Pop the Baylor bubble

By Lily Nussbaum | Social Media Editor

“Baylor bubble” is a phrase often used within the Baylor community. And while many students may roll their eyes or deny it exists, the reality is that there is one. By staying on the campus side of Interstate 35, many students like myself are robbing themselves of unique experiences for discovery and connection.

I think the idea of getting out of the Baylor bubble correlates with expanding your comfort zone. According to Dr. Abigail Brenner, a comfort zone is “a psychological/emotional/behavioral construct that defines the routine of our daily life.” A comfort zone isn’t necessarily a physical location, but rather a feeling of “familiarity, safety and security.”

For many students, including myself, I would say Baylor and its surrounding neighborhoods are a comfort zone. I know my best friend is just a block away, ready to attend to my needs. I know my favorite sub is located just five minutes down La Salle. Also, all the organizations I am a part of meet on campus.

Now, as pointed out by Brenner, a comfort zone is healthy and important, but expanding or stepping out of it can enable you to reap many benefits by discovering growing experiences, untapped resources and skills for dealing with change.

For one of my classes this semester, I had to select an internship from a list of locations. One of them was the Waco Civic Theatre. To be frank, I didn’t even know Waco had a theater until I saw it listed, and as a theater kid, I was kind of embarrassed I didn’t know it existed.

Since starting my internship with the Waco Civic Theatre, my eyes have been opened to communities that exist outside of the Baylor’s campus. This isn’t just a shameless self-promo for the theater, but it is one example of a place and experience I wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t pushed outside my comfort zone. Now I want to participate in a show, as I’ve been inspired by the people I’ve met.

In Waco, there are hundreds of institutions and organizations that offer a community to tap into that will give you the opportunity to get out of the Baylor bubble. For example, Bicycle World Texas hosts the Weekly Waco Bicycle Club. Similarly, Act Locally Waco features Waco Walks — an informal group that puts on walks around the community like the 25th Street Past, Present & Future and Wonderland Parade.

Those are just two examples of probably a hundred, and if a consistently meeting group doesn’t sound like your thing, try attending just one event. For example, I went to Charro Day at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in October. I am neither a part of the church nor Catholic in the first place, but it was wonderful to watch the musical performances and walk through all the stalls. I definitely spent too much money on tacos and agua fresca.

All this is to say: follow social media accounts like the Wacoan and Waco Wise to see what’s going on daily in the Waco community. Also, check out the Lariat’s own What to Do in Waco, which lists weekly events going on in town that you might not have been aware of. Pop the bubble and try something new.