The nerves were kicking in as I realized I had no idea where I was going on my first day at Queens College as a transfer student. How was I supposed to move on to bigger and better things in life if I could barely find my way around a building?
You would think that as an English major and journalism minor, I would find the words to ask someone for directions. Well, as it turns out, I had a bit more confidence than I thought. Fast forward two years and I’m writing my first article for the school paper. Ironically enough, it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone in college.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can simultaneously be one of the scariest and most exhilarating experiences a person can go through, and students at QC shared some of the advantages of immersing themselves in activities they typically never would have thought to do. Kristen Yonke, majoring in English, had always been interested in art, but never actually took any classes offered by the art department. She decided to step out of her comfort zone by entering a visual arts contest that CUNY was holding. “My painting won third place, and I won $250! I stepped out of my comfort zone and put my art out there and it paid off,” she said.
Talk about a payoff. Winning $250 is a not a shabby way to encourage someone to chase dreams they never thought possible, and that’s what college is all about. Students are often shy, and tend to stay away from things that seem unfamiliar to them, but they could be missing out on a great opportunity to get out there and meet new people who share the same interests.
Another twenty-year-old English major, David Reddi, stated when he first started college he didn’t know anyone. After joining some clubs in order to find people who shared those same interests as him, he found the Anime club and made friends who enjoyed the same things he did. Had he not joined, he “would have missed out on some great friendships with some wonderful people.”
Taking chances in college can feel intimidating, but it’s an opportunity to not only become a part of a community, but to find out more about yourself. In fact, taking small risks now will make it easier to take on big changes in the future. Whether it’s writing for the school paper or joining a club to find some new friends, every step enhances your overall college experience. Let’s each take a chance and step out of our comfort zones together; who knows what opportunities this may bring?