Your first year at college can be a very intimidating experience because it might be the first time you are totally responsible for yourself. That’s how it was for me. After being at UMass for three years so far, I would like to say that I have gained an immense amount of knowledge and have become a better student, friend, and person. Out of my entire time being here, my number one tip throughout college is to step out of your comfort zone. I know this may sound awkward and a bit confusing, but being uncomfortable throughout college made the entire experience that much more rewarding and memorable. To be a little more organized in my life, I make sure to be uncomfortable academically, socially, and personally.
One of the biggest jumps I made here at UMass was switching from majoring in biology to business. While I was still in the biology program, debating whether or not to switch into Isenberg, I realized that it was going to take a lot of work, with no guarantee that I would get into the competitive school. However, I decided to step out of my comfort zone, which was science and biology, and try to get in. Fortunately I succeeded and found a new passion in the business world that allowed me to get my first internship.
Socially, making new friends and meeting new people can be quite difficult for a lot of people. I used to be one of them. I had a small group of people I gravitated toward but knew I wanted to expand my social network and meet different people throughout campus. To do this I decided to join clubs and be more engaged during classes and at my dorm. From this I was able to meet even more people and create friendships that are still strong today.
Personally, stepping out of your own comfort zone and setting and accomplishing personal goals is something that can be achieved here at UMass. My two main goals going into my freshman year were to start going to the gym more and also to start my own online business. UMass is a place where almost anything you want to do is possible, because there are so many resources you can use, most covered by your tuition. I was able to go the to recreation center a lot more and used resources and technology throughout campus to start a small business online that I still operate.
Either way, stepping out of your comfort zone, being bold, and taking risks is an excellent way to grow as a person. I know from personal experience that my time at UMass has been well-spent, and a huge reason for that is because I sought discomfort and was willing to push myself to places where I wouldn’t otherwise go.