When I started my undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, I was overwhelmed with the new atmosphere. Getting used to the large class sizes and difference in schedules was hard. I was a pretty quiet person and was good at studying and memorizing facts. My routine was going to classes and then going to the library to study in between classes. However it was hard for me to gain leadership and extracurricular experiences as I was intimidated by trying something I was inexperienced at. I was hesitant in going to office hours, getting to know my professors, and asking questions. This can pose a problem especially if you are looking for recommendation letters or research experience.

We all have our anxieties and fears to face. It is important that we don’t avoid them but rather face them and challenge them. Any psychiatrist will tell you avoidance behavior actually makes things so much worse then better. One of the things that helped me was support from my friends and family. I would join clubs with my friends just to feel more comfortable.

To get the most out of your college experience it is important to get out of your comfort zones especially if you want to succeed and reach your potential. In order to do this, it is important to slowly start trying new things step by step. The gradual increase is the key to success in your leadership and extracurricular activities. This prevents burnout and is a great method in measuring how much you can take on while being able to keep up with your studies.