I've been away for some time lately (busy with work) but I wanted to come back with something that is near and dear to my heart. I've found a new way to connect with people that has been a major asset to this typically socially intimidated introvert. It is the revelation and acceptance that everyone geeks out about something and that people appreciate talking about their passions.
*The above graphic from Geeks are Sexy shows a classic struggle between "geeks" and "nerds". I think it speaks nicely to the debate but this post will hope to rise above this squabble and I will use the word "geek" from here out as both a noun and a verb as seems common nowadays.
I've tried asking a lot of different people lately "What do you geek out about?" and have gotten a wide array of fascinating responses. Some people have a typical response like a musician or a particular movie or television show while other interesting answers were painting lawn gnomes or great characters in stories of any kind. These random assortment of insights into people's passions created great conversations with people about stuff they are into and I was curious to unravel since it was a new world for me to explore. I think the interest I conveyed was refreshing and the conversation was more engaging for both of us since it wasn't your typical small talk.
The concept that envelops this experience is how we are all into something that we love so much we can't help but peak our head up when we overhear it being talked about nearby. I hope to tap into this positive energy in conversation but I think for Student Affairs, there is great potential in programmatic initiatives that speak to the commonality of geekdom for everyone. It may seem counterintuitive to unite everyone under a banner that essentially says we are all different but I think as young people are finding themselves, they need to know they are unique and appreciated for that difference as well as fostering passions rather than squashing them.
Definitely check out Geeks Are Sexy, their site is chockfull of awesomely geeky things and they push a lot of great content daily.