Moving Out Of Your Comfort (And Time) Zone

By Caroline Nelson, Philanthropy Chair

Los Angeles

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I have two internships this summer in Los Angeles. I am 3,000 miles away and three hours behind ANYTHING remotely familiar.

I live with a girl I found on Craigslist in April, and I knew about two people out here before I arrived. I cried non-stop for the first day I was here alone and kept thinking, “This is the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life.”

I struggled at first, but I can now say this has been an incredible journey. I am not saying it has been easy, or that I don’t miss the east coast. I am counting down the days till I fly home and return to Penn State. However, this is the best thing I have ever done for myself. It has been an adventure and a half and I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

I am not going to pretend I am in any position to give professional advice, I am 21 years old like most as you. But, I want you to consider something: consider completely moving out of your comfort zone.

When I hopped of the plane at LAX, I wanted to run to the ticket counter and buy a ticket back to Washington, D.C. That feeling did not fade, and I would be a liar if I said I still don’t think about doing that from time to time. However, my adventures and experiences out here have been incredible.

Having two internships has been amazing. I work at an extremely small PR firm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and another small firm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both have given me insight and experiences I could not have received anywhere else. I have met some incredible people who are amazingly different from those I know and miss on the east coast.

I have to be honest, although LA has been great, I will probably never come back. It just doesn’t fit me. But it’s been a summer filled with unforgettable moments and a lot of unforgettable mistakes, both at work and outside of work.

Don’t let fear stop you from experiencing a world outside of your own, you could fall flat on your face, but that’s OK. Seriously, I know! So all I ask is once in your life, step out of your comfort zone, completely. It will enrich your life in ways you cannot imagine.

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