I am what you could call a typically introverted person. I enjoy staying home to read a book or watch Netflix or going out to a movie and doing things on my own. I like to do things I know I am comfortable with doing. You know, like a sane person. With the start of this new school year though, my last semester of college, I've found myself wanting to go out and try new things. It's already two weeks into my final semester of college and I've gotten out of my comfort zone more times than I ever have before.
For almost a year, my roommate has tried to get me to go to this dance exercise class at the rec on campus with her. I've rejected her invitations every time. When she invited me the first week of school though, I found myself thinking, “What the hell?"
I was nervous going into it. I entered the mirror-lined room with apprehension. The instructor bounced in, talking a mile a minute, and I almost immediately wanted to turn back. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. My roommate went right to the front of the room within perfect view of all the mirrors. I took a deep breath, went to my place next to her (even though I was terrified the people behind me were going to judge how bad I was), and began to follow the instructor as class started.
And get this, I actually enjoyed myself. It was fun, a good workout, and judgment-free. I was too busy trying to get the moves right that I wasn't able to be self-conscious about whether or not people were paying attention to how bad I was doing. The 50-minute class flew by. It's only been about a week since my first class, but now I look forward to the days where I get to go dance my little heart out.
For some reason, I've found myself speaking out in class more too. While in class, I typically like to stick to my little spot and take notes, trying to call as little attention to myself as possible. This semester though, I've felt confident enough to speak my opinions about the readings to my classmates. I've offered to read passages aloud, and I've embraced challenging assignments that I wasn't expecting. I've found that my normal anxiety about saying the wrong thing hasn't hit me until I've already said what I've had to say.
I was recently talking with my friend and I realized that it's easier to do the things you're comfortable doing. It helps protect you from getting hurt by someone or embarrassing yourself. That's not the best way to live life though because you're shutting yourself off from opportunities that could make you happy. Just because you don't think you're going to be good at something or don't know if you'll like it isn't a good enough reason to not do something. You never know until you try. You just have to take that chance in order to gain that experience.