Branching out

The day I’ve been dreading is finally here, the day I move out of my dorm. With the way I’ve been talking, people are going to start to think I’m leaving for good, not just for the Summer.

One of my favorite things that living in the dorm has taught me that I will carry through my life with me is how important it is to branch out.

It’s almost always the first piece of advice anyone gives a college freshman but honestly, everyone should hear it- branching out will change your life.

When I first came to college, I had a pretty sturdy friend group coming with me which was awesome (and made college less scary). If I wanted to, I could easily go to class, study, and then only hang out with my original group of friends.

Instead, I went out on a limb and branched out (so much pun in that line, you’re welcome).

I knew that while my life was incredible as it is, I was comfortable. I never want to be comfortable, because life begins to excel at the end of your comfort zone. So instead, I took a leap, learned new things and met some incredible new people.

One of the first days of living away from home, we had an “open door night” where you literally leave your door open and meet new people on your hall. I opened my door up to so many people that day and ended up meeting my best friend through (kinda creepily) walking around and walking in people’s rooms together.

I joined a music event planner committee, a dance company, helped produce a TV show, and DJ-ed at the college radio station. I didn’t know anyone in any of these clubs and now, I see at least three people I know every time I walk to class.

I think true happiness begins once you leap (or get pushed) out of your comfort zone. It’s scary, yes, but you never know what’s out there until you try new things and talk to strangers.

People seem to think you only get one chance to branch out and enhance your life (definitely not true). It doesn’t always have to be time consuming either.

Go talk to your neighbor, ask your mailman about his family, start a bookclub, throw a party, go exploring, make new friends, try knitting.

Life truly begins when you step out of your comfort zone and explore new things that you didn’t notice before.

My freshman year at UT has been so incredible and I believe the reason that is was is because I branched out. You don’t have to be in college to start living the life you’ve always wanted.

Now, go out there and conquer the world!

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