A lot of people give the advice to get out of your comfort zone. I always had trouble of fully understanding the comfort zone and why it was such a bad thing. I couldn’t understand what my comfort zone was and I couldn’t identify when I was limiting myself to it.
I found that my comfort zone simply consists of the things I are doing currently and things I’ve done in the past. In other words, sticking to activities, places or people that I’m used to.
Once I figured out the real meaning of comfort zone, and how it was an imaginary line that I had drawn in my mind to limit myself to what I found was safe and normal, I decided that I would actively take steps to do new things. Coming to Canada at 16 years old, all by myself was definitely 200 steps out of my comfort zone but I discovered that taking that leap made any other activity that I thought was hard, look easy.
Being a student at U of T definitely pushes me to do new things. I guess that’s why our school prides itself in being “BOUNDLESS”. In general, university shouldn’t be a place that you’re afraid to speak up even if you’re bound to make a mistake. The moment I realized that school was a complete learning process and mistakes are welcome because that contributes to my learning and overall development.
I have certain goals I want to achieve for myself and I won’t be able to get there by being scared of trying new things. This semester I took a step to run for student governance elections for both the Engineering Society and the UTSU and I can tell you that it was an uncomfortable experience. As with any election, the process required me to forcefully convince people that I was the best candidate for the job. The process was scary, frustrating and a bit tiring because I constantly had to remind myself of why I wanted these positions.
I ended up not winning either of the elections but I definitely realised the importance of networking and staying connected with people because this is something I have always had issues with. As an introvert, it always felt uncomfortable and awkward but it is a skill I need to reach my goal so I’ve had to suck it up and work on it.
From adapting to Canadian culture to running for a position in our very Canadian school, I can boldly say I’ve learned a lot just by being uncomfortable. It’s a steep learning curve but I’ve definitely made efforts to keep it fun, interesting and rewarding along the way.