Comfort zone

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So by now, many of you have settled in to your life at Uni, you’re enjoying your new room, new friends, the course and the 5th gear social life, but wait, what if you’re not entirely happy with some aspect of your new venture, your new flat just isn’t what you expected, or your course doesn’t entail what you initially thought it might.

My initial course choice of Computer Science caused me stress, don’t get me wrong, the course is extremely popular, well planned and has some of the greatest thinkers in the faculty teaching, it just wasn’t for me and I got caught in a loop thinking I had made a choice that would bound me to the subject for eternity. Perhaps you feel now that you have surpassed reading week that maybe your course doesn’t truly fit your expectations of your future career and what you expect out of yourself as a student. The best person to speak to is your peers, re-research other course options and speak to those on it. Find out from them their honest opinions of it and move on to speak to a mentor, or tutor who may have the power to help you transition to a new course. Obviously this has financial and timing set backs. I myself completed the 1st year of my course, before then having to restart a new course. Therefore don’t make the decision light heartedly, but do not let your course be an uphill battle, if you’re really not happy, change.

This being said, the year before my change did allow be to push out the boundaries of my comfort zones, something all new students to University should be achieving, regardless of immediate course choice. Putting yourself outside your comfort zone will help you get better at what ever it is your attempting, weather it be presenting your work to fellow students, volunteering on local projects or going that bit further to build a rapport with all your lecturers. At first, presenting to me was the worst thing in the world. Nerves typically got the better of me so I’d lose track, knowing I couldn’t be that lucky to have the ground swallow me up. BUT, everyone else was the exactly the same. You too probably have encountered similar situation by now. Now being on my placement year, I have lost count of the number of presentations, networking events and projects where I have felt out of my comfort zone, it’s very rare to hear people say they feel completely comfort with things like this but if they do it’s more than likely they are playing safe and not proactively chasing opportunities that will broaden their experiences, as we all know experience comes from as build on experiences.

Just recently on my placement year, I was delegated a task which involves hosting a morning call. The RFS team would receive all new requests for services from the previous day, they would be listed with all their supporting evidences and a large number of people would join the call in order to make several decisions on acceptance, category, value, etc and the process each request would take. I had listened in to many of these calls before, so was familiar with the general procedure however the thought of me hosting the call itself was daunting enough, never mind having to fully immerse myself in an ocean of information to make senior decisions. Regards of having little to no historical knowledge of the project being discussed, having my moments of uncertainly and at times wanting to “accidentally” disconnect from the call, I executed the call well as a first timer. This to date has been one of the most unnerving experiences, as I had never chaired a meeting of such a scale. I feel the better of this now and look forward to building on this experience.

When have you felt out of your comfort zone? Had you done anything like this before? What were the results and how do you feel about the experience now?

I would love to do a Q&A series for my upcoming blogs on absolutely any topic in relation to your academic and social life in Manchester!

So please let me hear from you. E-mail sean.hanna@student.manchester.ac.uk. I’ll respond to everyone who wants advise and will ask permission before publishes anyone’s Qs.

N.B.

To any future students, please read through all course options carefully when applying and email ug-mbs@manchester.ac.uk for as much detail as possible.

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/

All the best

Sean

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