“Life begins outside of your comfort zone.”
This is a phrase that I never really understood until I packed up my things and moved to Detroit for the summer to take on the most challenging, yet rewarding two months of my college career. Not only did I walk into a school to help move 16 sweet and knowledgeable first through four graders towards a new school year, but I walked into a school where I was going to be molded and moved towards becoming ready to face the world after graduation.
Two months ago I walked through into a school that was new and unfamiliar, but now it is a place that I can hardly grasp leaving. It is a place where my inner peace resides and it fills my soul with joy when the sounds of my students’ feet come racing in to tell me about their lives and their curiosities. Two months ago I walked into a classroom full of unknown faces, but now these the faces that will forever inspire and motivate me to be the best I can be, for without them, I would not be the teacher or person I am today. In the past two months I’ve been able to grow beside my students through play, laughter, reading, writing, and solving problems, and it’s been the unfamiliar that lead to the most growth. These past two months have brought out more passion and love for the career in which I have chosen…and to think it all would not exist had I stayed in my comfort zone.
The people that were just names on an email, or on the other line of the phone quickly became my support and my number one fans. Through MSU, DPSCD, and Center for Success, I was welcomed to the unfamiliar with open arms and encouragement. I was shown various paths that I could take to get the most of my experience, while also being shown the importance of reflection and consideration of various topics and their overlap with my career. I was given support I needed when I was overwhelmed with the amount of growth that I was experiencing, and hugs to encourage me when I needed it most. All of it was so unfamiliar, but it soon became home away from home.
All of this came from taking a risk. From stepping outside my comfort zone I have been able to see that these experiences only come every once in a while, so take it. Push your fears aside, as I can promise you, they are only holding you back.