This I Believe

Julianne - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Expanding Horizons

I believe that going outside your established comfort zones and expanding your horizons are important in an individual’s development both physically and emotionally. I have learned over the past several years that life is about risks and trying new things. My older sister, Lauren, whom I greatly admire, has allowed me to realize this through her actions.

Lauren, like me, has always lived in Pennsylvania and was some-what of a home body. Upon her graduation from Penn State she was offered a job in California and an opportunity to move across the country. She told me that initially she felt both excited and nervous, because for the first time she was leaving the friends and family who comprised her personal world, and within that the world made her at home. Moving to California meant taking a risk and starting a new beginning, all by herself without the aid and encouragement that had previously been provided to her.

After almost two years, I have never seen my sister as happy as she is now. Through her travels and experiences ranging from Pennsylvania and now to California, Lauren has come to know both who she is as a person and just how expansive our country is, along with the nearly limitless possibilities that exist. This newfound understanding would have been unattainable had she chosen to stay within her previous boundaries and not move.

She, much like myself, enjoys new experiences outside of ones comfort zone. Since moving away to college I have gone home and seen the impact of people not taking these risks. Many of my friends from high school have not taken the opportunity to move away to college or for employment, and I have seen them stuck in the same lifestyle they experienced two years ago and as a result have not been able to develop to their full potential.

When out of a comfort zone, I’ve found myself and others to grow and mature in incredible ways. Living this way, allows me to understand the importance of a new experience in life. These experiences give me the opportunity to grow as a person and become more flexible in my perceptions of the world. Change can often be positive and dealing with change gives you an ability to see that you can be a strong independent person, able to face whatever challenge coming your way.