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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

Starting the new school year can be very exciting, but also very isolating. Staying in your dorm can become very easy and comforting. Depending on whether or not you are in a communal, suite, or single room, it can get very lonesome. Getting out might feel weird after years of cautious living after COVID-19. Luckily for us, MU and Columbia offer many things for their students to explore. 

Clubs, shopping and more

Many people don’t know where or how to start getting out. The first place you can look is on Mizzou’s Engage through MizzouOne. There are hundreds of clubs to pick from. You can also start your own organization if you don’t see current clubs that fit. Joining clubs can be scary but it’s a great way to meet people you probably would have never run into on campus. It allows you to connect with people from different places and different majors.

Another fan favorite is site seeing. Tripadvisor has many places listed here. They have different parks listed, antique stores, the Columbia Mall and farms for fresh fruits and vegetables. If you like feline friends, I recommend seeing Papa’s Cat Cafe. It is a really relaxing place to just sip some coffee, sit with cats and be productive with your homework. Along with Papa’s, there is D&D Animal Sanctuary with even bigger furry friends. 

Music and entertainment

Music is a must. An affordable and comfortable place to go and listen to your favorite bands is the Blue Note. The Blue Note offers all kinds of genres of live music, as well as the Mizzou Arena which frequently hosts concerts throughout the school year. Both of these are within walking distance from dorms, but trust me when I say to wear comfortable shoes. You will thank me for it.

Lastly, sports are always a fan favorite for every school. Purchasing a sports pass can allow you to get out of your dorm at least once a week. Right now, football season is in and many students like to be in attendance, so you are bound to meet new friends and enjoy some good snacks. After football, basketball will start and will keep you occupied while it gets colder or while our football players are traveling for an away game. 

Getting out of your dorm is important. The first move by yourself can be very intimidating but you can only learn to grow when you get out of comfortable environments. So, join a club, walk downtown, see what all the stores have to offer, hang out with some cats and go see some live music. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and make some amazing memories.