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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

Learning to redefine our comfort zone


College is slated to be a
time of growth, but with
this growth comes pressures

and expectations. These expectations range from getting out of your comfort
zone to figuring out who
you are, to determining the
one thing you want to focus
on for the rest of your life.
Not to mention, all coming
at a price tag of an average
of around $30,000 every
four years.

I remember having so
many questions while I
anticipated this transition
into “adulthood,” especially
when I was trying to choose
a path after high school.
What was causing me to feel
all this pressure? Why was I

held to the standard of going to college? Would I live

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up to the expectations? How
am I supposed to know what
I want to do with the rest of
my life when I can’t even
pick a restaurant for dinner?

Because of these uncertainties, I was hesitant

to commit to a university.

Something about four years
felt like forever and I was
restless at the thought of
planting my roots in one
place. Right after I got
started at NMU, I began
to wonder why I gave into
the societal pressures that I
so adamantly protested and
questioned if college was
the right option for me.

I drifted through my first
semesters and continued
on my seemingly ho-hum
life until one day I decided
I needed a change. I took a
trip over to the international

education office and spontaneously decided to study


I realize I am very fortunate in the fact that I was

able to dedicate a whole
semester to pursue this and

abandon my life in America. Study abroad sounds

great on paper but is not a

feasible option for everyone who is interested. A lot

of work goes into making
it happen and the process

leading up to moving out
of the country is stressful, to
say the least.

A study by The Atlantic

found that around 10 percent of American college

students study abroad each
year surprised me, but also

made sense given the increasingly globalized society. After making the decision to get out of here, I did

everything I could to make
sure I made it out of the
United States.

Then, before I knew it,
I was living in Cape Town,

South Africa. This experience was definitely a challenge, but a welcomed one.

I had never left the Western
part of the world before and
I was introduced to a whole
new way of living and
learning. I felt as if I had
learned more in five months
in Africa than I had in my
first whole year of college in
America. Maybe it was the

fact that I hadn’t lived anywhere outside of my midwestern bubble for an extended period of time, but

my eyes were opened up to
more about the world than
I realized I was ignorant to.

I learned the comfort of being uncomfortable. I did not

have time to think about all

the stresses and uncertainties that led me to Africa because I was too busy trying

to get there.

I remember the reluctance I felt when boarding my first plane back to

America. How could I ever
go back to a “regular” life?
At first, adjusting to my life
back home in the Midwest
was a challenge, but that
challenge began to dwindle
as I embraced everyday
life again. I realized that I
could use what I’ve learned

in my everyday life and inspire others to do the same.

So, I think the moral of the
story here is don’t be afraid
to redefine your comfort
zone. Sometimes it’s okay to
drop everything and make
a change.

Don’t fear what sits beyond the limits of the pressures society places upon us

young people because these
preconceived limits are here
to be pushed. Find comfort
in the uncomfortable.

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