Monday, September 8, 2014

Getting out of your comfort zone

My dad always sends me interesting articles while I'm at school.  Lately many of them have been about college and the future.  I think he is trying to gear me up for real adult life but still wants me to get the most out of my last year of college experience.

This weekend he sent me an interesting article from the New York Times discussing how colleges, and the world, does not push people out of their comfort zone.  Despite the fact that college is the perfect opportunity to meet tons of new people and change who you are, many students meet the same people and have the same interests as they did during high school.

Now I know the author is talking generalizations.  I'm sure there are many people who completely reinvent themselves the moment they set foot on their college campus, but I think the author makes a good point.  When I was getting ready to go abroad a speaker from the Global Education department spoke about getting out of our comfort zones.  He drew a picture very much like the one I have at the begging of this post.

Basically everyone has a comfort zone that they like to stay in because it's, well, comfortable.  It's your safe place.  Outside your comfort zone is where you start to get uncomfortable but it's perfectly alright.  You can learn and grow from the experiences you have here.  If you go beyond the second zone you get into the danger zone.  This is the place you probably don't want to go because bad things can happen, either physically or mentally it really depends upon who you are.  In order to have more fulfilling experiences you want to take some chances and aim for the middle zone.

I think many people stay in their comfort zone too often, myself included.  The author is right in saying college is the perfect time to test out boundaries and try new things.  While abroad I road in a helicopter which was completely terrifying but I was so incredibly happy I did it.  Now you don't have to do something crazy like sky diving.  Instead maybe you can try to get an internship your too afraid to apply for, take a class outside of your major, or make a plan to meet more people who are different from you. After reading this article it makes me want to take more chances even though I might be uncomfortable at first.  The results of taking chances can be gratifying and amazing!

ox Caitlin


  1. i love this! it's so true. i really need to work on stepping outside of my comfort zone this year at school!