Art by Ally Armstrong
Entering the twelfth week of the semester, students have a strong sense of their routines. In the predictable rhythm of the day to day, it is easy to grow complacent. This complacency causes the days to rush by in a monochromatic blur.
Without even meaning to, people tend to settle into comfortable ruts, which consequently diminishes their productivity and even their energy, according to Amy Morin’s article “How to Create a Healthy Routine Without Getting Stuck in a Rut” published April 21, 2015 by Forbes.
Students should add variety to their lives by intentionally exploring the unknown. This will make their college years more memorable and equip them to be more self-assured adults.
“The unknown” can manifest itself in many ways. At Pepperdine, a predominant way that students are encouraged to experience the unknown is through study abroad. Pepperdine’s International Programs are intended to equip students with “new cultural perspectives and diverse relationships,” according to the IP website.
Time spent abroad, whether it be for an entire academic year or for a month over the summer, is credited as being a transformative experience by many students. The discomfort of the unfamiliar is often a conduit for deeper knowledge, and study abroad is an excellent example of this.
Students in Malibu also have many opportunities to encounter “the unknown.” There are many clubs and organizations that students can easily get plugged into on campus. Participating in a club, whether it aligns directly with a student’s interests or not, “will help [students] make lifelong connections, advance [their] career, learn about [themselves], and maybe even have some fun” according to Liz Wessel’s article “7 Things Every College Student Must Do In 2018” published Feb. 7, 2018 by Forbes.
“The unknown” can include friendships. Students should put themselves in positions to meet new people, according to Kristina Hipolito’s article “Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone in College” published Dec. 6, 2017 by the Huffington Post. Joining a club is an excellent way to do this, as is attending events put on by the Board or simply talking to an unfamiliar face in an Elkins class.
Ultimately, all of these experiences pay dividends later in a student’s life. When students step out of their comfort zones and explore the unknown, “time [becomes] much more memorable,” according to Matt Cutts’s TED Talk “Try something new for 30 days,” presented in March 2011.
Another benefit of exploring the unknown is that it increases students’ career readiness. By entering the unknown now, students will be better equipped for the working world. They need to be comfortable being uncomfortable, according to Jeffrey Selingo’s article “College students are learning not to fail. They should take risks instead” published by the Washington Post on May 13, 2015.
It may be tempting to remain comfortable and to allow the days to fly by, but students should escape their comfort zones and embrace the unknown. Ultimately, this will fill their college years with invaluable memories and lessons.
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