Stepping out
of Your
Comfort Zone


A common complaint about the younger generations nowadays is that they are always on their phones, always distracted, and are in some way or another ruining communication and our society as we know it. People in these generations typically loathe these comments, especially because they are usually far too harsh. One single group is not causing the downfall of society. Every generation has its pros and cons, and while younger people tend to be more at risk of falling prey to technology, anyone can get caught up in it. The age of social media comes with plenty of perks, but there are also some damaging prospects, especially for those growing up with it.

As someone born just shy of the year 2000, I grew up with going to the park and playing outside as much as I did with a Nintendo console and an iPod. I am confused to see 5-year-olds playing on tablets rather than with toys, but do not understand how the generation before me possibly survived a childhood without a computer. As the years advanced, however, I definitely became more and more consumed by technology. It remains something enjoyable, but as much as I hate to admit it, it does have some lingering negative effects.

My comfort zone, as well as that of many others, is hidden behind a phone screen, avoiding social interaction due to all the worries and anxieties that are piling up inside of me. It’s easier, and a lot of the times more fun, to stay inside rather than go outside and explore new opportunities, especially if you are more of an introvert from the get-go. ISE presents young people with the perfect chance to broaden their horizons and take a huge step out of their comfort zones. This is your time to put away your devices and explore some of the most exciting places the world has to offer.

The bigger steps you take away from you comfort zone, the more little steps will frequently take place. There are cascades of effects that start from the top and trickle down to the bottom. For example, after speaking French often with locals in France, it would be natural to hold conversations with people in French back home in Canada. All of these decisions combined will bring about a positive change in yourself that will help you to achieve more of your life goals. Growing in independence and comfort with yourself starts with doing all those things that you are scared of and adapting to them.

If you have always been an extrovert, you may not be so anxious about a lot of the things that come with our exchanges. However, there are surely some worries that come with doing something this big that will take you out of your comfort zone, and that’s a good thing! Travelling to a different country for so long would be scary for anyone, but growing comfortable with new situations and adventures will only give you more opportunities to live life to the fullest later.

Stepping out of your comfort zone also does not mean doing it all on your own. While you have to be the one to decide on taking that big step, there will be people along the way to help you from stumbling. Your own family and your partner’s family will be there to help you with anything new that may be concerning, and they will make it less scary. While you may feel alone when you are deviating from your personal norms, that’s never truly the case.

By participating in an ISE Ontario Exchange, you are taking a huge step that will pull you out of that comfort zone you as a young person are so used to. Remove yourself from your devices, prove anyone who doubts you wrong, and discover things that others will never have the chance to see. Take risks, travel far, and be thankful when you gain memories that will last a lifetime.

By Sarah Zeran