Adventuring Outside of My Comfort Zone

Growing up as a woman in today’s society, I’m constantly reminded to be strong and independent and to basically leave my emotions ‘at home’. These reminders make it difficult for me to reach outside my comfort zone and try new things because I’m afraid I may fail. Some people may find it easy to try new things and don’t struggle with reaching out and finding support from others, but for me it’s quite challenging. Last spring, I made a decision to study away in Boston for the semester two days before the application was due. At the time I thought it was a good decision because it would force me to adventure outside my comfort zone and try something new. Looking back, I would suggest doing some more research before making such a drastic decision; but, here’s how mine played out.


           First of all, I came into the big city of Boston completely unaware of what I was getting myself into, and clearly wasn’t sure if I made the right decision. I love following in other people’s footsteps and hearing their ideas and opinions over my own. I don’t stray too far outside my comfort zone because it’s simply too much of a change for me and makes me uncomfortable. I was feeling exactly this way when I arrived at my apartment in January. I spent my first night in Boston with four complete strangers and realized a couple of nights in that I made a mistake. I’ve never been a person who reaches out for help because most of the time I’m scared or I’m afraid of what the person will say. But this time I was completely lost, and my anxiety was at an all time high. I decided I would reach out for help and explain how much of a miserable time I was having my first week away from everything I called home. I knew I couldn’t chat on the phone at first because I knew I would start crying hysterically, but eventually my fingers began to hurt after writing about the horrible situation I was experiencing. In my head I wanted to return home and continue my semester back at UNH, but the person I reached out too talked about all the experiences and opportunities that I would miss out on, and how I should give it one more week before I make a decision. 


            I stuck it out and finished my semester in Boston. I am so grateful for all those opportunities and experiences I went through. I developed some long-lasting relationships with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, and I learned more about myself that I ever thought possible. I overcame one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever put myself through and I’m honestly so proud of myself for doing something so far outside my comfort zone.


            This may have been an easy transition for others, but for me personally it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. If you or someone you know is ever having a difficult time or is in need of help but are too afraid to reach out like I was, please, please reach out anyway. It’s a lot easier to overcome challenges and struggles when you have the support and guidance from others. So, as a person who has always struggled with reaching outside their comfort zone, I challenge you to do so, and explore as many things as you possibly can. You may actually end up enjoying yourself.