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New School Year, New Mindset — How To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

With around 1,000 acres of land that contain the 23,000 undergraduate student population, UCSB is quite a substantial campus. There’s much to explore here: campus clubs, student resources, the beautiful beaches, and of course, the students! However, it’s one thing to want to try new things and another to actually try them. It’s never easy to step out of your comfort zone, whether that’s socially, academically, or mentally, so here’s some of the tips I have from my time and experiences at UCSB so far.

Understand you’re not alone.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, there are always people who can relate to your worries and circumstances. There are resources all over campus that can help you figure out which club or activity would be your best fit. Check out Shoreline for a list of clubs that range from adventure programs to academic fraternities (like Her Campus at UCSB). The Student Resource Building (SRB) is another great place to check out as they house our campus’s resource centers and departments! 

Change your daily routine.

If you’re like me, it’s easy to fall into a mundane routine of heading to class, studying at the lib, and eating at the dining halls. When trying to step out of your comfort zone, spicing up what you do throughout the day helps you challenge yourself. Instead of taking the same path you always take to class, take the long, scenic route. Try a new cafe or restaurant in IV. Stop by the beach before your next lecture. Make conversation with a new person in your class. Sit by The Arbor and people-watch. The options are endless and will make your day much more interesting while allowing you to try something different!

Take Risks!

Start writing that job or club application, even though there’s a chance of rejection. Start up a new sport you’ve never played before, even if you’re afraid your skills won’t match those of others. I’ve never danced or played spikeball before, but I found myself at a practice for both activities, enjoying myself! No matter how small or how big, taking a risk can lead to a much more fruitful time here at UCSB with the sheer amount of activities you could try. Don’t be afraid of failure, everyone experiences it and we all grow from it. 

Make new friends!

Social media is a great method for this! Instead of passing up on a potential friend, reach out. All it takes is one message to begin a conversation that may lead to a rewarding friendship. A lot of the friends I still talk to today are friends I’ve met through Instagram. Check out class accounts such as the UCSB 2027 Instagram account and look for followers of clubs you’re interested in. Most importantly, stay in touch with the people you’ve met — maybe they’d like to try all these new experiences with you too!

Create a bucket list

On this list, establish the goals you’d like to accomplish academically, personally, and socially. For example, I have on my bucket list to take the Amtrak down to LA. I’ve never traveled alone before, so this will definitely push me out of my comfort zone. Whether it’s acing an exam or asking a question during your very large and daunting lecture, pursuing your bucket list activities will help you stay constant on your journey to stepping out of your comfort zone. 

Remember that stepping out of your comfort zone is a process! It takes time and lots of patience, so be kind to yourself. There are so many experiences and people waiting for you out on campus — right outside your comfort zone! 

Hi my name is Lydia Kim and I'm a first-year Economics and Accounting major at UC Santa Barbara. I'm an editorial intern and I enjoy writing, reading, journaling, and going on internet rabbit holes. In the future, I hope to work in marketing and become a creative director.