Stepping out of my comfort zone

 

“Help will always be given to those who ask for it.”

I am 21 years old, working a challenging internship, and living on my own. Now, more than ever, a beloved Harry Potter characters ambiguous words of wisdom resonates with me. The last three years of college have been wonderful. I’ve made amazing new friends, gone out of my comfort zone, and constructed a somewhat wider comfort zone. Within three days of living on my own in Texas, I experienced my first wave of homesickness. I have put so much effort in preparing for this internship through shoe shining, resume polishing, and so much more; it didn’t occur to me until now how important it is to be social with other people.

Each day I wake up, go on a run, work, and go home. There is about a five hour period of time at the end of the day that simply doesn’t sit right with me. I love talking about my day with others and hearing about their day. Gossip, small-talk, and silly jokes may be taken for granted, but they hold a special importance in our daily lives. Thursday came around and I had enough. My beloved Cavaliers were playing and I refused to sit at home and watch the game with only my snack bowl as company.

My first day here, a college student from Baylor welcomed me to the complex. “Here’s my number, let me know if you ever need anything.” I called him, asked if he was watching the game, and was promptly invited over to a watch party with around 20 other Baylor students. We joked about LeBron’s over-acting and argued over which team was better. Everyone was welcoming and I felt somewhat at home for the first time. Despite a harrowing defeat, I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed for work. Work-life isn’t simply about doing well on the job and calling it a day. Decompressing and being social are necessary for a person’s sanity. I knew that I wasn’t going to make friends sitting in my house every evening with a Sudoku book. I also wasn’t going to be able to perform my best each day if I didn’t have a social outlet to rely on. I can’t say that I found a new best man for my wedding this past week, but I do feel a new sense of belonging in a strange place and a refreshing feeling of vigor for my work.

Help will always be given to those who ask for it, but you need to ask for it first.

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