One of the great things about CSU is all the wonderful and varied campus locations – from Albury-Wodonga, to the CSU Study Centre in Sydney, to Orange. But this can often mean that to do the course you want in a great location, you have to move away from your family, your friends, and a place that you’ve quite possibly lived in your whole life. This transition can be tricky, and although uni provides the perfect environment for making new friends and building surrogate families, finding the best coffee shop or the pizza place that’s open the latest and becoming a part of a new community can be difficult – so here are some tips for finding your feet in a new place and making it feel like home.
Become a regular
When settling into a new place, it can be tempting to spend all your time exploring everything your new town has to offer. After all, there is an endless supply of new places and experiences out there waiting for you. But putting pressure on yourself to see and do everything can be really overwhelming, especially on top of uni work. So take the pressure off! Find two or three places that you really love, and try to go there at the same time each day or each week. This way, you’ll see the same people or the same staff, and you’ll start to get a sense of regularity – plus it’s a great feeling when you can go into a coffee shop and just ask for ‘the regular’.
In this modern age when our lives are dominated by technology, our smartphones offer us loads more than just a way to tune out and scroll through social media or slice up some virtual fruit. In the palm of your hand you have access to an entire world wide web worth of websites. This includes sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, which will give you access to loads of reviews about activities, stores, and locations around town, saving you loads of legwork, and allowing you to find the best bakery or an eco-friendly clothing store from the comfort of home. There are also apps that are very specific, like Beanhunter, that locates and rates the coffee shops near you. So take advantage of these resources to make the most of your new home, and make the internet work for you.
When you’re in a new place where you don’t know anyone outside your university circle, getting involved in the wider community can be pretty daunting. But just getting in there and giving community activities a go is the perfect way to create a wider circle of friends. Even really small communities have loads of cultural activities going on, like markets, festivals, sports, and loads more. Aside from a quick online search, information about events in your town can usually be found on community noticeboards or at the public library. Don’t be scared to step out of your comfort zone here, because the more you engage, the sooner you’ll feel at home.
You can also find out more about CSU’s campus cities by visiting our locations websites.