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Breaking out of your comfort zone

Breaking out of your comfort zone – our guide to being yourself when starting uni.

Starting university can mean a lot of things; such as moving to a new environment, adapting to a new routine, and engaging with new and different people. Although there are plenty of icebreakers before you even begin your studies like Orientation Week – it’s those first few days that can be the most daunting of all or finding the best places to connect with your cohort online. So, it’s important to remember 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, we all have the capacity to lie somewhere in the middle.

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 as you take on the beginning 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!

Don’t be afraid to try new things

Making that 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 won’t want to 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 those awkward first moments and connecting with new people.

Check in with yourself

It is important to notice how you feel when interacting with different people and gauging 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 okay to take some time to yourself

The first few weeks of University may seem jam-packed full of social events. Many introverts find that too much stimulation can leave them feeling unfocused and tired. Whereas on the other hand, extroverts thrive in situations where there is a lot of activity. There are plenty of opportunities to have some down-time during orientation week so don’t feel bad if you need an hour or two to yourself to reset.  

Be a Better Human

Although you may be primarily focused on connecting with others, it is also really important to remember your values and 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 find what makes you tick.

And remember… support is never far away at UNE.


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