Howdy from Singapore! It has been a very hot two months since I got here, full of exploring different places, meeting new people, and eating the BEST food. I also think I’m finally starting to consider Singapore as home. It definitely wasn’t always this way though. When I first arrived in Singapore I was completely out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know anyone here, and I didn’t even know what classes I was going to take! But, embracing that discomfort rather than backing away from it has led me to where I am right now. Throughout the past two months I’ve had many instances where I was completely out of my comfort zone, and even though they were scary at first, all of them ended up amazing. In doing this, I have learned two important things about stepping outside your comfort zone:
1. Stepping outside your comfort zone helps you learn more about yourself
Last week was spring break, so a few friends and I decided to go to Vietnam. Having lived in or near cities my whole life, I was really looking forward to exploring Vietnam’s cities and experience the culture and food. However, my friends are big fans of the outdoors and instead planned a stop at Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam. I was honestly pretty nervous when I heard they were planning on swimming in caves and trekking through jungles. And apparently the jungle wasn’t even going to have wifi! However, looking back at it, I am extremely glad that we went. I actually enjoyed taking a break from the outside world for a few days and being completely enveloped in nature, and I’ve learned that this is something I definitely want to do again. If I didn’t decide to step outside my comfort zone and go, I would never have realized that I can actually appreciate being outdoors.
2. Stepping outside of your comfort zone gives you more confidence
Being uncomfortable is absolutely scary at first, but the more you do it, the more confidence you gain that you can handle and even thrive in uncomfortable situations. Coming to Singapore, I was pretty nervous about having to meet new people from all around the world and from different walks of life. I had never been good at connecting with new people, especially people that I don’t have much in common with. However, the more I put myself in situations where I had to meet new people, the more I started feeling comfortable and even thriving in them. I can honestly say that I love meeting new people now, and this wouldn’t have happened without me taking the initial leap outside my comfort zone in studying abroad.
So whether it be something as big as studying abroad or something as small as starting a conversation with someone you don’t know, I urge everyone to start doing things that make you feel uncomfortable, as there are so many good things on the opposite side of your comfort zone. Even though it may be scary at first, it will definitely be worth it in the end. Here’s to two more uncomfortable months in Singapore!
This post was contributed by Avi Minocha, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in Computer Science.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Avi’s experience in Singapore>>