Student Success · Thoughts from Tutors

Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

By Matt Trela, Master Tutor

When I reapplied to be a Master Tutor for my second semester, a question on the application read: “What advice would you give to a new Master Tutor?”. After giving it some thought, I answered that any prospective MT would need to buckle up, enjoy the ride, and be prepared to take a step out of their comfort zone. Then another step, and another….

I didn’t give that too much more thought until this semester (my final one at Texas Tech) when I began to reflect back on my college experiences. I tell anyone and everyone who will listen that my time as a tutor at the TECHniques Center has had the single biggest impact on who I am as a person over the last three years, and leaving my “comfort zone” at the door has been a big reason why.

A young man surfs in a wave

Prior to working at the TC, I was primarily a quiet, reserved person who did what needed to be done and moved on. My first two semesters at the TC were similar, where I “ran in”, tutored, then “ran out” as soon as I was done. It wasn’t until I applied and was accepted for a Master Tutor position that I began to realize just how useful stepping outside of my comfort zone could be. Suddenly my involvement at the TECHniques Center was much greater, and I felt a new sense of responsibility and pride towards my work.

Whether it is academically trying a new study technique or note-taking strategy, personally trying a new food or joining an organization on campus, or professionally jumping head first into a new role with increased responsibilities, I now am a strong advocate for people trying new things. As I prepare to graduate and start my full-time job in a few short months, I am incredibly indebted to my time at the TECHniques Center for helping me reach my full potential through taking a step out of my comfort zone. Then another step…. And another.

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