person walking up some concrete steps

Stepping out of your comfort zone

When starting university, everyone has the same fears and worries.

Am I going to make friends? Will I like the course? The town? The people? University is unlike anything many of us have done before, so these are all valid fears. But how do we make the best out of uni, whilst combating our worries?

Get out of your comfort zone!

University is a time for you to explore who you are and what you can do, without any judgement. The people around you are generally all in the same boat, trying to figure out where they fit best and what interests them.

Now is the best time for you to try that new hobby you were thinking about; or join the most obscure society; or start one yourself and find people that like the same things you do. As cliché as it sounds, starting university is about figuring out who you are.

Stepping outside of your usual routine can open different doors for you. You don’t have to take any big steps either! It can be something as simple as introducing yourself to your new flatmates, and the people in your class. It could be attending that one social your society is throwing. Or perhaps, putting down your devices for the day and exploring your new city. It could be anything that breaks up the monotony of your usual routine. Whilst it is good to be comfortable, you’ll benefit from meeting these new people and trying different activities.

The best piece of advice I could probably give is to research all the sports and societies on offer, and see what’s out there. Even if the activities themselves don’t interest you, you could always meet someone that you hit it off with, and boom you’ve made a new friend!

Now, I’m not going to say that it’s easy to change your normal way of thinking and branch out. But it’s best to look back and think “I tried doing that,” rather than having regrets and wishing you had.

I know some of us have extra concerns or hurdles regarding mental health, so remember there are always people to talk to on campus if you feel you need to, and they are always there to help.

I’m going to leave you with a little activity to get you thinking about what you can do:

• Grab a pen and paper, and draw a line vertically down the centre.
• On one side, write a list of things that interest you NOW / stuff you like.
• On the other side, write a list of things that you’ve ALWAYS wanted to try.
• Go to your SU website and check out the list of societies they have.
• Pick a society that matches ONE thing from each list (so 2 societies overall).
• And finally, GO to a taster session, just one, just to see if you like it.

The first step is always the hardest, but some of the best things come out of being uncomfortable.