Taking Risks

Have you ever stood at the edge of a diving board, looking at jumping in new water, and been both excited and scared to take a leap even though you know how to swim?

No? Just me? Well let me phrase it a different way: have you ever been ready to go after something, but been both excited and scared at the possibilities?

That has been me this school year. I got a new roommate, a new job, and a new responsibility as Vice President of History Club. It’s been a lot. And that was just last semester!

This semester, I have been taking new risks as well. I applied for a couple of scholarships, I’m looking at a new place to live, and I’m looking at getting another job. (Spoiler alert: I’ll elaborate more on these next week. I’m waiting on a couple things).

I could list so many examples of things I’ve done, but for now, I want to focus on History Club. Last semester, I got tasked with designing our yearly apparel (P.S. they look great, and they were cheap!). Honestly, though, I felt I could have taken bigger risks on them. I wanted to be democratic, so I would ask the other officers’ opinions. As a result, they are not my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, they look cool, but personally, I might have chosen a different color scheme.

Another example of taking risks in History Club is something I’m doing this semester. I’m planning our field trip. I know we had a decent itinerary, but we hit a few bumps in the road. So, I took it upon myself to change some of our plans. Honestly, this way works out cheaper, and will put us back a little bit sooner.

Another risk I can tell you about: a couple of days ago, I got an email. Now, this isn’t unusual as I get a lot of emails throughout the day. However, this one was different. The subject line read: “campus tour guides wanted!” Now, this may be weird, but I have thought it would be so cool to be a tour guide. So, I thought about it for a couple days, and I decided to apply. I filled out the application, and turned it in yesterday. Honestly, it was a big risk for me even just to apply. I’ve settled into a routine with my other job, and it would just be more time management. However, it’s all working out pretty well, because being a tour guide would probably not interfere with my other job at the Alumni Center. I can schedule my classes to have free time during tour guide shift times, and I would stay within the limit a student can work on campus. I have an interview about it next week (nothing crazy, I think they’re giving everyone an interview just to get a better understanding), so I’m really excited about that. I think it will be great for me. However, my blog post will probably already be published by that time, so we’ll see when I  tell you guys about it.

I could tell you about other risks I am taking (like how I’m trying to get back in shape or attempting to develop a skincare routine), but I have separate blog posts planned for that when I get to be where I want. Instead, I want to offer some advice: don’t be afraid to take risks. I’m not saying “please go and do something life-threatening.” No. If you do something life-threatening, don’t be like “Kim told me to” because I most definitely did not. What I mean are harmless risks. Things that you know you should do or could do. For example, I recently wrote this paper about women and communication in the workplace (when I say recently, I mean turned it in today). First of all, that paper itself was a risk because I felt like I was writing blind. I’m not sure if what I wrote is what my professor wants, so we’ll see how it goes. Anyway, in my research, women tend to be more relationship-oriented. This also means that they are less likely to ask for a raise or promotion because they don’t want to seem like a Tall Poppy (look up Tall Poppy Syndrome for more info). As a result, women who are just as or even more qualified than their male counterparts often get overlooked because they aren’t aggressive. That is the kind of risks I am talking about you taking. Things where the worst response you can get is “no”.

We test our limits by taking risks. You never know what you are capable of until you push yourself. Just because something puts you out of your comfort zone does not mean it’s not worth doing. For example, going back to the field trip scheduling. There have been a couple times I have had to call someone. I HATE calling people. Unless it’s someone I’m comfortable with, I really do not enjoy it. However, I have had to do it and make myself uncomfortable because nobody else would do it if I didn’t. So I encourage you: take risks. Test your limits. Find what you are capable of. You never know until you try. So take a deep breath, close your eyes, and jump in.

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