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Embracing Life off Campus

Moving to a new place to go to university can be scary—and a lot of the time, that means that many university students tend not to ever leave campus. A lot of us don’t realize that there is a whole other world out there; a million different things to do and new people to meet.

Yes, it can be intimidating, but it can be one of the most rewarding parts of your university experience! Getting off campus and into the community takes courage, and it can feel like stepping into a whole new world! Here are some tips to help you on your journey of exploration!

1. Get Familiar With the Bus System

The bus system can be confusing to learn (especially if you come from a place without a public bus system!), but is definitely rewarding! You can get places so much faster than walking, and it allows you free reign of the entire city. There are bus stops everywhere, and you don’t need to learn to read a perplexing bus route map to find them. Google Maps keeps track of Kingston’s buses and lets you know where the nearest stops are, how long you’ll be on the bus, and where to get off to get where you’re going. It even tells you when your bus is running late!

2. Look For Things That Interest You

Don’t know where to start? Take some time to look on the internet and in local newspapers for places and events that strike your fancy. Enjoy art? Check out an art gallery! Studying law? Drop by the courthouse and watch a trial! Like to read? Find some book stores! There is no limit to the fun little things you can find!

3. Volunteer

Volunteering with your favourite charity, museum, or other organization is a great way to get you off campus regularly and meet a lot of great people! There are a ton of organizations all over the city, and they don’t have to take up all your time. It’s a great way to give back to the community and expand your horizons all at the same time!

4. Take Walks

Getting exercise suddenly seems to become a lot harder in university, but taking a couple hours just to take a walk downtown or along the water is an amazing way to get a little active and de-stress during exam season. Just walking around gets you familiar with the city and you can discover some pretty amazing places just by walking about and exploring!

Shaelyn Ryan is a first year student at Queen's University, and is a fiction writer, having completed and self published two novels. She would love to answer questions and comments about her articles, writing, or anything at all at sjryan1900@gmail.com!
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