[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”4/5″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]I cannot believe this semester is almost over. That means that 5/8 of my time here is almost complete. WOW.

Today I want to write about the importance of saying “yes” to stepping out of your comfort zone. If there is one piece of advice I can give to you at this point in my life, it’s that constantly pushing yourself to be better, no matter how hard it may be, is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Trust me–time flies. When I think of freshman Natalie versus current Natalie, I see a tremendous difference. My experiences at USC have shaped me into someone I didn’t even know I had the potential to be.

If you’re like me and have big dreams for what you can do to have an impact in college and beyond, here’s some advice I can give to you:

1. Say “yes” to carving new paths as a college student.

Before coming to USC, I had no idea that pursuing research was something that I would even have the opportunity to do in college. Now, I’m working under two different research institutes and will pursue a directed research project next semester with my friend who is pursuing a BFA in Dance. How cool is it that we connected as friends and are now exploring new territories together? Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and spark new discussions.

2. Say “yes” to coffee dates with new people.

Although it’s often scary to reach out to someone you may not know very well, many people will be happy to connect with you over coffee (or milkshakes, tacos, salads–whatever it may be!). During my beginnings at USC, I would often step out of my comfort zone by asking people I admire to grab a quick cup of coffee, and these meetings would often lead to new connections. Even though I’m older now, I still do the same thing, but I’m also meeting with people younger than I am to give them some of my own advice. It comes full circle when you push yourself to connect with people this way. And who can say “no” to getting caffeinated with new friends?!

3. Say “yes” to things you would normally say “no” to.

Many of the activities I am doing on campus now would not have been possible if I didn’t say “yes” to meeting new people, going to my professors’ office hours, or attending events on-campus to discover new things about myself. It takes courage to put yourself out of your comfort zone, but doing so has made my college experience much more fulfilling.

Here’s to saying “yes” to your best USC experience! I am pushing hard to reach the end of the semester, and I can’t wait to come back after the break refreshed and ready to take on more challenges. Hope y’all are having a great holiday season![/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/5″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h5″ looks_like=”h5″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-center” style=”color: hsl(0, 95%, 18%);”]About the Author[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=”circle” src=”https://viterbivoices.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Natalie-Monger-1.jpg” alt=”” link=”true” href=”#https://viterbivoices.usc.edu/author/natalie” title=”” target=”blank” info=”popover” info_place=”bottom” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”Natalie Computer Science/Business ’19”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-center”]Natalie is a junior studying Computer Science/Business and Dance. Click the photo above to find out more. [/cs_text][cs_icon_list][cs_icon_list_item title=”@natalieusc” type=”instagram” link_enabled=”true” link_url=”#” link_title=”@bethany” link_new_tab=”true” style=”font-size:18px;”]@natalieusc[/cs_icon_list_item][/cs_icon_list][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” class=”cs-ta-left” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column bg_color=”hsla(0, 27%, 74%, 0.03)” fade=”true” fade_animation=”in-from-bottom” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”true” class=”cs-ta-center” style=”color: hsl(0, 96%, 23%);”]More From Viterbi Students[/x_custom_headline][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_recent_posts type=”post” count=”2″ offset=”” category=”” orientation=”horizontal” no_sticky=”true” no_image=”false” fade=”true”][x_recent_posts type=”post” count=”2″ offset=”2″ category=”” orientation=”horizontal” no_sticky=”true” no_image=”false” fade=”true”][x_recent_posts type=”post” count=”2″ offset=”4″ category=”” orientation=”horizontal” no_sticky=”true” no_image=”false” fade=”true”][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]