Surfing around on the internet the other day, I came across a discussion on advice for college freshman moving into dorms for the first time. I’ve been out of college for about seven years now, but I still found it enjoyable to read since it brought back some memories of my years living in dorms.
I noticed that two pieces of advice were brought up over and over again:
- Leave your door open as much as you can. The feeling is that this makes you more accessible and that people will stop in to say hi.
- Say yes to as much as you can, especially at first. You’ll get invites to events or to hang out- say yes to as many as possible.
I came to realize that this advice can actually apply to any time in your life, not just your college years. Now, I don’t mean you should literally leave your door open all the time if you don’t live in a dorm, because if you do this at your home or apartment you would probably get burglarized.
I think it is more about the general attitude of being open to new things. This is also where saying yes to as much as you can ties in as well. If life is pretty ordinary for you right now, you are likely fairly closed off. I’m not suggesting you may be a shut-in, but take an honest look at how you may be cutting yourself off from new experiences.
For example, when you are a freshman in college, no one knows anyone else at first. People are likely to receive invites to hang out with folks or to go on campus events that they maybe would not have had an interest in otherwise. But if they end up saying yes to the invite, they may find out that actually enjoyed themselves. If they didn’t, they still had a new experience and tried something different. Either way, they probably met some new people and made some new acquaintances or even friends.
But why does this have to be any different outside of college?
How many invites do you turn down because you think you wouldn’t enjoy it or because you don’t really know any else that will be there? This isn’t to say that you are always going to end up liking these new things, but what is there to lose, really?
So how open are you to new experiences?
Are you closing yourself off to them, or are you willing to be open and try new things? If you’re always doing the same things or only saying yes to the same old experiences then you’re just going to keep getting the same old results.
Image: Doug Wallick