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Humans of Oxford: Michael Archiable: Friend of rejection

Michael Archiable marched up to two guys he didn't know at the beach on the first day of spring break. He squirted a big blob of sunblock in his hand and casually asked them to lather up his back for him.

The guys said no, of course. Arch was glad.

Two days later, Arch wore plaid swim trunks and a red, flowered Hawaiian shirt. He walked around Seaside, Florida asking people to rate his outfit on a scale of 1-10. A couple people rated him as low as a two. Arch was not fazed.

Arch is seeking rejection. He records every awkward encounter on his phone, then uploads them to YouTube.

He first got the idea in an entrepreneurship class when his professor played a clip of a guy named Jia Jiang tackling this same experiment of constant rejection. The video immediately resonated with him.

"I used to be so scared of what people thought of me," Arch said. "I just knew something had to change."

For the next 100 days, Arch plans to follow Jiang's lead and approach random strangers to ask them crazy things. He keeps a list of embarrassing possibilities -- asking other students to hold his hand as they cross the street, or proposing to an unsuspecting girl.

Arch equates this experience to riding a bike. He wants to be shaky and fall down a lot at the beginning, but by the end of the experiment, he should be stronger and wiser. Arch hopes the experiment will help him to never fear risk again.

"I'm at college, I'm 20-years-old. I'm in the prime of my life right now. And I just want to make sure I am making the most of it."

Arch is learning a lot about himself throughout the experience. Among many things, he is an extrovert, a guitarist, a lover of all things outdoors and a real goof.

"I'm always willing to learn more," Arch said. "I try to take things a little bit lighter in life."

After 10 days of being brushed-off and refused, Arch is not unnerved. He is motivated to keep going.

Arch posts a new rejection every day on his YouTube channel, which can be found under his full name, Michael Archiable.