Bursting Out of My Comfort Zone

Last Spring’s Snowy Semester

The spring semester, my final semester of undergrad, has begun. Students are everywhere, bundled in fashionable layers to withstand the cold windy campus while rushing to class. Of course, along with this rather romantic description of campus I must include the girl wandering around in flip flops defying common sense and making me colder just looking at her toes!

This semester is going to be a change of pace for me. Normally, most of my classes are history courses meaning lots of papers and lots of reading. But, I’ve saved my free electives for this term and it’s thrown me in all sorts of atmospheres in which I feel totally out of place.

History + Art = 🙂

First, let’s talk about Art History. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “Isn’t that just another history course?” No, it is not. This course is offered through the Art Department not the History Department. The first day of class when walking through the syllabus, the class turned to stare at the history major whose jaw hit the floor when the professor offered extra credit for taking notes and even gave a sympathetic excuse for shy students who wanted to skip the presentation assignment. These art kids walk in with their tiny Moleskines and trendy notebooks while I’m sitting there with my college-ruled 30 cent Walmart notebook, thank you very much. Truth be told, I’m wondering why I’ll never be that cool as I roll my jeans up one more cuff.

Then there’s Film as Art. This course is taught by a faculty member from the English Department. The theater style seating is occupied by students from many different majors who all put on their horn rimmed glass, turn up their noses, and talk about how brilliant Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton

is and how some movie you’ve never heard of positively changed their life. I indulge in the occasional pretentious conversation, but I can’t help but be a tad annoyed at my class mates. Perhaps it’s just embarrassment, wondering how I never knew who Buster Keaton was til now and being proud that Pride and Prejudice will always be in my top 5 favorite movies. Regardless, I am thrilled to be in this class and can’t wait to be *that* person after a movie.

Last, I decided to make a healthy choice and enroll in Beginning Running. I sort of knew what I was in for because during the fall I saw the running class going around campus following their fearless leader who stood out on his trail bike. When I walked into class, I suddenly felt that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. All the exercise science students sat there wearing enviable running gear while I had on a tee shirt and basketball style shorts. Toward the end of last semester, the running class disappeared . . . I no longer saw them running when the weather became cold so I assumed they moved to the gym. I dressed for running in the gym. As student after student walked in wearing thermal shirts, toboggans, and gloves I realized I was going to freeze.

Sure enough we ran a mile and a half out in the below-freezing temperature. I was the girl several students ran up to and offered their jackets while others came up to ask if I was cold. If you want to feel like everyone is staring at you, run around a freezing campus in a group of appropriately dressed runners while wearing shorts and a tee shirt. My chilly fingers moved in slow motion after coming back inside.

I’m excited. I like being thrown out of my comfort zone and adapting to new situations. I’m sure I’ll be strutting around in Patagonia and Nike bragging about my time for the five mile race before the semester has ended. Who knows, maybe some of the cool from Art will rub off on me and I’ll be turning up my nose with the best of them at the very mention of an Adam Sandler flick.


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