Say Buh-Bye to Being Stuck: Add Some “Strangeness” in Your Life


“Life is an experiment. More experiments make you better”

Ralph Waldo Emmerson

We are officially counting down to the new academic year. Next week you get a second chance to create a great academic year for yourself. No matter what your experience has been in the past, let it go, see it as learning and necessary for making you who you are, but make a powerful decision to take charge of your life. Take some calculated risks that enhance your life and, possibly, bring a welcome surprise to your life.

“Getting out of your psychological comfort zone”

Want to create awesome unexpected surprises in your life? Well, start by getting out of your psychological comfort zone. The whole purpose is to experiment, a little, by trying things that scare you a bit and move you out of the behavioural habits that keep you in an anxiety-neutral position. I am not saying move out completely! That would be awful! Comfort zones have a bunch of benefits. I am suggesting that you just hokey pokey your way out, once-in-a-while, make yourself a wee bit uncomfortable and see what happens.

Getting Started:
Watch this TedTalk about the value of talking to strangers.


Why You Should Talk to Stranger

“When you talk to strangers, you’re making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs,” says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

Moral of the Story…

Talking to strangers creates “beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life. You are making unexpected connections”. Make some connections on campus. This makes you more involved, connected and engaged as a student. Research supports that campus engaged students are successful students.

Strangers on Campus

Start talking to “strangers” when at school if you want to feel more connected to your campus community. When standing in lines or in waiting areas, take a moment to say “hi” to someone and ask what program they are in. Say random “hellos or good mornings” to people as you walk by. Go out of your way to meet the staff and faculty who work at the various services such as your Learning Centre, Counselling Department and student association. Attend campus events…even if you are nervous about it. You may meet someone new which makes campus life less lonely and scary.




Of course you are!  Moving out of your comfort zone and into your “Learning Zone” is a new path with no map; but it is so important to do if you want to start ticking off your Life To-Do List. Here is some advice to get you started:

  • Be clear what your goal is. For example, “I want to meet other students”, “I want to feel like I belong on campus” and “I want to feel more comfortable at campus events”.
  • Know that learning is a gradual and cumulative process. It is not helpful to push too much and land head first into your “Panic Zone”. Start with small, slightly uncomfortable, risks.

  •  Learn from others. Help to fill in the learning gaps with steps that others have taken. People in your life are great sources of learning.

Just for Fun!

Watch the movie, “Yes Man” for a funny and outrageous take on the value of saying “yes” and leaning into your life. Taking risks that can change your life and disrupt the narrative that is only creating the “same old” life. There is some great advice in this hilarious movie, but know that the purpose is to be in your “Learning Zone” not in a high risk situation 🙂

I would love to hear about the what unexpected wonderful surprises come from talking to strangers. Please share your experience!


Dr. Heather Drummond,  C.Psych.

Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through


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