Current Students

Earl: Getting out of my comfort zone

Since students in the NWCCI program are hosted on three different campuses in Washington state, we bring all 42 students together at least three times over the year to meet and get to know their peers at the other schools. These events, which are often centered around physical activity, are important to teaching skills such as communication and teamwork. Earl Johnson, an IT major from South Africa, shares his experience participati ng in a recent ropes course.

NWCCI students take a break from the high ropes to pose for the camera.

On a beautiful, sunny Monday morning, all of the students in the NWCCI program traveled to Bellingham to participate in a full day of ropes course activities. It was amazing to see students from all over the world uniting. It was also good to see the excitement on the students’ faces while they were catching up with their fellow countrymen after not seeing each other for more than a month since they are at different colleges. Everyone was divided into two different groups, which allowed everyone the opportunity to participate in all of the activities that were offered. We did everything from climbing up a high obstacle course, to zip lining, as well as swinging on a rope from one point to another. It was pleasing to see each and every student participating in at least one activity. Some students even faced and overcame some of their fears. The main objective for these activities was for everyone to step outside their comfort zones to take on challenges, to work well as a team, and to communicate with each other. All of the activities were fun and exciting, but yet challenging. It required a lot of hard work, determination, and strategic thinking. Everyone had quite an adventure and was exhausted at the end of they day. It was indeed a successful day, and everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

NWCCI students face their fears and work together to climb the vertical jungle gym during the all consortium event.

I have never personally any of these activities before. At times I can be quite intimidated by heights, so these particular activities were a bit challenging for me. I’ve also never participated in many outdoor activities prior to this, so it took me totally out of my comfort zone. The lessons I’ve learnt from this experience that when interacting with people, everyone’s participation is needed. You should be able to communicate at all levels, remain focused on the task at hand, and also possess good people skills. Don’t be afraid of a challenge, but instead use it to motivate yourself.

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