Get out of your comfort zone

This blog was written by Kynedi N. Grier – communications management intern at Hirons and recent graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana.

When I was deciding on a major for my undergraduate degree, I was confident about two things: I love connecting with people and want to have flexibility with my career.

When I decided to attend Xavier University of Louisiana, I selected chemistry as my major. Once I started classes, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to be isolated in a lab for the rest of my life. I did a little soul-searching, and I finally decided to switch to a major in mass communication. Changing majors while already enrolled in a program was a tough decision to make. Looking back on it now, I’m thankful I took a leap of faith to pursue my passion for communications.

At Xavier, I enjoyed a wide circle of professional development experiences and lessons. I strongly encourage college students to do three things: Get outside of your comfort zone, optimize your opportunities and adapt.

1. Get outside of your comfort zone. As an 18-year-old freshman born and raised in the Midwest, relocating to the “The Big Easy” shook my comfort zone to its core. My first internship was with Data News Weekly, a local New Orleans newspaper, as a contributing writer. Through this job, I was able to conduct an impromptu interview with actor Danny Glover. Other internships with AARP and the Louisiana Procurement Agency allowed me to venture throughout the New Orleans community and experience the city’s great culture and people. If I only did things that made me comfortable, I never would have achieved what I did.

2. Optimize your experiences. I have valued optimism since I was a child. It has guided me through the hardest of times and much of my professional development. Similarly, I’ve always tried to optimize every experience. By making the most of a situation, I’ve remained open to life’s possibilities.

3. Learn to adapt. Everything does not go according to plan (if it did, it would actually make me spaz out), but sometimes it seems that nothing ever does. Be open to different possibilities. Through talks with friends and my mentor, I always found a solution to my problem or at least another way to look at it.

Through all the lessons and the classic undergraduate meltdowns, I have grown in more ways than I ever imagined. These experiences not only shaped me personally but also professionally, and I look forward to the next chapter in my life.

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