Do you still remember that moment that you thought: “I need some change in my life.” And that’s what you did. By moving to another city in another country, with probably nobody you knew. Just you and your big suitcase. If you are still in doubt about moving to a strange city without knowing the culture or people, it’s time to overcome your fear and step out of your comfort zone. Believe me, if you did this once you will relive that moment over and over again. And that’s how I’m going to help you. Follow the rules below and you will realize that your life begins (at the end of your comfort zone).
1. Hang out with people that are different from you
Yes, there are a lot of international people in Groningen. This international environment is a great way to meet new people. Groningen has a vibrant community with people from more than 120 nationalities. It’s easy to stick around the people that speak your language and share your interest, but it’s even more thrilling to find people that won’t be your type of person in the first place. It’s the first step to do something different than you always did. It’s easy, just ask them to have a coffee. How to find those people? Just go to bars and events you normally don’t go, for example to one of DOTs planetarium shows. Or become an ESN buddy (ESN decides who is going to be your new friend).
2. Try something new
This way of getting out of your comfort zone seems to be easy, but if you don’t know HOW to try something new it’s impossible. Luckily in Groningen the sky is the limit. The internationals among us who can speak some Dutch (another ‘try something new challenge’) have the opportunity to take a skydiving course at the ACLO! You can follow the course nearby Groningen (in Hoogeveen).
3. Volunteer in Groningen
Your life as a student can be relaxed sometimes. Especially when you’re done with your exams. If you want to spend your time well and do something useful for society you should sign up as a volunteer. One of the largest organisations where you can volunteer is Humanitas. With 700 projects they are happy to welcome you as a volunteer. Soon you realize you made the world a better place. Not in the mood for a weekly volunteer job? SocialErasmus is organizing lots of activities where you can volunteer in the tiniest way. Check out there events on their Facebookpage.
4. Show your talents
I know, not everyone is a good musician or artist. But I’m sure that everyone has (hidden) talents. If you didn’t discover your talent yet, Groningen is the perfect place to do so. Besides skydiving ACLO gives you the opportunity to try (almost) every single sport in the world. For the ones among us that developed a musical talent it’s time to show the world your performance. ESN takes you by the hand by organizing a big music project, which you can sign up for every semester. Who knows who you will be after this great music night?
5. Do it in small steps
The 4 ways mentioned before are quite big steps to reach out of your comfort zone. But if you start small, you can grow big. Start with negotiating over prices on a flea market or try a new flavoured coffee in a different coffee spot you never go to. It’s also not a bad thing to search for a little help. If you’re afraid of public speaking, for example, it would be a good decision to sign up for the USVA Public Speaking course. If you start with tiny actions, you will realize it’s much easier to handle bigger steps.
Written by Patrice Sligter – PR Committee