This I Believe

Oksana - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on October 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change
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This I Believe

I believe that there is a time in everyone’s life where they must step out of their comfort zone and try out something new. When I moved to America, this was a completely different world to me and definitely out of anything I had ever known before. If I had been unwilling to try to live in it, I would never have made any of the friends I have today.

I remember the merge from elementary school into middle school as one of the hardest adjustments. I remember my first day when I barely knew anyone because many people from my elementary school had gone to different middle schools, and the classes were filled with unfamiliar faces. I remember walking into my homeroom classroom, not knowing anyone and sitting on the edge of some students talking. I felt like an outsider because they knew each other and I was alone. The second day came and went without much improvement. But after a few days, the uncomfortable shell around me cracked and I dived into their conversations and got immersed into their friendships. This happened throughout all of my classes and I made lots of new friends.

I always remember that feeling of opening myself up to new people when I see a new student arrive at a school. I recently made a very good friend this way. At first she was labeled as the “new kid” and she didn’t talk to many people because they were unwilling to let her into their already developed lives. She was definitely not in a comfortable position for the first day or so, but we started talking and she soon became one of my best friends.

When I see people who have tight clicks of friends and do not associate themselves with anyone else, it makes me sad to think that they are missing out on some great friendships they could acquire. If they let their guards down and step away from what they are used to, they could meet some people whose company they would very much, unexpectedly, enjoy.

I think everyone should experience this type of situation one time or another in their life. If people try new things, they could come out with something that they like after they get over the shock. Stepping out of your comfort zone could be associated with other situations besides talking to new people, for instance going somewhere or doing something you aren’t used to. You could try a new activity, such as skiing, surfing, or playing paintball, and discover that you’re really good at it. You could discover something that you will enjoy for a very long time afterwards. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t always have to be looked upon as such a scary thing, and I believe that it helps you develop as a person.