Uncomfortable Week 1: Holding a Conversation

This week’s venture out of my comfort zone included having extended conversations with multiple faculty/staff members, because I am finalizing my study abroad trip to Italy!

Face-to-face conversations with professionals is something that I dread (and that I really need to improve on). However, in order to go on the trip this summer, I have had to communicate with quite a few members of PSU’s faculty and staff, as well as file an extraordinary amount of paperwork. Just thinking about either of those induce an involuntary shiver in my spine, but two weeks in Rome and Florence most definitely outweigh my reservations.

While in Italy, the group I will be with will be studying sensory aesthetics – a fancy way of saying that I will be drinking a lot of wine (what quantifies “a lot,” exactly?), eating a lot of food, and admiring a lot of artwork all in the name of science. After all of that grueling coursework, I will have to prepare a presentation on olfactory sensitivity based on my experience in the fall semester.

I think that I can honestly say pushing myself outside of my comfort zone has paid off well more than it’s worth this time. Although I doubt anything else I do outside of my beloved zone of comfort this semester will be quite as exciting, hopefully the consequences of it stay just as positive!




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