Stepping out of your comfort zone

Hunter the Ridgeback


University marks a new chapter in the lives of many students. Unlike high school, no one is going to force you to come to class, do your assignments or constantly be monitoring you. But university is also a great time to discover more about yourself and start over if that’s what you’re seeking. 

Here are three tips, from my own experience, on ways to kick off a great start to your university experience:

1. Make an effort to talk to new people

Unless you’re super charismatic, getting to know new people can seem super scary. You don’t recognize a single face, it’s important to know that likely everyone else in your lecture hall is facing the same nervousness—even the louder students.      

Seize this opportunity to get acquainted with people who you find interesting. These friendships can pay themselves off down the road. 

Pro tip: Commit to memorizing a person’s name and one fact about them. That way the next time you meet them you can jump right into talking with them on a more meaningful level.

three students talking outside

2. Join a club and attend various social events 

Clubs are a great way to meet people who share a common interest with you. You will usually meet people who you don't share class with, which opens up more opportunities to socialize and meet new people. 

This is also true for social events where the atmosphere is more outgoing and relaxed. Ontario Tech University has a wide array of clubs, so you can pick and choose what best fits your interests. 

Pro tip: There’s no harm in getting involved with many clubs at the same time. Just make sure you are still able to keep up with your classes; this involvement will be a great time to work on your time-management skills too! 

3. Take courses that interest you

University offers much more diverse courses than high school. Some programs even have the option for elective courses in your first year.      

When choosing a course, select something that you genuinely are interested in or curious about. You will enjoy it much more than taking a seemingly easier course in a subject that bores you. 

Pro tip: Taking a course in a subject that differs from your major will help you become better well-rounded in your education experience, as well as network in different fields. 

Woman standing in front of a chalk board that says "Dream big and make it happen"

These are some tips I learned throughout my university experience that I hope you will find helpful. 

Everyone’s university experience will be different, but I think we can all benefit from learning how to step out of our comfort zone to make the most of our time at university.   

Blog written by: Patrick Pillainayagam

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