Only six days ago I moved into my new home at Western University in London, Ontario. When moving to a new place, people feel a variety of different emotions however, I surprisingly didn’t feel nervous. I was so excited to make new friends and start learning about topics that I am passionate about.
Having attended an all girls school in Ottawa from Kindergarten to Grade 12 prior to my move to London, I have never really had to change environments and adapt to being with new people. It was also going to be my first time being away from home for more than two weeks. It didn’t sink in that my life was about to completely change until my parents left me at my residence and were on their way back to Ottawa. I felt like I had been dropped off in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t know anybody.
What was really interesting about my move-in experience is that I was forced to talk to new people. None of my close friends from home go to Western, so it was up to me to make new friends. I had never felt more alone, but I knew what was coming would be positive. At first it was super intimidating. I felt so alone in a sea of people that I didn’t know. After being there for five minutes, I quickly realized that everyone was in the same position as me. Even if you had come to Western with a group of friends or if you already lived in London, we still were all moving into residence together. We are all going through a stage of transition and change. It was comforting when upper year students reminded us that whatever emotions we were feeling, the people around us were feeling the same way. We are not alone.
My first dinner with my floor-mates less than a week ago was possibly one of the most awkward experiences I have ever had. Sitting down and eating with a group of strangers can be really intimidating but now I can say that everyone on my floor has become super close. What I have learned is that it takes time to adjust to being in a new environment. The first night was tough but within 24 hours, I had made a bunch of new friends. It was so much fun.
Starting at a new school can be tough but it is up to you to take the opportunities that are put in front of you. Get out there, make new friends and stay positive!
Bronte Assadzadeh is first-year student at Western University, studying Social Science.