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How to Make the Most Out of First-Year Off-Campus

Updated: Mar 21

Written By: Rachael Gemin, Brand Ambassador


Living on campus in your first year is a great way to become more immersed in campus life, make new friends and is a step towards independence. On the other hand, living in residence can be expensive and students may choose to live at home if they live close to campus. If this is your case, do not feel like you are missing out on a huge opportunity or the “university experience.” There are so many ways to make the most out of your first year without living in residence. Below I have listed three amazing ways:


1. Get Involved!


I know, you probably hear this all the time from your parents, relatives, and other teachers/professors, but it is so true. By getting involved, you will meet so many like-minded people who you will want to surround yourself with. Being involved on campus not only impacts you, but it impacts the school and your peers.


So, you didn’t get involved in high school? No worries! It is never too late to get involved. Going to university is a fresh new start and within there lies so many amazing opportunities.

I was not very involved in first-year, but I told myself that this year I should at least try to join some organizations. This year, I am a Brand Ambassador for the Lang Students’ Association and a delegate with DECA U Guelph. Through these two organizations, I have experienced some amazing opportunities and have met some great people. There are so many ways to get involved, like joining a club, an organization, the student government, or a sports team. There are so many organizations to choose from, so there will definitely be something for you! The following link lists many options you could try out: https://gryphlife.uoguelph.ca/organizations


2. Go to events!

The University of Guelph offers so many great events that you can go to! By attending these events, you can meet a wide array of people who may share the same interests as you. These events can improve your interpersonal relationships but they also can improve your knowledge of new things and things you are already interested in. These events range from information sessions, workshops, case competitions, networking events and so much more! Here is a link to view upcoming and past events the University of Guelph puts on: https://gryphlife.uoguelph.ca/events


3. Reach out to your classmates!


It can be hard to make friends when living off-campus since you are not surrounded by students 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, especially when you are in a new place and do not know anyone. Likely most of your classmates are in the same boat as you! It can be scary to reach out to people but once you do, it is so worth it. In class, make conversations with people beside you or ask them questions. By doing this, it benefits both of you in your school and social life.

Overall, these are just a few ways to make the most out of your first year at university without living on residence, but there are so many other ways. There is an array of benefits to living off-campus, like home-cooked meals, saving money, your own room, and so much more! By immersing yourself on campus and living at home, as Hannah Montana would say, you get the best of both worlds!


Thank you for reading!

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