A little over a month ago, I vowed to remember my free-spirit mentality that I had developed while studying abroad in creating my New Year's Resolution. I had spend the past 5 months learning what true education was, honing in on my sense of adventure and eagerness to know people and places deeply. Be curious. It didn't seem difficult in a place where I was meeting strangers on every corner and seeing some of the most impressive architecture and establishments in the world. I was curious. But the second I got back home the only thing I was interested in was being in my comfort zone. That's why I pushed myself to find my sense of curiosity again. Even more specifically, to ask questions whenever possible.
Years ago my sisters and I were forced to go to an "adult party" for one of my aunt's friends. Middle schoolers at the time, we absolutely dreaded it. Walking up to the front steps of the nice lady's house, we dragged our feet and groaned, knowing that the next few hours would be loooong. My aunt, the impressive businesswoman she is, only had one piece of advice- "Be interested and interesting." From that point, we all shaped up knowing that our aunt would not be dealing with our grumpy attitudes.
And that was it- the key to social and personal success.
Even at a young age, we were able to bond with the guests over commonalities that we found during mundane conversation. You teach geography? I'm taking a geography class right now. Becoming engaged in conversation is a skill that will always push you further in life. No one wants to talk to someone whose body language and distant look reveal that they just don't want to talk to you. But the second you start asking people about their interests, they could talk for hours. And all it takes is a little bit of curiosity.
Since I have been at school, it's been difficult to bring this sense of curiosity back to surface. I know most of the students I interact with on the daily and, truthfully, get a little bit bored of having the same small talk with everyone else. But I have to remind myself that all a person is is much more than what meets the eye and the world is much greater than this small campus makes it out to be.
The second you start to engage a professor in something that piqued your interest during class or truly ask a friend how his or her day went, they get excited. They want to talk to you. All it takes is acting a little more interested than you are to strike up an interesting conversation. From there, let it flow and I guarantee something will come up that reminds you of something in your own life you can share. Who knows, just get out there and learn something new.
After all, there's no such thing as a dumb question.