Category:  Thoughts

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

I’ve attended private school all my life. I went to a Catholic grade school, a Catholic high school and I even decided to attend a Catholic college. I chose Cabrini College because it was something that I was used to. I enjoyed the small class sizes and the small-school atmosphere because that is what I was surrounded by all my life.

Entering my junior year, I remembered listening to some public speakers come into my classes and talk about The Washington Center. It sounded enticing and exciting. I was so used to this comfortable bubble that I lived in that I didn’t know how to find my way out. This was my opportunity.

I got into the program and was offered the internship at Tricom within a few months of my decision. I don’t think I have ever been so nervous to leave, but I was ready. My mom dropped me off and I was on my own. The first thing I learned was how to adapt. I had to adjust to the city, my apartment and my new roommates. I had to learn the metro system map and figure out which areas were safe and which were not. I had to learn the characteristics of my roommates and work around some of their habits that bothered me. I had to do my own grocery shopping and not just stop at McDonald’s everyday. It was a true test but a great learning experience.

I also had to work hard. I entered the program honestly thinking this would be my easiest semester of my college career. I was wrong. Try juggling a fulltime internship while also attending programming sessions, taking a class and working on civic engagement projects. There were many sleepless nights, but nights where I truly tested my abilities as a student and an intern.

At Tricom, I learned how to properly manage my time. I learned how to create media lists, write press releases, master social media, research clients, build chairs and even set up a phone line (bet you weren’t expecting the last two). Working with Tricom didn’t give me work experience; it gave me life experience.

Altogether, I learned a lot about myself this semester. I learned what my work ethic is outside of the classroom. I learned which attributes I have that I am very strong in and which I need to work on. I learned what it takes to work at a public relations firm and the tools necessary to succeed in this business.

I’m going to remember The Washington Center and Tricom for the rest of my life because it played a huge role in my maturation into adulthood. It gave me an opportunity to experience something outside of my comfort zone. I encourage everyone to find the opportunities in your life to get away and truly figure out who you are. You won’t regret it.

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