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Comfortably Uncomfortable

During my tour at Tufts University in Boston, my tour guide said something that really struck  me. He said that the academics at Tufts felt like a combination of being challenged and receiving a hug all at once. He went on to talk about how their rigorous courses push students to break outside of their comfort zone, but the professors provide an environment where being uncomfortable is made comfortable. That really got me thinking. Is there a way to be at home with uncertainty? To be at peace with unfamiliarity, and to want to be uncomfortable? In a way, that is what any college experience should be about. I, for one, know that when I take the leap into college and the adult world, I will want to be challenged. I want to look at something from all angles and understand every point of view. I think that we cannot grow until we break out of our comfort zones. I have always believed that, and here was my fabulous, insightful tour guide saying exactly that. His passion for challenging himself was exciting. It was contagious. Challenging myself and jumping outside of my comfort zone is a philosophy I try to live and learn by, and it is exciting to see universities that support and encourage that ideology.

Emerson Tenney

Emerson Tenney

Emerson is a junior in high school. She loves literature and is passionate about writing, poetry in particular. When she is not playing the drums, participating in school musical theater, or training for marathons, you can find her with her friends checking out vintage records and used book stores in Hollywood.


Joana Sofia

I stayed in my hometown when I went to University. It was the only one, besides a private, that had my license degree. (It’s crazy that you’re junior high and already visiting campus! I only thought about in the last semester of senior year). I had my room, my bed, my parents… but not my friends. I was uncomfortable comfortably. My town but not my friends. Then there was Lisbon and an internship that turned into my first job. I was comfortably uncomfortable. New town, new people, new responsibilities – I was working at the #1 station in the country after all! Datelines turning into “minlines”! Everything had be ready to be on air on the minute! I grew up a lot during those 9 months and just like your tour guide said I break out of my comfort zone even though I was doing what I loved. Then come my Master and with that a town I had only been at once before (school trip). So unlike Lisbon, this time I didn’t know the place I was going to live for the next 2 years. And that was a challenge all on its own. Along with meeting new people and breaking my own fears. It was a new me that entered those doors. But luckily all the professors and the students, who studied there previously, made us (the outsiders) feel at home. Breakthrough of your comfort zone is only going to make you realize and connect with your inner self. But you’re also gonna find new loves and new adventures. And all those things that you deeply believe in will only get stronger. It’s going to be tough. But it’s a wonderful ride! Believe me when I say there will be times you wish you could throw your computer out of the window and that coffee will be your new best friend! Regardless of where you decide to go, which school you decide to apply for one thing I’m sure: you will do great.

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