OPINION: Why students should step out of comfort zones and embrace adventure

This week, a man jumped out of a tiny metal container twenty-five miles above the surface of the earth. He fell at nearly 1,000 mph before being slowed by a thickening atmosphere and what appeared to be a very small parachute. Watching this live on my laptop made me wonder if I would ever do anything this cool or adventurous in my entire life. Realistically, the answer is no—I will probably not climb Everest or parachute from outer space. But this doesn’t mean we all can’t embrace having a sense of adventure in our own lives. 

Instead of reading about cool things other people do, we should all be out doing activities like these ourselves. While I am sure they have not been the same as visiting the bottom of the Marianas Trench or edge of space, I’ve loved my scuba diving and skydiving experiences. Heading out to the Appalachian Mountains is a lot cheaper, closer and safer than the Himalayas, and there is a stunning view of the Shenandoah Valley. 
H. Jackson Brown wrote “when you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.” So everyone take a deep breath, and take a moment to step outside the comfort zone of your daily routine for a bit.
As college students, we are lucky enough to still have the luxury of having more than two weeks of vacation time a year. We should all be using part of our free time on adventures that will become great stories later. Backpacking around, staying in hostels and living on dollars a day makes a much better story than watching all of Breaking Bad on Netflix. Learning a cool new trick or skill will be much more interesting later in life than how many likes you have on Facebook. We live in a beautiful world which few of us spend enough time enjoying or appreciating. Instead of sitting inside, head out and go for a walk, run or bike ride. Find a cheap ticket heading to a new place and head off. Study abroad to learn and experience things you never could have experienced staying here at Mason. Try a new sport, join a club, get lost in the woods for a while—hopefully not incurably lost, though. Sometimes the best experiences in life can be the ones you’re most apprehensive about or are the most different. Take a deep breath, open that capsule door and jump. 

Opinions expressed in this column are solely the beliefs of the writer. 

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