Why It's Okay To Feel Uncomfortable In New Places
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Why It's Okay To Feel Uncomfortable In New Places

Because no experience worth having has ever come easily.

Why It's Okay To Feel Uncomfortable In New Places

We all know that dreaded feeling of panic and discomfort that you get in your stomach when you're dropped off in a place completely foreign to you. Everyone has experienced it in life at some point, whether it was during the first few days at a new school, joining a new dance team, going on a mission trip to a far away place from home or even moving into college. I experienced this overwhelming panic for the first time in quite a while last week, and it was after I'd moved to Cedar Point for my summer job.

In short, I was both ecstatic and terrified to begin work. I was walking into this more blindly than anything I'd ever done before, not knowing a soul and moving in with roommates I didn't meet until unlocking our door. My one roommate is an international worker, one of the ones who come from overseas to work at the amusement park for the entirety of summer. The other is from America, but she works on a completely different ride than me, and I barely cross paths with either of them most of the time. I felt utterly alone as I was settling into my new life for the next three months.

And, to top that, I had no clue what I was about to walk into the morning of my first day of training on-site at my roller coaster, Maverick. What seemed to be about 1,000 different things were explained to me on my first day of work. I was thrown into spieling—speaking over the intercom as the ride host—my first afternoon on my ride, which I had not been prepared for. Essentially, this is the person who says countless things like, "Oncoming riders, please place all loose articles in the bin provided," and "Lift up on your orange lap bars and exit carefully to the right; enjoy the rest of your day here at Cedar Point, America's Rockin' Roller Coast, ride on!"

I felt like I had no clue what I was doing, and I was so uncomfortable by the end of my first day. I was missing my friends at school and at home already, and I was homesick for my family by the time my mom left after helping me move in.

But suddenly, the more I let my inhibitions and fears of screwing up leave me, the easier things became. My feet are getting used to the extensive hours of standing and walking, and I'm making friends within and outside of my crew. I'm beginning to really feel like I belong here, and it's because I'm allowing myself to relax.

It's really easy to become so overwhelmed with fear and anxieties and lack of self-confidence, but I urge you to push through it. After a 13.5-hour first day, I had no clue how I was going to survive. And then I survived the 16-hour shift the next day. I believe it's extremely important not to be afraid to ask questions for fear of sounding dumb. It's vital that you release your inhibitions (yes, I just quoted Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten") and just let things happen the way they are supposed to.

So many of us are afraid to step out of our shells. Sometimes, we need to be pulled out of them by strangers who might end up being very close friends. It's all about realizing that life is full of "what ifs" and discomfort and nervousness. We wouldn't grow if we didn't have the sort of drive that we gain from being thrown into new settings.

You can drown in your worries, or you can learn to swim. Personally, the water feels just fine, and I'm learning and growing each day.

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