My article for the school’s news blog is up!
This marks my 6th journalistic publication and my 11th total publication since my 28th birthday! After all of the NaNoWriMo stress I’ve been feeling the past week, this was a good booster for my ego and self-confidence.
You can view a copy/paste of the article here, since I cannot post a direct link:
4 (Great) Reasons to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Posted on Nov 6, 2012
For many students, returning to school required taking a giant step outside of your comfort zone. From rearranging your personal life to learning to juggle multiple projects, your world has likely been flipped upside down and inside out. So why, after you’ve finally settled in and gotten you’re groove, would you want to change it up again? Here are 4 great reasons:
Reason #1: Gain Experience! – No job experience? No problem!
You’ve probably heard horror stories of some of the more challenging questions potential employers can throw at you during the interview process. Chances are you’ll be sitting through a few interviews in the near future, and you want to be as prepared as possible to answer the questions.
What do you say when asked, “Tell me about a time when you overcame adversity in a personal or professional setting?” but you don’t have any work experiences to cite?
Easy: You tell them about a personal victory! Big or small, any time you overcome adversity should be a moment of pride for you and an opportunity for you to do a little well-earned boasting.
Jeanne DeAngelis, a counselor in our Career Development Department, strongly suggests getting involved in volunteer work if you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone while doing something good for the local community. Working in a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter can be a challenging and humbling experience that has positive repercussions, both for the people that you serve and your citable experiences.
“A lot of people do not realize that you can include volunteerism on your resumé,” notes DeAngelis, “and that many employees will be interested to know about your education, work history, and community involvement. It demonstrates a well-rounded quality and humility that doesn’t necessarily show up on a college transcript.”
Reason #2: Grow From It! – No change = No growth!
Stepping outside of your comfort zone by taking on a daunting challenge is an opportunity for growth. How do you know your limitations if you don’t test them?
For several CWBFA students at Full Sail, the month of November will be a huge endeavor outside of the norm, as they will be participating in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. With a steep goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, students like Mandelyn Kilroy, Corey Hoffmeyer, and Christina Jones are stretching themselves to the max to meet the 1,600+ daily word quota to stay on track.
“I believe that if you don’t challenge yourself and only do things you know you can succeed in, then you never give yourself the chance to grow,” remarked Kilroy. “Even if that growth comes from failure.”
Reason #3: Achieve Goals! – Accomplishing goals leads to fulfillment!
Running in a 5k is a pretty big accomplishment for most participants. Running more than a few laps around the block would probably put a lot of people in the hospital if it were their first time. Yet there is a growing popularity in 10ks, half-marathons, and even obstacle courses guaranteed to leave you bruised and whimpering at the finish line. Why the sudden trend in masochism that’s sweeping the nation?
For EBBS student, Brett Viveiros, running in the Savage Race – a 6.3 mile race consisting of 25 treacherous obstacles – was as much about the mental challenge as it was a test of his physical strength.
“I signed up for the [Savage] race because I wanted to challenge myself physically and mentally,” said Viveiros. “I wanted to put the hard training I have been putting myself through to the test.”
Viveiros said the event also taught him the importance of teamwork and camaraderie, as many of the obstacles required participants to help one another to complete the challenge, such as scaling a 12-foot wall or diving into a giant pool of ice water.
Reason #4: Networking! – You don’t know whom you’ll meet!
OK, so you’ve decided to challenge yourself and do (fill-in the-blank.) If you’ve committed to a marathon, you may find yourself standing next to Katie Holmes or Sarah Palin. Did you know they were avid runners? If you’ve decided to attempt skydiving, you may be sharing a plane with Andrew Bynum of the L.A. Lakers. Signed up for a triathlon? Watch out for Jennifer Lopez and bring your camera so you can snap a picture when Matthew McConaughey laps you.
While running next to a celebrity probably isn’t likely in your hometown, the point is that many influential people may share similar interests to you. Participating in events may be a great opportunity for you to network on common grounds without the formality of an interview or resume. People tend to gravitate toward like-minded people, so a potential employer might be impressed by your shared love of biking and competition.
Get Out There! – You can’t step out if you don’t start!
Whether it’s signing up for a 5k, joining a book club, jumping out of an airplane, or going to a professional networking event, today is the day to step out of your comfort zone and challenge your perceived limitations. Be it physical, mental, emotional, or some combination of all three, there are benefits to be had by stepping out of familiar territory and attempting something new. At the minimum, you’ll be able to scratch something off of your bucket list. The best-case scenario is that you’ll find a new hobby you love!
– Victoria Webster-Perez