College is a time of challenges. Mentally, socially, and intellectually, you’re pushed harder than you’ve ever been pushed before. It’s a time of changes that seem scary at first, but ultimately determine who you are and help you become the person you want to be. But these important changes wouldn’t happen if you stuck to what’s comfortable, if you played it safe and stayed inside the lines. You wouldn’t learn things about yourself that would help you become better, wiser, and stronger.
No matter who you are or what you’re planning on doing with your life, everyone needs to try something new in college. You need to try something that maybe you never expected of yourself, but can see potential in. With school starting soon, now is a great time to examine your likes and dislikes, evaluate what you’ve done so far, and think about things you might want to try in the future. Is there something that’s always been creeping at the back of your mind, whispering, “try me!” in the tiniest voice possible, but you’ve always just pushed aside? Or, is there something you’ve always really wanted to do, but could never work up the nerve to try? If there’s anything—even the tiniest inkling—within you that wants to take a shot at something new, DO IT. That a cappella group you always admired from afar but were too afraid to audition for? Audition! Saw a poster for a random intramural team and think might be fun? Give it a shot! If it catches your eye and makes you consider it, even for a second, it’s probably worth it.
New things can be scary, but it’s a good kind of scary. It’s the kind of scary that makes you a little bit excited—even exhilarated—to be stepping out of your comfort zone. You’re a talented person; why not add another special skill to your list? Even if it doesn’t work out in the end, you can take pride in the fact that you gave it your best effort. Even if you miserably fail (which you won't!), you get to hold on to your dignity, because you should never, ever feel ashamed for trying.
I’m not saying you should abandon all your old hobbies and start over with something new. If you’ve already found something you’re passionate about and want to continue doing, by all means, keep doing it! But if you can fit in a new club or two on the side, you probably won’t regret it.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that college is all about expanding your horizons. Yes, your primary goal is to learn and prepare for your future career, but it’s also a perfect time to develop other aspects of your life as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior; there is always room for growth. And who knows? It may be the best decision you ever make.
And if you're still not convinced...