Saturday, September 7, 2013

Getting Out of Your Zone

Ready to take some risks?

Ready to stand up in class and voice your opinions, strike up a conversation with a guy or girl you've just met, or walk into a club meeting and announce to the strangers in your midst that you want to join their group?

Hey--this is college, where if you really want to squeeze the most out of your education, you'll need to get out of your comfort zone. . . . . 

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Don't get me wrong: Comfort isn't necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, when you're trying to get used to new situations (like college), being comfortable is often important.  At first, you may be more at ease listening quietly in class than speaking up and feeling like the center of attention.  And when you're trying to get a handle on your first semester's classes, you may prefer to spend club hours reviewing your notes instead of heading for that campus party or Student Government meeting. 

But over the long haul, it's in your interest to make your presence felt at NCC.  Constantly sitting on the "sidelines"--be it in the classroom or on campus--can shortchange your education big time.  It can rob you of some valuable learning experiences, the kind that result from interacting with professors and students, from sharing your views with others (and hearing others' opinions as well), from taking courses that offer a different perspective on life, from tackling unique tasks (like producing a student newspaper, organizing a campus fundraiser, or learning the art of debate), or from just being spontaneous.

Do all of these activities involve a bit of risk?  Yeah.  Can you tell for sure where all will lead?  No.  But chances are almost all will be an essential part of your college experience.

So get yourself out of your comfort zone this semester and see what happens.  Speak up in class.  Talk to people.  Take part in campus life at NCC.  Don't be afraid to make mistakes.  You may hit some sour notes from time to time, but you'll also have some terrific moments, ones you'll remember long after your time at Nassau has passed.

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