Leaning into the Discomfort

Lesley Goodaker

For most people, coming to college is extremely intimidating. Everywhere you turn, it seems like it’s new people, new places, new classes—new everything! This was especially true for me my freshman year. Move-in day was only the second time I had been to Transylvania, let alone, Lexington. Add to that the fear of being three and a half hours from home and the pressure of knowing only one other person on campus, this self-proclaimed introvert continuously found herself on the edge of discomfort. So, suffice to say, I know a thing or two about stepping outside of your comfort zone—and my advice? Embrace it!

  • Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself first. Sometimes, Transy’s smaller size can be intimidating. Take the initiative to get to know your peers (especially during August term)! I know it can be nerve-wracking, but if you push yourself just a little and do something as small as saying hi to someone you met in the greet line, people will remember you.
  • Be yourself! A lot of people get stuck on the mindset that they have to act a certain way to make new friends in college; however, that’s simply not the case. Don’t be afraid of what others might think of you. Embrace the qualities, likes, dislikes, and hobbies that make you who you are. Chances are, you’ll find someone who feels the same!
  • Join organizations similar to (or completely different from) the ones you were a member of in high school! College campuses can be overwhelming with so many new faces; however, Transy’s intimate setting lends itself well to building relationships fast. By joining a club on campus, you’ll be able to hone in on smaller groups of people with similar interests as you that you can really get to know.
  • You’re not alone! Homesickness is an inevitable part of transition to college for many students. Luckily, at Transy, you’re not alone. During August term, you’ll meet Resident Advisors, August Term Scholars, faculty/staff, and other students who are willing to lend a helping hand when homesickness starts to set in. Before long, you’ll be having so much fun playing sand volleyball, reading your favorite book under  nice shade tree, or hanging out with your hallmates, that missing home will be a thing of the past.

Whether it’s introducing yourself to a classmate, trying your hand a sand volleyball, or getting a group together to head downtown for a scoop of ice cream, always remember to lean into the discomfort. I promise, the benefits you’ll reap from these interactions far outweigh the millisecond of uncertainty or anxiety you might feel.