Drop the fear of challenges

New classes are beginning, and everyone is trying to make their schedules as bearable as possible. Be prepared when that 100-level science class you selected to fulfill your science requirement ends up being 5th grade all over again –without the fun of baking soda volcanoes.

Save yourself the drool and backpack prints on your face and seek out a challenge instead. Don’t be so quick to run away when a professor warns students that not many will receive an ‘A,’ or that the workload will be particularly heavy, or that by the end of the semester everyone who chooses to stay will wish they’d never been born.

If the class content truly intrigues you, and you feel that knowledge of the subject will enhance your intelligence or open doors to new ideas and concepts (which is really why you’re paying so much to get an education in the first place), then why not take a chance? Maybe your opportunities depend on it.

I was once enrolled in an international relations course, but because the syllabus looked scary and the professor seemed stern, I dropped it. I couldn’t take it – even the emails gave me anxiety. I felt like I wouldn’t have enough time to put into this class that wasn’t guaranteed to benefit my future career.

Now I wish I had toughed it out. I ended up with a less compelling class that I knew I could get an ‘A’ in, but in the end, I didn’t feel smug for outsmarting the system by taking a class that was worth just as much on paper as an intimidating one.

Instead, I felt stupid because I had actually cheated myself in terms of learning about something that could have enriched my life. That “scary” class might have led to an entirely different outlook on what I want to be and accomplish.

The desire to take an easy course can make you miss out on knowledge that requires a bit more grit. Talk yourself through your doubts. Remind yourself that you have a better chance of succeeding than failing, because if you’re putting everything into making the former happen, you lessen the odds of the latter.

Worse than failing is not giving yourself the opportunity to exceed your own expectations. And when we don’t take on challenges, we stunt our own growth.

While the easy route is safe, the challenge is fruitful, no matter the outcome. Only when curiosity conquers self-doubt do you realize the limitlessness of yourself.


Hunter Wright is a sophomore majoring in creative writing.