I wanted to write this blog post because I was inspired by a quick but very thoughtful email we received from a student. I’ll include a snippet of the email below, but the gist of it was that she just completed week three of our French semester and was so happy that she got out of her comfort zone and tried something new. She had always wanted to learn a new language, in fact really, who doesn’t see some benefit in their life by knowing a second language?! But more importantly she wanted to venture out to meet new friends that were just like her. In can be hard in NYC to make new friends, or at least friends that share the same passions, energy and hobbies. Fortunately, our “Community” that continues to grow has become an awesome, welcoming place to do just that! But enough about that, this is about her and finding the courage to jump in and try something new. Let’s face it, it can be scary to venture out on your own to meet a group of new people! What if everyone already knows each other? What if it’s a bunch of weird people that I wasn’t expecting? What if they don’t like me? What if what if what if…
I wanted to share a small portion of her email in hopes to inspire you to step out of your comfort zone, embrace the fear, get out and meet some incredible new people and do cool things.
“My City Speakeasy class is going great! We just finished the wine tasting immersion event and seriously….where did you guys find that place? It is so cute and amazing and I’m finally learning French! But the best part is that I’ve made some really great friends through class. I’m not typically an adventurous person and don’t usually sign up for things like this by myself, but I was really looking to meet some new people in the city. I am sooooo glad that I decided to do it. In fact, I can’t even imagine missing out on this now. I should’ve signed up a long time ago. The best part is how easy it is to make friends through the class. I felt like all I did was show up and the system you have in place automatically makes you socialize, but not in a weird awkward way! And after the wine “tasting”, btw you should change it to “wine multiple glass drinking” class!, I feel like we have been friends forever! So much fun, but work was tough the next morning. Totally worth it! Anyway I’m so glad I decided to click the sign up button and wanted to say thanks!” –Ashley
It will always be a little scary to walk alone into a room full of strangers but look at the outcome that Ashley had. She could’ve said no, next time or I’ll sign up later, and she would’ve missed out on great experiences and a whole new social group to hang out with not to mention a solid foundation for learning a language! So I encourage you to jump in, be brave and always sign up! You never know what you could be missing out on! And really…it’s never as difficult as we make ourselves believe right? You can check out all of our upcoming 10 week foreign language classes and see which one works best for you.
So I’ll leave you with a quick tip that a great friend of mine taught me a long time ago. He was in the military and as you can imagine was out of his comfort zone on a daily basis. He used an example of jumping out of a plane, but it applies to any situation you have to decide to either go for it or back down. “Saying 3,2,1 is not the way to go. Counting down creates an overwhelming amount of anxiety and makes you lose focus on the task. Rather, walk to the edge, take a deep breathe in and perform and say to yourself ‘Look up, look down, look right then jump!!” It really does work! Try it out for yourself. Next time you want to talk to that good looking person at a bar, speaking with your boss, jumping out of a plane or even signing up for a social language class!
Thanks for reading and hope to see you out of your comfort zone soon!
Up, down, right, JUMP!
– John Matthews