In recent years, the push to attend college has risen as even entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree.
However, as the demand for degrees has risen not everyone is suited towards attending a college environment. College is a demanding experience with classes and thousands of students to contend with. Plus, the larger the college, the more people you have to be around every single day, which can push even the most extroverted people out of their comfort zone.
Yet, it’s that very push that reinvents people into being someone better and more capable of taking on the world once they graduate with their coveted degree.
Here are seven ways the college experience will challenge you and take you out of your comfort zone for the better.
The most nerve-wracking thing you’re going to do is talk with your roommate (or roommates depending on the size of your dorm room).
Don’t think you can get out of the big talk either.
The essential part of starting each academic year is knowing who your roommate is, setting dorm room rules, and figuring out your roommate’s quirks for future reference.
Dorms are a test of your ability to adapt to new environments and get along with people who might be your polar opposite.
Or, you might just get roomed with someone who has your exact personality, and it’ll be up to you to figure out how to not butt heads every time you’re within 10 feet of each other.
Of course, if you and your roommate really can’t get along, then you’ll need to talk to your resident assistant and discuss finding a new roommate. Which means you’ll need to do the roommate dance all over again.
Join a club, any club! Club activities will force you to interact with complete strangers.
The benefit? These strangers are students and professors with the same interests as you. At least, they should be if you joined a club or group you’re interested in and not because you’re bored otherwise.
If you don’t think you’re going to join a club, think again. Campus life is boring and repetitive between campus events and going to classes. You’ll need something to make the time pass, which is why you’ll probably join a club.
Clubs also look good on resumes and graduate degree applications; especially, club officer positions such as treasurer or president.
You get to learn leadership skills in officer position and learn how to run a club, which will push you out of your comfort zone.
3. Societies and Associations
Ever heard of the Honor Society, the Golden Key International Honor Society, or the National Society of Collegiate Scholars? These are all honor societies that promote networking and helping students out as much as possible.
Of course, you can’t forget about fraternities, sororities, and Greek honor societies such as Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Tau Delta. These organizations also celebrate communities and student achievements.
If you want the full college experience, then you’ll want to join a society or association that you have a vested interest in.
Just like clubs, being a member of a society or association has benefits. These organizations look amazing on resumes and grad applications, but they also offer scholarships and other opportunities.
Write a kick-ass academic paper? Sigma Tau Delta holds international conventions every year with student presenters reading papers and original works.
Not only are you presenting in front of dozens or hundreds of students and professors, but doesn’t ‘presented a paper at international convention’ sound so good on a cover letter?
The first year of college is dedicated to your general education electives and maybe one or two of your major classes.
The reasoning behind general education classes is to help undecided students figure out what they want to do. However, some majors require you take at least one or two electives too.
You can choose a class you’re already interested in, but to really push yourself out of your comfort zone take an elective you never even thought about trying.
5. Campus Trips
Some colleges offer trips to local amusement parks, museums, and community events.
If you don’t want to be a constant shut-in, then we suggest getting some sunshine and going on one of the trips your college offers.
Of course, every good trip needs a walking buddy. Not only are walking buddies great for keeping you safe in strange places, but they’re also great conversationalists.
If none of the college friends you’ve already made are attending the trip, then you’ll have to make a new friend. Try the person sitting next to you on the charter bus or van. The conversation will probably start off awkwardly, but it’s a start!
6. Public Transportation
If you’re attending a college out of state or in a different country, then you probably don’t have a car, a motorcycle, or other personal means of transportation.
Which means public transportation will become your best friend whenever you need to make a trip to the nearest supercenter or mall.
You know what comes with public transportation? Other people who also don’t have a car. Rides to the nearest Walmart can get long, and it’s either drown yourself in music or make polite small talk with your closest neighbor.
7. Major Classes
Even if you aren’t a public speaker, some classes will require you to do just that.
Part of a poetry class? Be prepared to write a poem and recite it during a mandatory open-mic event. Your grade will depend on you attending not how well you do.
Have a lab project? Then you may want to start pouring over your lab materials for when you need to present your project in front of dozens of your classmates. If your professor is merciful, then you’ll only have one project partner to contend with.
You’ll really feel pushed out of your comfort zone when the professor decides they’re not satisfied with the level of quiet in their classroom and assigns everyone to groups of five.
Missed a class and need the notes? Buckle in because you’re going to have to ask someone to let you copy theirs. Probably the person you never talk to but who typically sits a seat away from you and never misses a day of class.
Start Your College Experience
College will challenge you in some way and push you out of your comfort zone many times over the next four years.
Remember, whenever you start feeling too stressed from being so put out, you can always take time for yourself and push college to the back of your mind. Curl up somewhere quiet and tell the world outside your comfort zone ‘not today!’
The full college experience doesn’t require at least one mental breakdown, after all.
If you liked our little guide, then feel free to check out the rest of our blog!