An update from Brad, a junior with a double major in economics and CCPA, and a history minor:

About two weeks ago, my friend and I entered a competition – a competition among men to see who could go the longest without shaving their moustache. When I first set out, I did not think that I could make it past a week. Then I began to think, I’m going to have to shave it for my trip to Washington, D.C.

It has now been two weeks, and I am finished with day two of my trip, and the moustache is still going strong. Not only is it going strong, it also has sparked a few conversations and provided entertainment to my fellow classmates. The most notable of the conversations occurred today at the alumni reception. I had a conversation with a man named James, a fellow moustache grower and a father-in-law of an SMU alum.

Given his moustache was quite fuller than mine, I approached him with confidence and started a conversation based on our “moustache connection.” We began to talk about how long he had been growing his moustache, along with a few grooming tips, as well as some funny stories that have happened because of his moustache. We then proceeded into conversations about careers, my future plans, and he even offered his advice on jobs and recommendations for life after college.

This conversation altered the course of my day because I felt I was able to make a professional connection with this man merely because of my moustache. Although I am a newbie to the moustache world, as he and most of my fellow classmates can attest to, I was amazed how easy it is to make a connection based on something as simple as a moustache. I have always tried quite hard, in some cases too hard, to fish for something that a person and I can connect on so that the conversation remains interesting. Today, I realized that maybe I do not have to try so hard to do that.

I’m not saying everyone should go out and grow a moustache, and I’m not saying that the moustache is the reason for a life-altering realization. But it made me realize how simple it is to make a connection with someone and strike up a conversation. If you take a step back and realize how simple things can be (even as simple as not shaving your upper lip), the world is a lot better place to live in.