Step outside your comfort zone
By Alex Woodliff
For most people, especially college students, summer is the most opportune time to relax. After spending nine months in the routine of juggling work, classes, family and social commitments, summer provides almost three months classroom and homework free.
Many people enjoy their usual familiar summer routines of working a summer job, picking up an extra shift or two at work, road trips, or just hanging out with friends. The summer should be a well-earned time to relax for spending countless hours fretting over tests and essays.
It should also be used to explore other opportunities and try new things. Yes, the familiarity of hanging out with friends in familiar places is a good thing but that familiarity can also become stagnant. Just because summer is here does not mean people should stop learning, at least not in the traditional sense.
Many people see each academic year as a chance to try new things, join new clubs or activities and meet new people. Usually though due to demands of classes and other factors trying to find the time for new activities is lost. Not many people have the time to spare to step outside of their comfort zone during the school year and tend to familiar routines. Others stick to those familiar routines out of fear of failure or judgement. Summer is the ideal chance to finally try something new.
Go out and volunteer or take up that activity or sport that could not be done during the school year. Go to that exhibit or take a road trip to see a favorite band that is not playing locally.
Take a class in a subject that has always seemed interesting but is not necessarily related to your major.
If both time and finances are short go explore a side of your state or a neighboring city that is unknown. There are plenty of economical or even free activities to do that are not too far away. There is also no need to wait on others to go with you, waiting can create missed opportunities. Yes, venturing out with friends can be rewarding but accomplishing something by oneself can be highly beneficial personally. Use this free time to learn about yourself and responsibly pushing limits.
In the end, learning something about yourself that might have not been possible without taking a risk is vital. There will be plenty of time to spend with friends even if they cannot join in the adventure. Taking initiative can give a person a newfound sense of responsibility and self that can be carried throughout the new school year as well as life in general. There is a lot out there for everyone to experience and learn from, especially over the summer.
Many people feel contempt at the thought of learning over summer break after spending nine months juggling classes and work. This is not about traditional classroom learning; this is about learning about stepping outside the comfort zone. Find something new that can be motivational and expand those limits.
Whether it is by yourself or with others can be daunting, but whether it is a success or failure, it is still a chance for growth. Looking back fondly at the things that happened over summer when classes are in resume in the fall can be the motivation that helps you make it through that new semester.
We all want to be able to look back on something that we did over the summer with fondness. Take the opportunity to go and be brave this summer, it can be scary but it will be worth it.