How to find comfort in being uncomfortable: breathe

Valerie Davis

Breathe. Just breathe.Ever since the first day of classes as a first-year just four weeks ago, these three words have been crucial to almost every aspect of my life.

Since arriving at UVM, my life has become completely different. I have no choice but to step outside of my comfort zone and seek out new experiences.

Two things have popped into my head recently. The first is that I feel like a lost and confused puppy compared to all of these mature Great Danes around me.

Everyone, underclassmen and upperclassmen alike, seem to know what they are doing, where they are going and most importantly, who they are.

This leads me to my second thought: everyone looks so comfortable.

Being comfortable is affording or enjoying contentment and security, according to Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

I’m usually familiar with this feeling, but I haven’t felt it recently.

Moving away from home and receiving a new class workload have been big changes in my life.

Each student at UVM  is experiencing their new schedule for the semester, and everyone has their own agenda for studying and homework.

But as a first-year, it has been hard to find the best times and places to do schoolwork.

The library seems like a great option at first sight.

Still, I also see students working inside a common room, or even outside on the grass.

It seems like everyone has “their spot” when all I need is to find a place to scribble down notes for my lecture in 30 minutes.

I’m not going to lie; the transition to UVM has been scary for me. It still is very scary.

The college workload seems to be quite different from high school, and I’m starting to realize how naive I have been.

Everyone is uncomfortable because it is the beginning of a new school year.

And I’m learning that this is okay.

I do not know why or how I have looked at people around me and thought, “Wow, they really have their life together.”

As every day goes by, I’m noticing that many, many first-years are not even close to being 100 percent comfortable yet. In fact, no one is.

As I’ve talked to more upperclassmen, I’m learning that they are all messes as well, and they do not have their life together at all. I think I may be too happy about this.

To my fellow first years, we are coming up on four weeks of being here which, in the scheme of things, is an incredibly short amount of time.

First years have so much time ahead of them to make this place feel more like home.

Adjustment is a process that does not occur quickly; especially when we are thrust into a new environment with 10,000 other students who all need to do laundry on their own too.

What I am learning is that it is okay to feel uncomfortable.

All of us should find comfort in the uncomfortable because if we cannot do that, then we will never succeed at all.

Next time you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed with any sort of school work, close your eyes and focus on three words.

Breathe. Just breathe.