I’ve had a coaster that says “life beings at the end of your comfort zone” since I was in middle school. It popped up in my room one day, probably due to my mom, and it stayed there for years. The phrase never really meant anything to me until I had to pick a college – until I found myself having to chose between two different life paths.
Obviously I chose Holy Cross, which, at the time, was a risky move. I moved 1,548 miles away from sunny Florida to season-filled Worcester, Massachusetts. I came here knowing no one. The other school I was considering was synonymous with safety. It was far away, but not too far. It was different, but not too different. It was new, but not too new. It seemed, as Goldilocks would put it, “just right.” But “just right” does not mean great. In order to be extraordinary, you must take risks.
Risk is uncertain and full of change, and it starts with the decision to make a decision. I’m not going to lie, I used to be very indecisive. Just thinking about committing to a choice would send me down a spiral of panic because in my mind, choosing meant I was losing something. With every choice, I was closing a door that would never be opened again. However, being indecisive held me captive, paralyzing me as life moved on. I never realized that making a choice and embracing change, more often than not, brings something better.
Choosing to leave home, choosing Holy Cross – standing on the edge of my comfort zone and taking the leap – has allowed me to live. This was the best choice for me, and although I miss home on gloomy days and although I miss my family, they are only a phone call away. Right now and over the course of the next four years I must focus on myself. Right now and over the course of the next four years, I must grow, change, and evolve into who whoever I chose to be.
My coaster sits on my college desk, and whenever things appear to be scary, I’m reminded that it’s what will drive me to be extraordinary. As you go through life, embrace every moment, even if it’s not forever. What’s coming may be scary, but life would be no fun without leaving your comfort zone, or, as my roommate who is reading this over would say, living like Larry.