Although this will be my last lesson in the “What My First Year Taught Me” series, my personal stories and advice don’t stop here. Most of my upcoming posts are geared toward specific lessons I have learned and things to keep an open mind to, so I hope you will continue reading and providing feedback.
Today, I want to talk specifically about stepping out of your comfort zone and being involved at your school. Being involved was by far the best decision I ever made during my first year. If you recall, I disclosed myself to be an ESFJ during my introductory post. So naturally, I looked for opportunities to put myself out there and work on things I’m passionate about. Why? I’ve learned so many new things about myself in the process and worked together with others who want to make a difference.
Tip #1: CHECK your EMAILS. If I never checked my email, then I wouldn’t be involved with a single thing. In order to get involved, you want to be informed; so checking your emails is KEY for this. If there is an event or meeting I am interested in attending, I always mark it in my calendar, so I don’t miss out. Conveniently, meetings were always scheduled during lunch, so free lunch and hear about something you’re interested in? It’s a win-win.
Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, putting yourself out there can be scary and intimidating. But I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone because you may miss out on an incredible opportunity if you don’t. For example, I reached out to the Anesthesia Interest Group (AIG) President (who happened to be an M4) to let him know I was interested in anesthesia and wanted to be involved. He asked me what he could do to be helpful and asked if I had any suggestions for the group. I met with him one-on-one to talk through my ideas and what I hoped to get out of AIG. He proceeded to ask me how I planned to implement my ideas, and before I knew it, I was offered the position of AIG President. All of that to say, I would’ve never received such an opportunity to grow as a leader if I didn’t put myself out there and step out of my comfort zone.
Lesson #3: Challenge yourself by getting involved—you’d be surprised.