4 Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone at University

In addition to earning your degree, university is about gaining life experiences, growing as a person, and discovering new things about yourself. However, all this is only possible if you step out of your comfort zone. The good news is there are plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself every day.

1. Switch Things Up

Avoid falling into a routine where you go to the same places and hang out with the same people all the time. Push yourself to do something different. The first step is to acknowledge what you may be avoiding. For instance, you may be resistant to try activities where you’re unsure if you’ll know anyone.

Commit to experimenting more, such as exploring different areas of campus, signing up for a new club, or even talking to a new person in a class. This may feel intimidating in the moment, but it will ultimately save you from feeling bored and unfulfilled.

2. Do Things You’re Not Sure You’ll Enjoy

Stop making assumptions about your likes, dislikes, and skills. It’s impossible to know if you’ll like or be good at something if you’ve never tried anything like it before. Whenever a friend invites you to a new activity or you see a new extracurricular advertised that you would never have considered in the past, avoid dismissing the idea outright. Think about why you’re hesitant to go. Often, you’ll find that the reason is you’re afraid of being uncomfortable — which makes it the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone.

3. Find Opportunities

Don’t just wait for opportunities to come to you; seek them out yourself. Sign up for a club even if none of your friends are interested in attending with you. Run for an elected position at one of the organizations at your university. Find volunteering work to gain valuable experience and learn skills that you currently find difficult. Apply for a study abroad program, internship, or research position. Do whatever it is that intimidates you but that you know would benefit you.

4. Make Experimenting Ongoing

It’s easy to commit to experimenting with new opportunities at the start of the semester — and soon fall back to your old habits. If you have a less-than-great experience, it can be tempting to find solace in your close friends or shut yourself in your room to focus on your studies. However, you need to remember that nothing is easy about stepping out of your comfort zone. At times you will want to give up. To see results, you need to persevere and continue to seek out new ways to challenge yourself, even in the face of failure. Once you’ve succeeded with the first challenge you set yourself, start searching for the next one.

You’ll meet more people and have the chance to engage in an even more diverse range of activities if you live in off-campus housing. Ottawa students can find a community at 1Eleven. You’ll be surrounded by students from both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University who you can meet in places like the fitness centre, games room, and communal kitchen. Step out of your comfort zone today by booking a tour.

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