk over, and casually ask if you can borrow it.

5. When you’re giving the ketchup back, ask your girl, “Hey, do you know if the (some dorm name here) party is on the 7th floor or the 4th? She’ll either tell you the answer and then you can ask if she’s going, or, if she isn’t say she should go. If she doesn’t know about the party, suddenly remember it’s definitely on the 7th floor and tell her she should go. She’ll go. ‘Cause there’s nothing to do at college.

6. Wait for the next installment, “How to Get a Girl at a Party.”