Pictured above: Samira Contreras, Victor Valley College student
Whether you’re a brand new student attending VVC or about to graduate or transfer, schooling and the thereafter will require all of us to get out of our comfort zone. The anxiety that comes from interacting with new people, learning a new skill, learning new information, and navigating through the unknown can be an overwhelming experience, however, it is important to stretch outside of our comfort zones to develop and grow.
There are many advantages that come from stepping outside of our usual environment like making new connections, learning a new skill, and feeling empowered within ourselves. Overall, doing what makes us uncomfortable with curiosity and self-compassion can bring about healthy growth.
“Depending on what the unknown education and career opportunities are, it is important for students to explore various education and career paths for those explorations will contribute to their growth and help them determine which professional path to take,” said Victor Valley College (VVC) communications professor Melody Adejare. “By getting out of their comfort zones to explore unknown education and career opportunities, students increase their chances of obtaining new education, career, and life skills that can be used to improve their overall living experiences.”
Moving in curiosity and self-compassion can make unknown situations easier to move through. Doing what makes us uncomfortable can lead to personal growth, and helps us learn and feel more prepared for future obstacles that will pop up.
“In my personal experience, being the center of attention is very uncomfortable for me,” said VVC student, Samira Contreras. “One of the best things I could do for myself was get a public speaking class even though I didn’t need the class for my major. Everytime I presented, I was nervous and afraid. I noticed that those feelings lost power gradually the more I did it. Putting myself in that situation opened my perspective and that affected my life for the better. I felt more confident and comfortable within myself.”
Getting out of our comfort zone can be a challenging experience. With the right attitude and action anyone can overcome any obstacle, big or small.
“A step students should take to get out of their comfort zones is to first have the mindset that it is okay to try new things even if it means failure,” said professor Adejare. “From my perspective, the reason most people abstain from the unknown is not the fear of uncertainty, but the fear of failure. To get out of their comfort zones, students need to accept that it is okay to fail, for failures are often opportunities to do things better.”
Taking the first step out of our usual environment can be challenging. Being comfortable with failing can lead to being mentally prepared for what can come.
Our growth as individuals comes from doing the things that might be frightening at first. With the correct approach, moving out of our comfort zone can change our perspective and can lead to healthy change.