Leibee: There is something to be said for getting out of comfort zones

Katrina Leibee

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

No one wants to acknowledge it, but school will start again soon. We will all have to filter back into dorm rooms and apartments and open up the doors of lecture halls and classrooms. When I ask people if they are ready to go back to school, they generally respond with something along the lines of “I’m so comfortable with my summer routine, and I hate to have to change that again.”


That is a valid point. Routines and the familiar become our safe havens, and while they are warm and cozy, they do nothing for us. The day before my first day of freshman year in college, I told a nervous friend, “If you are not uncomfortable, you’re not growing.” She said that calmed her down tremendously. 

Everyone could stand to take that lesson a little more seriously. There was a scientific study at Yale that proved our brains don’t really learn anything if we are always in our comfort zones, performing the same activities and following the same routines daily. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

We all had to try walking, eating and talking for the first time at some point in our lives in order to actually do it and have those tasks become natural. 

Coming to Colorado State University was one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever done. Suddenly a new routine with new people were thrown at me — new ideas and viewpoints were taught and talked about every single day. At first I was hesitant to understand, but I learned more in one year of being at CSU than I ever did in any of my years in high school.

I challenge everyone to always consider the opposite of what you think you believe. It is something I always try to do because you never know truly who you are until you know who you are not. 

At CSU, every idea I had and opinion I expressed was challenged. Suddenly there were a million different sides to everything.

To new freshman entering CSU, the principles of community and the passion for inclusivity is a new thing, and their transition to understanding is going to be an uncomfortable process that shouldn’t be forced. To those that have already been at CSU for years, the idea of new people entering, who might challenge the world they have lived in for four years, is also uncomfortable.

Every advancement we have ever made in society was met with a certain level of discomfort. Every push forward we made for suffrage was pushed back because it made people uncomfortable to consider something so new. The push to put more restrictive laws on guns is met with backlash, mostly because this is a freedom people have had since the beginning of this country, and the thought of having it any other way is ultimately uncomfortable.

Every new political idea is going to be challenged and immediately dismissed because the thought of changing the country from the way it has always been, to some, is an extremely uncomfortable process.

The goal should never be to cancel the people whose viewpoints aren’t the same as ours, who challenge our ways of thinking or who haven’t been through the same things as us. The goal should be to jump into discomfort head first and become wiser because of it, even if all of your morals and things you see as right tell you the opposite.

I challenge everyone to always consider the opposite of what you think you believe. It is something I always try to do because you never know truly who you are until you know who you are not. 


They’re called growing pains for a reason. No one wants to step outside a bubble they have created for themselves where they are always right. The only way for life, knowledge and relationships to grow is to experience discomfort and accept it completely. That unsettling feeling of uncertainty won’t last, but the growth inside you will.

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.