Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Legally Blonde
Legally Blonde
MGM Distribution Co.
Her20s

College, Comfort Zones, and Confidence: Expectations vs. Reality

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Whether coming straight from high school or having had prior experience in the real world, college is a whole new way of life, learning, and socializing. It’s also a time of personal growth. Most students enter their early 20’s in college and are beginning a new chapter in their life and career. All of this requires students to step out into unknown and less comfortable spaces. Let’s talk about the expectations of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone in college so that first year students, soon to graduate seniors, and anyone in between can approach it from a realistic perspective. 

Expectation:

The movies make college appear to be a four-year free fall with a happy ending- when you walk across that stage after it’s all over, somehow within the fun, and highs, and thrill of it all, you will have found yourself. Therefore, many enter college with the preconception that the journey of stepping outside of your comfort zone and getting to where you want to be as a person will just happen on its own. 

Reality:

College is a continuous scene of new faces, new requirements and expectations, and new social interactions. Every day presents a situation that will force you to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Each individual experiences the world from a unique perspective which means that everyone will be challenged in different ways. Stepping outside of your comfort zone in college may not always be easy and seamless but choosing to overcome these challenges will get you to that stage as a new person. 

Expectation:

There will always be a comfort group to rely on when attending events, meeting new people, or participating in new activities. You’ll never have to leave your comfort zone because you’ll do everything with friends anyways, right?

Reality:

The unideal truth is that friends will be busy, and friends will change. So often, people don’t do something that sounds interesting to them because a friend can’t go with them. This forms an unintentional “friend comfort zone” which hinders a person from individually stepping out into the world and fulfilling their own desires. There are new people to meet and exciting memories to make. So, embrace the opportunities given to you, with or without friends.

Expectation:

“Yes” will always be the answer. It will be second nature to have an open mind and take on new opportunities in college. Every moment will be dedicated to living life to the fullest, letting go, and having fun.  

Reality:

It requires an active effort to put yourself out there and allow time for new experiences. The many factors that make up a college experience can sometimes hold students back from making the most out of the time they have. Maybe it’s the academic pressure, or the unfamiliarity of a new city or state, or the time-consuming schedule, or maybe it’s purely the mindset that there will always be another day and time to take the first step. It’s easy to fall into a routine that is stable and comfortable when in college. 

Expectation:

Going out of your comfort zone requires confidence.

Reality:

Going out of your comfort zone builds confidence. Every single new experience that you try, no matter how small or significant, is a step forward to where you want to eventually be, whether that’s a mindset or a physical achievement. Gradually, the things that you thought would always be uncomfortable will begin to feel easier and you will gain the confidence to continue to dip your feet in new waters. 

To wrap it all up, expect to leave your comfort zone in college and be grateful for the reality that it will only make you a stronger and more confident individual. 

“You must always have faith in people. And, most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”

Elle Woods from Legally Blonde

Savannah studies English with an emphasis in Professional Writing at GCU. Her dog and the California coast back home sum up her passions. She loves discovering more about this world through the process of writing and sharing her words with others!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️