This summer we had new phones installed in our office. One would think, "it is just a phone! Pick up when it rings, and dial when you need to call". Although it sounds so very simple, there was this great fear of this new device. My thought process was, I am familiar with the "old phone". I know how it works, I know why it does not work, and I can trouble shoot without a problem. This new instrument was a different beast. It was sleek and grey. Had more buttons than to just answer or dial. Had flashing lights, redial and hold buttons, voice mail and so much more.... Hold on, this is not what I signed up for.
We can all relate to a new experience that takes us out of our comfort zone. A new venture that stretches how we have done things and require us to adapt and learn new ways. This small instrument that seems so familiar and benign was escalating my stress level.
Did I survive? Yes, I am writing about it. The lesson is not to let fear of the unknown (big or small) make us retreat and not try. Our fears can be conquered, even though not sometimes overcome (that's another story). They also prepare us for future challenges that will surely come. So, what am I saying? If and when you call and you get disconnected, try again. I'm still learning.
As you prepare for midterm exams and feel the strains of a new academic subject, think about all of the previous challenges that you have overcome: attending an institution of 45,000 students; taking the campus CATA and not get lost, making and keeping new friends, and so on… Those may seem like small victories, but all are important in making you who you are and where you are now. So, don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from moving forward and meeting all new challenges with a smile and a new determination to overcome it. Good luck on your upcoming midterms!!