Authentic Storytelling at HU
As an English major, I love hearing stories. The uniqueness of each piece of literature is exciting to me, and I enjoy learning more about how the author decided to create their work. Being at Huntington University has allowed me to broaden my perspective to also enjoy hearing another type of story: other people’s.
As someone who writes frequently, I have storytelling skills that I think can be useful in learning more about someone’s authentic life story and how God, their Author, is writing through them. With the stage of life that most students are in, a simple way to learn more about someone is to ask about their major. To get a person’s full, meaningful story, consider using some of these questions or refining some of the questions you may have asked in the past. Let’s use my English literature degree as an example.
“Won’t it be difficult to find a job because you are an English lit major?” should turn into:
“What career do you intend to pursue with your English lit degree?”
This is a great question to ask because you are showing genuine interest in the person you are talking to. When I hear this question, I appreciate that the person asking cares enough about me to want to know about my passions and goals. This also allows people to tell you about their hopes for their future and how they want to impact others in their story.
“I’ve heard English lit majors are (insert description): Are you like that?” should turn into:
“Why did you decide to become an English major?
My journey to becoming an English major is a wild one. When people ask me this question, I can share a part of my testimony and reveal how being at HU awakened my God-given passion for my major. When I ask people this question, they often laugh, smile, and launch into their story, which shows me that they are proud to explain how they became the major they are.
“What do you even do as an English lit major? Isn’t your major easy?” should turn into:
“What does the typical day look like for an English lit major?”
Since we all have our own daily routines, homework assignments, and projects, asking this question can help you get a glimpse and better understanding of what other majors do. For example, one of my basketball teammates is a biology pre-med major. Through asking her this question, I have learned that she has several labs and even has a class where she goes out in the woods to study plants. Getting to know more about the specifics of other majors can help you understand and appreciate the differences between the callings God gives us and how they are all important for His overall story.
Changing the way you ask questions to other people can enrich the story you hear from them. My challenge to you is to talk to a friend, teammate, RA, or Sojourner about what major they are in. As you dive into the story of their major, you may learn more about them as an individual. By asking these questions, both you and the person you are talking to will feel the benefits. The other person will feel that their story matters and is worth telling, and you will have a new appreciation for the story that God is writing through them and how it might connect to your own story. If you want to learn more about other majors or decide on a major for your life story, check out HU’s undergraduate programs.