Set aside your fears and take the first step toward your goals

By Zoe Davis ’20, Business Marketing Major

When I decided to come to Portland State, I knew this was the place to continue working on bettering myself — and that usually involves forcing myself to leave my room and do something out of my comfort zone.

My first step was attending Management 299 course the week before classes started. There, I met a few current students who gave some insight on the school and all the opportunities here. During one of the last lectures, Angela Stanton, an alumni and former Fearless blogger, mentioned that the business school was looking for help with social media. With 3 years of digital marketing under my belt at after-school jobs, I jumped at the idea of doing something I knew I could succeed in. But I was still hesitant.

“What if I send an email and get nothing back? … What if I send an email and get rejected?” My mind was flooded with worries about meeting my arch-nemesis, rejection.


I remembered that in order to get something out of my experience here, I needed to take some risks and accept that the hypothetical cold shoulders shouldn’t stop me from pursuing something I’m good at or interested in.

So I wrote a cold email to Wenye Tang, the associate director of Marketing and Communications for the business school, offering my help on social media work.

After a small nervous breakdown and a couple minutes of intense regret, I realized that what I had done was (for lack of a better word) brave. Even if I got rejected or ignored, I should be proud – and that rejection isn’t the end of the world. I’ve failed before, but that didn’t stop me then and won’t stop me now.

Despite my nerves, Wenye got back to me later that week and now I’m here, writing for the Fearless Blog!

If I hadn’t put my fears aside and written that cold email, I would have never gotten this opportunity. On the flip side, if I would have written the email and never heard a thing back, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

My lesson: Whether it’s applying for a job or attending a club meeting, fear of the unknown can sometimes prevent us from making progress. I’m working on learning how to ignore my fear of rejection and be more brave. Fear can sometimes prevent us from doing great things and I’m still working on learning when to ignore my fears and take a step out of my comfort zone and toward my goals. There’s no rhyme or reason when it comes to taking a risk: sometimes you just have to do it.

So take a step out of your comfort zone: Attend a club meeting (there’s one for almost any major or interest)! Apply for a job on CareerConnect or email an advisor about what kind of opportunities are out there for you.

~Zoe Davis, Fearless Freshman


Zoe Davis is a freshman majoring in Business Marketing with a minor in Theater. She is the Social Media Coordinator for the Athletic and Outdoor Connect club.



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