Please describe a time when you found the courage to step outside of your comfort zone to do something unexpected and completely unlike you. Why did you take this risk? What have you learned from the experience?

Ireland was nothing like I had expected. Living in a small Irish city with my aunt and uncle for two months was much easier than it could have been. I wasn’t a total stranger, nor did I have to survive on my own. I was never homesick. There was no need to adjust to a language barrier. No, the most difficult aspect of the entire stay was something I could just as easily have done in Chicago: babysitting.

When my aunt requested me to be a summer au pair for her two young children, I was hesitant. I had never babysat before, and had never wanted to. Though many of my friends had regular babysitting jobs, and seemed to enjoy them, I was usually hesitant and shy with children, and would seek out any other option for an income rather than babysitting. However, the benefits of spending two months in Ireland were too tempting to pass up.

The first day took me by surprise. “I’m bored,” Rita, the older of the two declared, sitting down next to me. Bored? This was the last thing I had expected. I couldn’t remember ever being bored when I was her age.

“Well,” I replied slowly, stalling for time while I searched for a cure for her boredom in my head. I couldn’t think of one. “Well, what do you want to do?”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged....

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