New Beginnings

Each year, as we head back to school for the fall semester, almost everyone feels a sense of renewal. Every school year offers the opportunity to learn new information, join new organizations, create new relationships, and enjoy new adventures.

Quite frankly, even though you may be dreading certain classes and the impending amount of time you will spend in the library, it’s an exciting time!

Most of us have heard from our parents or other adults that “college will be the best four years of your life!” And while that may be true, creating incredible friendships and memories doesn’t just happen by sitting in your dorm room or apartment and waiting for the excitement to sweep you off your feet. In order to experience phenomenal events, meet lifelong friends, and truly grow as a person during this time, we must be willing to experience something new.

In other words, we must be willing to expand our comfort zones.
Our current “comfort zone” is the definition of what is familiar, safe, and well, comfortable about our lives. This includes our current set of friends, way of viewing the world, and how we have fun. We all enjoy our comfort zones because it provides us with a sense of security. But, what would happen if we were to expand our comfort zones?

Now, I say, “expand” instead of “step outside” because by only stepping outside of your comfort zone it gives you the opportunity to step back inside your comfort zone. At the end of the day, it isn’t as meaningful of an experience and doesn’t provide much room for true growth. Expanding your comfort zone is a transformational experience that requires time, effort, and even some support from friends or family.

Very similar to the many questions your professors will soon be asking you in class, here are some questions to think about to create your own way of expanding your comfort zone.

What are new experiences that I haven’t tried before?
How can I strengthen my relationships with the people around me?
How do I want to remember this year?

Just a couple of weeks ago, the entire world was shocked by the unexpected passing of Robin Williams. One of the most important lines from his career comes from Dead Poets Society when Mr. Keating, the whimsical and charismatic teacher, whispers to the boys in his class, “Carpe…carpe diem…seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary”. While Mr. Keating was just their English teacher, he knew that these boys needed a wake-up call to expand their comfort zones and enjoy their time together.

Here are my challenges for myself and for you this coming school year:
Let’s expand our comfort zones. Seize each and every day. And truly make our lives extraordinary.

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Originally published at on August 25, 2014.

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