Dare To Dream And Have The Courage To Follow It!!
Last year and a half, since I landed in United Stated, has been a complete roller coaster ride to exploring myself. Likes, dislikes, beliefs, values, future, past, comfort zone, cultures, religion, etc. I tried to explore all of this and lot more. Constantly pushed myself to try to do something new that I haven’t done earlier, pushed myself beyond my comfort levels fairly regularly. Trying to lead a life I wanted to and not what I was supposed to or expected to.
One such endeavor I undertook was my struggle with talking. Most people know me as somebody as who doesn’t talk much. A typical quiet guy. And I wouldn’t disagree with that as I believe that’s mostly true. But obviously, there’s opposite side to my personality who’s as talkative as one can get. Unfortunately, very few people explored that side of me. I am saying unfortunately because I now know I really would have liked people venturing into this trait of my personality.
Well since I was challenging myself with most things I decided to take the matter in my hands in this case too and set out explore that side of my personality myself. Soon after I landed here, I started making a conscious effort to talk to as many people as I could. Especially I tried to talk to people of all different categories like age, gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I wouldn’t say that exploring or challenging myself was the sole motivation to do this. There surely were other factors at play like my penchant for learning or knowing new things or curiosity to know other people, religion, beliefs, etc.I have always been a curious person and that curiosity to learn or know things was, I would say, a bigger factor in me trying to talk and know people than venturing into my own.
At first, it was difficult. Really really difficult. I was always the shy kind. So it wasn’t natural for me to do it. Sometimes I was scared sometimes shy sometimes probably embarrassed and sometimes a mix of all. I had to really push myself. Being in a university with more than 20,000 students certainly helped. You were always surrounded by people, though mostly strangers. And I loved that. I found it not just easier but also more interesting to strike up a conversation with some random stranger. Over the course of a yeah and a half, the duration of my Master’s program, I spoke to countless strangers at all sorts of places, be it bus or cafeteria or lab or library or……you get it.
Talking to all these people has been nothing less than a fantastic experience. I have had the pleasure of so many interesting conversations that it would be impossible to describe them in a single post. And the conversations ventured into all sorts of imaginable topics.
Doing this experiment has helped in numerous ways other than making me comfortable to strike up a conversation. At times, I learned about an interesting new technology or business other times I found about interesting activities or events happening in town. Sometimes it helped me spread my culture and brag about my nation (sometimes lament too) and learn about new ones from them, other times, I learned stuff about my own culture and nation from people physically completely alien to my culture and nation. It was a source of professional connections sometimes and a completely fun and entertaining conversation other times. There are innumerable such that things that I derived out of this experiment but one thing would stand out for was perspective. I gained perspective to many different things from many different people. I found a completely new way to see things.
I have now completed my Master’s course and have ventured into job hunting. This means spending most (read literally whole day) of the time in the house in front of a stupid screen and applying for jobs. Not relenting into the pressure of finding a job soon, I decided to stroll into the college today to shed some boredom. And soon enough I found myself chatting to a stranger. In that moment, I realized how much I missed doing this. Random talks with equally random strangers. And it will probably stay as one the college things I will miss the most in future too.
Do share your most missed college memories or your experience of random talks with strangers in the comment section.