I’ve always found that it is so easy to say that you’ve been out of your comfort zone but most times, you really haven’t. People forget that it can be really great for you to feel uncomfortable, which sounds completely ridiculous when you think about it. Why would we want to put ourselves through having our hearts race, sweaty palms, jittery, and just feeling overall awkward? But seriously, we do not grow without doing this. We stay the exact same if we stick to the ease of living inside a bubble of comfort. Think of all the successful people in the world.

Think of Bill Gates. Think of Martin Luther King Jr. Think of former President Barack Obama… did they become their own personal legends by simply living? No. They discovered themselves and how to be successful by taking risks, dreaming big, and, simply, making things happen. In college, however, this is not always so easy to do. Some people think that you have to do big things to step outside of your comfort zone, such as live in Thailand for a year or become a vegan. Drastic changes, while meaningful, are not always the best to start with. That’s why I wanted to give you all some ideas to grow in college: where we are here to not only become educated, but to be the educator: to influence ourselves and other people around us. To discover ourselves. To push past the “I can’t” and just go for it. To truly be outside our realm of comfort. So what can you do as a college student?

One idea to step outside of your bubble is to take a class in a topic that you do not know much about or have no prior experience with. I took a theater class last semester and it was far from comfortable for me. This class was not a lecture, it was a legitimate acting class. I was so uncomfortable for the first few weeks, but eventually I started watching everyone around me grow more and more open to the experience, even if they, too, were uncomfortable. Despite the fact that I was so close to switching out of the class, I persisted and ended up really enjoying myself. Also—when else in my life would I be able to scream at the top of my lungs in a classroom for no reason?

Another idea is to just get away from campus for a bit. Wherever you may go to school, whether it is Delaware or not, tends to become a little too comfortable. It is our home, after all. But it is sometimes good to remind yourself that there is so much else to see outside of your campus, especially if you are in the city. Go on a little day trip, test out a new restaurant, go on a hike, just explore the world. See a movie! It’s good for the soul.

Something I have yet to do, but a great way to step outside of your comfort zone, is to learn a new skill in hopes of finding a new hobby. What if there is something out there that you will love doing, but you haven’t even tried it yet? That is so empowering! Whether it’s cooking, painting, learning to tango, or rock climbing, you have the ability to try it all. How awesome is that?

Lastly, there are so many people around campus, whether you know it or not, that are looking to also do the same things as you. Find them. Branch out! College is all about discovery and self-exploration. We are independent, free-thinking individuals. Do not let that go to waste: the world is at your fingertips! Enjoy it!

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