Take college by storm: Get out of your dorm

By Jackson Posey | Sports Writer

It’s easy to stick with what’s familiar.

There’s a reason it’s called a comfort zone: It’s comfortablethere. Why do something else when you’re perfectly fine where you are? But an overreliance on the familiar breeds stagnation and isolation. And as tempting as it can be to take the road most traveled, there’s nothing new there. It’ll lead us right back where we came from, without the excitement of novelty to sustain us.

Staying alone in your dorm room can often feel like the path of least resistance. It’s hard to forge strong friendships, particularly early on, which can make gaming alone seem like a more appealing proposition than finding a pickup basketball game at the McLane Student Life Center or meeting people in the Bill Daniel Student Center.

It isn’t that spending time alone is wrong. Everyone needs to recharge. But when “recharging” becomes a go-to activity, we need a paradigm shift. Fulfillment comes through relationships and community; isolation compounds bad habits and leaves us more lonely than ever.

I’m as introverted as they come, and I spent much of my first year alone in my dorm room, studying, gaming or scrolling on Twitter (mostly the latter), but it left me empty. I had to create a rule for myself: Every time I was invited to do something, assuming it passed my moral compass’ sniff test, I said yes. No matter how badly I wanted to nap, I showed up, pushing myself out of my comfort zone for my own sake.

Shocker: It worked. There are enough kind people on campus — many of whom are just as isolated as we introverts can feel — that a simple conversation can go a long way. Even beyond our own situations, if a simple acknowledgment of another person’s humanity can help them in any way, we’re obliged to make it — if not for our sake, for theirs.

In the Bible, King Solomon urges readers not to neglect the value of relationships. None of us are self-sufficient, he says in Ecclesiastes 4. “Two are better than one” because “if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.”

Making friends isn’t easy. But the next time you’re sitting alone in your dorm room, lamenting your lack of community, leave. Get out of your space and get out of your comfort zone. Sure, it’s more comfortable to read a novel in bed than on Fountain Mall or in the SUB. But there’s beauty between the known and the unknown, and living in that tension is always worth it.