Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

We all know how crazy college can be. Half of the time I’m stuck doing homework or studying, and the other half is spent juggling work, extracurricular activities, or the tiny semblance of a social life. So, the idea of “going out of your comfort zone” isn’t very welcomed in my life, because I would rather avoid doing anything that might jeopardize my precarious juggling of all my responsibilities. 

But, I’ll be honest, I needed a change. This last semester was putting me on the brink of insanity. I had taken my usual number of English classes last semester, and I was struggling. I knew it was the new online learning environment that was kicking my butt because I usually never struggle as much with English classes. I got A’s and B’s, but my mental health was not good. So, I decided that this Spring semester I was going to do new things. I added a new minor, “Religious Studies”, and focused on finishing the requirements for my first minor “Gender and Sexuality Studies”. I’m not taking a single English class, something I have never done in my life. 

But another thing that is new is that one of the classes I am taking is “Gender and Graphic Narrative”, which, I’ll admit, I registered for because the class description reminded me of my English classes. I interpreted the description as being about analyzing graphic novels and comics in the same way novels or short stories are analyzed in English classes. I thought, “Hey, this is a little different, but not too different that I’ll go crazy trying to keep up”. 

Then I realized, I would have to DRAW. 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with drawing, my siblings and my dad are very artistic, so it’s not like I didn’t grow up trying to copy their talent. But the thing is, I can’t. I just couldn’t stand sitting there for hours drawing and erasing and going insane at getting something perfect. So, I went after a different hobby: reading and writing. So, that’s what I love, hence the English major. But I got so nervous after realizing I would have to draw for this new class that it made me sick to my stomach. Like, what if my drawings are so bad, I fail? Would this professor actually do that? I thought about dropping the class at the thought. 

Then I realized, was I really going to drop a class because I didn’t like the idea of being judged over my lack of talent? (Yes, almost). But then I looked over the syllabus and realized the drawing assignments didn’t seem too crazy. The first one was me drawing all that I did in a day, which was basically me stuck at work, and the other was me drawing myself as a fruit, an astronaut, and as Batman. I knew then that this professor was a bit quirky and going to her office hours cemented that the fear was for nothing. She explained that while she did expect me to draw, as long as I turned in my assignments it would be fine. 

So, here I am, about to turn in a drawing of me as Batman. It’s definitely bad. If anything, it’s atrocious. I can’t believe something my hands created could be so ugly. But it’s fine because it was a little fun. Seeing myself try something new was exciting, and I know that overall, I’ll be fine. The professor is cool, the assignments are funny, and the assigned graphic novels for the semester seem super interesting. 

Don’t force yourself to stick to your designated routine all the time. Allow yourself to go out of your comfort zone. That doesn’t mean you should expect to automatically love it, or expect it to change your life forever, but at the very least have a little fun with it. I know I will never be an expert artist, but at the very least I might have some fun this semester. And my little picture of me as Batman will always be a little college memory I’ll always cherish