Stretching my comfort zone at university
I have been seriously stretching my comfort zone ever since I started university (which you can read about here), but the past couple months have actually seen my comfort zone double in size, maybe even triple. I’ve found an amazing group of friends at uni and I’m feeling incredibly lucky for it, as I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
I’m a big endorser of being proud of our achievements no matter how small they may seem, and I fully believe in the worth of writing them down to look at when you feel low. Sometimes we can feel defeated if things aren’t moving along as quickly as we would like, and in those moments there’s so much to gain in reading through a list of previous achievements. It reminds us that we are capable, and that we can do anything we set our minds to.
I’ve made a small list of things that I have achieved at uni recently, things that I would never have so much as imagined myself doing a couple of months ago, and I really urge you to give it a try too!
Recognising my successes from uni:
- Going on nights out and staying at friends’ afterwards without so much as a second thought about it. This is something that would have filled me with dread before starting uni, but which now fills me with so much excitement that I think I might burst.
- Making extremely last minute plans, and dealing with it when plans change abruptly. This would have filled me with panic before due to the element of the unknown, however now I can take it in my stride as I’m just happy to be seeing my friends, regardless of when the plans were created.
- This one is something that I was so nervous about: finding someone to live with next year, and facing the idea of moving out of home and living in the city. It’s a huge decision, and I can’t lie I was a bit terrified at the prospect of it, however I now cannot wait to move in September, as it’s a source of pure elation that I’ll only be 5 minutes away from all my friends, rather than the pesky hour long train journey away that I currently am.
- Meeting new people. I’ve always been someone who has been described as friendly, and I’ll admit that I am lucky enough to be able to make friends quite easily, however it is still daunting approaching people that I don’t know at parties and simply being able to talk to them. At first I clung to my friends, but I’ve since branched out to talk to other people in these situations, and I’m proud of how quickly I’ve become accustomed to doing this and being okay with it.
- Wearing what I want. This probably seems like a bit of a weird one, however I used to feel a bit nervous about whether what I wore would make me stand out, or make people perceive me in a certain way. Despite this, I’ve recently realised that I don’t care! I can wear whatever I like, whether it’s a dress, a crop top, or jeans, and I don’t let myself feel self-conscious about it anymore, even if i do sometimes realise that I’m a little over-dressed for things (or under-dressed, as presented itself when I wore skinny jeans to a party at which everyone else was in pretty dresses with full faces of makeup!)
Celebrating big and small wins
Some of the things on my list are recognisably big steps, whereas some may seem completely inconsequential to other people, and that’s okay! The point of the list is for me to be able to say that I have faced these things that I was once scared of, and I’ve come out the other side even better for it. Even if the thing is seemingly small, it’s still an achievement. I’m still proud of it. University has been the best choice I have ever made; I’m only one semester in and I know that this experience has changed me in so many positive ways already, and I can’t wait to see how else I grow throughout the next three years. Did you hear that?! Me, looking forward to the future and the changes it will bring?!! This time last year, if you’d have told me that I’d be so excited about the future, I would have laughed in your face, and it amazes me every day how much I have grown both my comfort zone and my self-confidence since starting uni.
I’d love to hear if you give writing your own successes list a try, so please do let me know in the comments below!
If you’re walking the path from social anxiety to quiet confidence, join the Quiet Community today for a little extra support!