Throughout my life, I have heard teachers and instructors use the phrase, "step out of your comfort zone" but I have never fully understood how it felt to do so until today at the Ropes Course. I have always been bottled up in my comfort zone because I like it there but if you're always inside it, how do you know what the outside is like? This is what happened to me today because although I was afraid and nervous, my team mates were there to support and motivate me. They never pressured me to do anything that I was uncomfortable with so I felt that I accomplish my goal of challenging myself by choice and not volunteered by others. First of all, there was an activity called the "Willow in the Wind," a game that shows how much you trust your fellow peers and how much they trust you. From then on, the rest of the activities went by trust and leadership. Each activity focused on a different type of leadership and different aspects which really helped us all be aware of what kind of leadership skills we needed to improve and such. Overall, I really appreciate how although we are all from different backgrounds, we can still collaborate and compromise within our group and I think that is a significant characteristic that needs to be found in a leader. Also, whenever we failed, we did not think of it as failing because we just shook it off and were like let's try again. There was no negative feelings in the atmosphere which was why we accomplished a lot in the Ropes Course.
From this experience, I feel confident that I can be a leader and bring all that I have learned back to my community. Being here overall have made me more confident in myself and made me a stronger person. I now understand other people's background more and even though they have much more privileges than us, they still go through their own types of struggles. I believe that learning about diversity and its effect on leadership has made me realize a lot of things in life. This is a great eye opener as well as learning about one-self. I hope to continue to build the confidence that I am already building to an extent where I can go back to Richmond with a positive attitude about 'change.' It has to start with someone and that someone is me.
The 2017 Vanderbilt Cohort Has Been Selected
8 months ago