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Embracing the Unknown: A Guide to Feeling Comfortable at University

Studying at university can mean a lot of things, like moving to a new environment, adapting to a new routine, and engaging with new and different people. Although there are icebreakers like Orientation Week when you first start, it’s often those first few trimesters that can be the most daunting. So, it’s important to be kind to yourself and understand your limits.

Making new friends can be an exciting prospect for some and daunting for others. Especially if you lean more towards the ‘introverted’ side.

Introverts and extroverts can be viewed as two extreme opposites; but in reality, most of us can move towards the middle when we need to.

To help you feel more confident with taking on new environments and meeting new people we’ve got a list of ways to feel comfortable at university.

Embrace your interests

Seeking out people with similar interests can be one of the best ways to create lasting friendships. Luckily, UNE has a plethora of groups where you can explore your interests with like-minded people. UNE Life’s Club and Societies are a great way for you to connect and make new friends in either a sporting, social, or academic club! Clubs are for students on campus and online – and the best part is, if you don’t see a club that takes your fancy there, there are opportunities to start one!

There are also opportunities with TuneFM, UNE’s student-powered radio station, for those with an interest in radio, social media, podcasting, audio editing and more! Tune accepts online and on-campus students for a variety of volunteering opportunities and study-integrated learning.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

Making the first move when meeting new people does not come naturally to everyone. You may be feeling doubtful that the person you want to connect with will talk to you when in reality they are probably feeling the same way about you!

A few seconds of bravery is all that stands between connecting with new people.

For online students, there are a variety of student-run Facebook groups and discussion pages you can join to make connections. Just jump online and have a search for groups related to your faculty or any Clubs & Societies you may be interested in and you will be amazed at what you can find!

Check-in with yourself

It is important to notice how you feel when interacting with different people and gauge if they are going to be someone you want to spend time with. It’s easy to get lost in all the activities and excitement going on around you, so ask yourself:

  • do I feel better after spending time with this person?
  • can I be myself around this person?
  • does this person treat me with respect?

It’s equally important to respect the boundaries of the people you meet while studying.

Some people are juggling study with jobs, busy family lives and personal matters and may not have time to strike up new friendships. Don’t take it to heart if this happens.

It’s okay to take some time to yourself

University life may seem filled to the brim with social events. Many introverts find that too much stimulation can leave them feeling unfocused and tired, whereas extroverts thrive in situations where there is a lot of activity. Create opportunities for yourself to have some downtime while studying and don’t feel bad if you need time to yourself to reset.  

Be a Better Human

Although you may be primarily focused on study, it is also really important to remember your values and always show respect to every person in our UNE community. Be sure to also look out for those around you, and step up if you see someone in an uncomfortable situation.

This is an exciting chapter of your life, and we want to make sure you enjoy every moment of it! University can be a wonderful period where you can explore yourself further and figure out what makes you tick.

And remember… support is never far away at UNE.

The team at Advocacy and Welfare offers confidential support to students! Contact them here.
Student Success also has confidential counseling for students, you can find them here.
Lifeline is a 24/7 hotline and you can call them on 13 11 14