Trying new things has always been something terrifying for me.
Since suffering from social anxiety and having the fear of large crowds, I would never want to go to a new place by myself.
But for the past few years I have been trying new things to be “braver.”
These small steps could be anything from getting a cup of coffee by myself, eating by myself in a restaurant or even shopping by myself, which is something a lot of people like to do with another person.
The reason why I have been doing this, trying to be more independent and doing things on my own, was because I knew one day I would have to be on my own.
This spring break was a big test on my anxiety.
I reluctantly agreed to go all week with my three other friends to New Orleans.
The old Liz would have said “no” at once and refused to talk about it.
But I am glad I went. I experienced a lot of different cultures all meshed into one.
I even got to hold a baby alligator!
Bourbon Street was crazy, and the ghost stories that the tour guides told were amazing.
The ghost stories were about Marie Laveau the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.
I even got to see the graveyard where her tomb lies. I got to see Marie Delphine LaLaurie, also known as Madame LaLaurie’s, house where she tortured and killed all the slaves that she owned.
I learned how laid-back New Orleans is, and I felt safe there.
I felt way safer than I do when I visit Chicago, but that could also have something to do with who I explored New Orleans with.
Since experiencing New Orleans, I now know that is where I want to end up in the long run.
Tip on trying new things: Do not overthink it. If you start overthinking your actions, you will more than likely not end up doing it.
If I sat down and thought about how dangerous New Orleans is or how long the drive will be or who I would be in the car with for hours on end, I would more than likely not have gone.
If you sit down and overthink the job that you will be applying for and think about how much you do not want the job, even if it is a good entry job, you’ll never apply for it. And we all need jobs after college.
My point is I am glad I went on my spring break trip.
I learned some new things, not only about the city I visited but also about myself.
As in, I can put up with a lot of people in a small space without snapping on anyone.
Since visiting New Orleans, I have also started to apply for jobs, and now I have an interview with one of my prospective employers. Look at me being an adult.
Do not be afraid to try new things. I mean, we all know people who tell us not to be afraid, but seriously, trying new things is not always a bad. New experiences can lead to new adventures, and adventures are always interesting.
Liz Dowell is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]