As long as I can remember, I’ve been a cheerleader. Well, not an actual cheerleader, but theoretically. I have spent the past 20 years of my life celebrating other’s accomplishments. Applauding those of my friends who have gone out of their comfort zone to apply for middle school SGA, accepting an internship from their dream job, or even arranging a philanthropy event for their organization on campus. But this year, I’ve decided to hop off of the sidelines and throw myself into the middle of the action. This year is my year of continuously applying for things and really challenging myself, and here are 5 reasons why you should do the same.

1. Why not?

Why hold yourself back when you could advance further in school, work, or anything else you’re passionate about? You’ve got this! As Shia LaBeouf loves to aggressively say, “JUST DO IT!”

2. You’re so unique

Yes, someone else may be better at something than you, but that doesn’t mean they will always win. Your talents and the ideas you can bring to the table are something no one else can copy. Use your irreplaceable qualities to stand out from the rest and go that extra mile.

3. The worst they can say is no

Have you ever heard of someone receiving an email saying, “hey sorry, nice try but you suck?” Didn’t think so. If anything, people will appreciate the effort in applying and keep you in the back of their mind for the next time an opportunity presents itself.

4. Connections will be made everywhere you go

As you socialize and continue your attempt to network, you’re constantly interacting with others. Whether you are relating to others about your nerves for your interview or sharing ideas you hope to implement for a future event, you will connect with people who share your passions. There is nothing better than being around others who have the same ambitions as you.

5. You will never regret it

In the past week, I’ve stepped directly out of my comfy little box and I haven’t looked back. Was I afraid? Absolutely. Did I think I may not be chosen to showcase my talents? Duh. But what I have learned is that I should’ve had this mindset years ago and I can’t wait to continue challenging myself for the rest of my days. I may not be a natural born leader, but I’m ready to learn those skills from those who inspire me daily.