“Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett
I have never been one to enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone; I appreciate the familiar and fear the unknown. I still like to try new things but without leaving too far from my comfort zone. Since starting college, I’ve been challenged to step out of my comfort zone a countless number of times and each time has been completely worth it. In the first few weeks of my freshman year, I decided to join Sigma Alpha, knowing no other potential or current members. I was so nervous if I was going to fit in or make friends or find my place within the organization. Looking back now, I can see all the connections I’ve made in just two short years with the girls I’ve gotten to know and people from industry I’ve been able to meet. I’ve also received the opportunity to serve as our Professional Committee Chair for this year and to lead the committee in our chapter.
Because I can be apprehensive to step out of my comfort zone, I’m thankful I’ve surrounded myself with a supportive friend group who encourages me to challenge myself. Each one of my friends is much more courageous and fearless than I am and often put me in situations where I have to step out of my comfort zone. My friends encourage me through these challenges and are always there to help me along the way. While I may never go sky diving with them, I will continue to say yes to spontaneous road trips, volunteer opportunities, and any chance to meet new people.
One example of this was last year over winter break, I had the opportunity to travel to Oklahoma City with my friends to attend a conference with the student ministry group we attend weekly. I had no idea what went on at this conference for four days or how we’d travel down there or who I’d room with, but I decided to sign up for it. When it came time to travel to Wichita to meet up with our caravan, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to go and was really nervous about what I was getting myself into but after the first night, I loved it. Even going with some girls who lived on my dorm floor with me, I got to know them even better and now I’m best friends with several of them. This has by far been my favorite college experience and I enjoyed it so much I went back this winter break and plan to continue to go for the rest of my college career.
For me, I have to remind myself of these situations where even when I was nervous in the beginning, the end was better than I could have ever imagined. I often catch myself overthinking or over-analyzing many situations I run into and sometimes I just have to say “yes” before I have the chance to overthink. I would encourage others to do the same as to not miss out on an opportunity because of the convenience of a comfort zone. No change will happen within a comfort zone, challenge yourself to have the courage to say yes to new opportunities and the ending might just be worth it.