Exit your Comfort Zone

By Alyssa McComb on July 21, 2014
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Homecoming dances, football games, student government and passing science class; it all seems a bit much to fit into one year. And when you hear your parents and teachers saying you’ve got to do more you probably feel close to exploding, but it’s not as scary as it seems. The year ahead is bound to be full of fun, memories and an array of achievements.

It’s not hard to make good things happen once you stop fearing the unfamiliar and start planning for the unexpected. Some of my best moves as a student happened after I found my new interests and picked up the pen to my own story.

Trying the unfamiliar can be amazing
Don’t be afraid to branch out. Something I learned a little late in the game is that opportunities are easy to miss when you hide behind a wall. In high school I tended to shy away from things that didn’t seem familiar or comfortable.

It wasn’t until my junior year when I found that trying new things outside of my comfort zone usually led to a positive experience. That year I reached out to a local publishing company in hopes for an internship -- little did I know I’d be getting the opportunity of a lifetime. The internship I ended up with was a free lesson in editorial writing, my own published work, and the best friends I could ever imagine.

Breaking away from my usual avoidance with the unfamiliar led me to an amazing experience and my eventual passion for writing. It is since then that I never shy away from the scary and sometimes unthinkable, because I never know what could be a missed opportunity.

As a sophomore I knew I wanted to attend college, so I hit up my school’s college advisor for some help. Not only did he guide me to my perfect school, but he also gave me some great advice for along the way. It was one of my smartest moves for my future!

Many high schools provide year-by-year checklists for college-bound students, which can come in handy for those looking to continue their education. Guidance counselors are a one-stop shop for any questions, especially ones revolving around graduation and future plans. They know all about the expansive options available post-high school. I found that by making frequent trips to my guidance office, I stayed well informed on my high school progress and any open opportunities for my future.

Find resources outside of school, too
My best advice to anyone would be to join new clubs and teams, volunteer and try new things. Use your outside school sources, whether that means finding a local internship or joining a community group. Finding new interests leads to finding out more about yourself.

It’s always good to be one step ahead. No matter what year you’re in, freshman or senior, it’s always good to be thinking about the future. If you know what you’ll be doing the following year, seek some guidance either in the office or with some teachers. If you’re still figuring out what lies ahead, volunteer at some local places and jobs you find interesting; it’s always good to dip your toes in and feel the water.

Write your own adventure
So here’s the rough draft: Stay informed and interested. Write your own story full of amazing adventures, incredible experiences and unbelievable triumphs. This year may seem like a tiny path on your long road to success, but it’s really the stepping stone to your ultimate future.


About the Author

Alyssa McComb

Alyssa McComb

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