Student Voices: A letter to first year international students on how to survive residence life | Work of Arts
Student Voices: A letter to first year international students on how to survive residence life | Work of Arts

Student Voices: A letter to first year international students on how to survive residence life

Blogger says that the key to success is stepping out of your comfort zone

dsc_0637Hey first year international students!

Welcome to the University of Alberta, and the place that you will now call “home” for the next eight months. This will be a place where you will create unforgettable memories and create new friendships.

I can tell you from experience that you will definitely encounter times filled with laughter or tears, you will develop leadership skills, and you will have lots of other valuable experiences.

If you are living in residence, know that this might be one of the best choices you have made in your life (or worst…hopefully not!), so treasure every moment.

If this is your first time living away from home, I want to assure you that it’s normal to feel lonely, homesick, stressed or anxious (trust me, I know!). Of course, there are probably also those of you who are excited… no curfews! But whether you’re happy or uncertain, hopefully you are also looking forward to stepping into a new community as a real adult, maybe for the first time in your life.

If you are living in residence, know that this might be one of the best choices you have made in your life (or worst…hopefully not!), so treasure every moment.

With that, I would like to offer a piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! Here’s some presidential advice from the President of the Students’ Union, Fahim Rahman: “If you’re a particularly shy person don’t be afraid to say ‘hi’ to the person you’re sitting next to in class. If you say ‘hi’ to the two people that sit beside you in class every single day, and multiply that by the number of classes (and semesters) you take in your degree, you’re going to end up with at least 50 unique friends you can grow alongside.”

Remember, this new chapter of your life is also a new chapter of [your family’s] life!

This is the same in residence. By taking initiative and saying hi to someone you don’t know, or by participating in residence activities, chances are you’ll make new friends with different backgrounds and interests. This can definitely make your residence experience much more diverse and rewarding.

Last but not least, try to stay connected with your old friends and family. They will be able to provide you with support and motivation. Let them know how you are feeling in the new environment; share your happiness and sadness. They care a lot and want to know how university is treating you! Remember, this new chapter of your life is also a new chapter of their life!

University can be great, or it can be horrible… it’s what you make it. Get out there, say hi to someone you don’t know, and get involved… and hopefully this will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life!

 

Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors.


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About Meijun Chen

Meijun Chen

Meijun Chen is an outgoing third year international student from China, majoring in music and minoring in economics. She loves playing the clarinet and piano, and attending concerts. Dodgeball, tennis and basketball are her other favourite activities. She is currently the SU Lister Student Representative and Peer Tutor in Lister Centre, treasurer of the University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and a volunteer with the UA International Global Academic Leadership Development (GALD) program. She has travelled to more than 15 countries and regions for music cultural communications and competitions. These experiences not only deepened her cultural understanding, but also strengthened her interpersonal, organizational and multitasking skills.