Why I Am No Longer Afraid Of The Uncomfortable

Before going off to college, I had known one place for my entire life, so naturally, I was terrified. A new location, new people, and harder academics sounded like the perfect combination for disaster. To be honest, I don't feel that I gave the first month of college a fair shot. I was apprehensive about making new friends and putting myself out there, which unfortunately resulted in an unpleasant experience. I registered in my mind that because nothing around me felt familiar, it must have been the wrong move to make. I spent most of my time isolated and wishing to be home with old friends and family. Ultimately, I wasn't living in the present moment for a solid two months of my life and missed out on a lot of great opportunities. 

One good thing that came out of my time alone was that I was able to reflect on why I felt so unfulfilled. I wasn't embracing the uncomfortableness that is forever associated with going to college. I think the first moment I realized that my refusal to accept discomfort was preventing joy in my life was when I finally changed my major to one I was more passionate about. I was afraid to stray away from a path that I had predetermined for myself before even having a hint of college life all because we are told that we must know what we want before applying to schools. I finally allowed myself to acknowledge that even though the adjustment period would be rough, the end result would be well worth it. I learned to reject the stereotypes that were burned into my brain during high school and follow my gut with the support of friends and family. 

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Once I let go of that fear, I discovered a whole new world that existed in college and in myself. I opened myself up to new friends, new opportunities, and new styles of learning. I soon realized that staying in my comfort zone had actually been causing me more discomfort. Looking back on my college experience so far, I have endured multiple instances of discomfort. First, it was starting college, then a pandemic hit, then I decided to transfer to a brand new school in the middle of a pandemic. But all of this has forced me to consider who I am outside of the influences of my hometown and high school friends. I discovered passions and hobbies I never knew existed before, and I let myself feel confident in my own skin for what felt like the first time in my life. I allowed myself to explore anything and everything. 

I have watched myself grow to new levels over the past year and a half and have learned to love uncomfortable situations because it furthers my love for myself. If these experiences have taught me anything, it is that everything in life occurs naturally, and all it requires is time and vulnerability. To those struggling with a new experience in the midst of a pandemic, I ask you to allow yourself to fall into that discomfort, and I promise you won't regret it. 

three silhouettes in orange sunset Photo by Levi Guzman from Unsplash