I ask a lot of questions. I can’t help myself. Whether it’s during a movie, on a drive to get groceries, sitting in Church, or wherever really, I can’t help but ask questions because I genuinely want to know. I have the weirdest Google search history ever, because if there’s ever a topic brought up and the answer isn’t known, I have an irresistible impulse to figure out the answer. I love going to Trivia Nights because I find a geeky sense of joy in knowing random facts. I also love crossword puzzles, “Wheel of Fortune” and any typical hobby of an 80-year-old woman. However, there are also times where I can tell I’m getting on peoples’ nerves with all of my curiosity. So when I signed up for an Advanced Gen Ed called War and Pacifism (of which I previously knew pretty close to nothing about), I was a little nervous that I was going to go crazy with all of my questions, and even worse, drive an entire class and professor insane.
Okay, so I didn’t just take this class solely because it sounded interesting, but also because it satisfied one of the requirements for my minor. But it sounded like a really good challenge for me. As an English major, I’ve never gotten the opportunity to take a politics class before. So I signed up, and showed up at the first class a little bit anxious, because for the first time in a long time, I had no idea what I was in for.
I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as I should be on foreign affairs or our country’s military history, and it’s something I’ve always been very self-conscious about. I haven’t done enough to educate myself, and it shows whenever I try and have a discussion about politics. I’ve only been taking this class for a couple of months, but already I know ten times more than I did previously. And if I have a question, I try to speak up in class or write it down to Google afterwards. Explanations from my more knowledgeable classmates have been really helpful too.
Sure, admitting that you don’t know something can be hard to do at times. Our society often teaches us that to ask for help is to show a sign of weakness, when really it’s the opposite. Being able to humble yourself and admit that you need a little assistance shows that you genuinely want to learn and better yourself, whether it be in the workplace, classroom, or on the open road heading to a destination that you don’t know how to navigate to. And speaking from experience, the more you ask questions, the easier it gets.
They’ve been drilling in our heads since elementary school that we should ask questions if we have them and that “there are no dumb questions,” but maybe we need a little reminder as college students and future participants in the worldwide work force. As someone who is sitting next to you in class and genuinely wants to know the answers, I can say that your questions really are appreciated. So please, never be afraid to ask. Chances are that someone else is wondering the exact same thing that you are.