Challenge and the Unexpected

Antoine - Bakersfield, California
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change
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I believe in challenge and doing the unexpected.

Throughout my life, I have always favored the ordinary and the known. I enjoy the comfort and ease of performing everyday tasks and following a structured schedule. When change occurs, I become stressed and worried as to how I can adapt to the situation. My life before going away to college was comfortable, ordinary, and straightforward, just the way I liked it.

Moving out of the house and going away to college was the biggest adjustment that I have ever had to deal with. I did not know what to expect and wondered how I would react. I thought that I would miss my previous, mundane lifestyle and would become overwhelmed by the sudden change. That’s when I realized that living an ordinary, straightforward lifestyle was maybe not the way I liked it.

As time went on, I found that I could adjust to change just fine given a little time. After I realized this, I did not want to stop. I pledged a fraternity with over 100 active members and 65 fellow pledges that I did not know. It was an experience that was anything but ordinary. During this time, I challenged myself to handle both the tasks of the fraternity and of the University.

My schedule at this time was busy and unstructured, not the way that I was used to. I pushed myself harder than ever to manage my time and complete all of my obligations. This process enabled me to grow and build character. I found that as time went on, I was better able to overcome challenging and overwhelming situations. Doing something that I was not used to and challenging myself made me learn about what I was capable of doing.

Once I realized that I could pledge a fraternity, do well in school, and adjust to my new surroundings, my confidence boosted. It made me feel like I could accomplish anything as long as I just endure and stick with it. If I had not challenged myself, I would not have grown and would just be stuck in an ordinary, repetitive lifestyle.

In order to learn the most valuable lessons in life, you have to leave your comfort zone, try the unexpected, challenge yourself, and endure; this I believe.