College Skills: Intellectual Openness

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”- Frank Zappa.

 Keeping an open mind about anything is always the way to go because you never know what to expect. This works with a majority of things, school, adventures, even your career. Having intellectual openness is an important skill for success because it is a key cognitive strategy that will broaden your knowledge in both your learning and career environment.

Intellectual Openness is a fancy term for being eager and wanting to learn and try different things that will lead to success. According to “Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College Readiness”  an essay written on different skills that will make a college student successful, Intellectual openness is that the student has “thirst for a deeper understanding” (page 13), meaning they themselves want to learn more about something. Having intellectual openness doesn’t necessarily mean being open about trying new things, it also means you have to be open to criticism, open to change so it “broadens personal perspectives”.

When it comes to your learning environment being intellectually open helps in a lot of ways. For example, when the professor is teaching something that sparks an interest, be eager. Try to find out more about the topic like asking the teacher more questions; this will benefit you in the end because it helps you to increase your knowledge base. Another example where being intellectually open will help is when it comes to your work. Say you give in an essay and your teacher gives you harsh feedback. With the openness you will know to be open to the criticism and use it to make your work better than what it was. In an essay written by Rose E. A. Nevill and Susan W. White, titled the “College Students’ Openness toward Autism Spectrum Disorders: Improving Peer Acceptance.”  the author discusses how these college students kept openness towards the acceptance of these autistic kids. This is a relevant paper because since these college students were open minded about the acceptances the autistic kids now have a chance towards new education.  The paper is based on a study proving that keeping an open mind when it comes to learning environments is beneficial to your surroundings an allows you to learn from the autistic kids because each of these kids will bring something different to the college such as a new skill, it’s a learning opportunity which these students wouldn’t have come across if they didn’t have an open mind towards the acceptances.

Intellectual openness is not only a good skill for school related environment but also career related. Being eager in the workplace can help you achieve a higher role, teach you new skills to help improve what you already know and to “broaden” your knowledge which will help you succeed. For example say you are a professional chef, and you have had many years of practice doing what you do best; by being intellectually open you can explore new cuisines to add to your knowledge of food maybe even go out to a different country to try the foods and explore different techniques to cook that cuisine. For example I had gone for an Anna Nurse workshop and the guest chef was Nick Malgieri; he has been a chef for many years and has come across many achievements but he had gone to Turkey to explore their cuisine, came back having learned multiple new skills and now teaches those skills in classes at the Institute of Culinary Education. The main point of this example is that being intellectually open can be beneficial even in your career because it attracts you towards new things which contribute to your knowledge which will get you farther along your career field.

In college it is good to develop a lot of skills to help you succeed in the future. Intellectual Openness is one skill that once developed, will benefit throughout your life time. It will help you with school work, being active in class, but not only that, but it will help you in your career; It will help you strive to try and get as much knowledge as you can to get ahead in your field. Intellectual Openness is a key cognitive strategy that will lead to success eventually.


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3 Responses to College Skills: Intellectual Openness

  1. mary grace carreon says:

    Thank you for posting this essay. I found sentences that will help elaborate my meaning of intellectual openness.

  2. Pingback: In The Spotlight: #The Guide | The Open Road

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