Adjusting to a New Adventure
I’ve been in Canada for almost 6 weeks now and it’s already become my new second home. The McMaster University campus might feel like a movie set sometimes (maybe because it is), but the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had so far are as real as it gets.
My time here has been hectic in all the best ways. It started out with an outdoor orientation experience which let me make heaps of new friends by stranding us in tents and canoes in the Canadian wilderness for a few days. The MOOSE eXchange programme has been a highlight of the trip so far! Once semester starts, MIX Club is the place to be for exchange students with an action-packed week of events from arcade night to hiking. Joining some of McMaster’s 350 clubs has also been a great way to get involved with Outdoor Club a must-try. Planning weekend trips with your new friends is also a great time, especially before winter hits. You don’t need to worry about a shortage of things to do!
The first few weeks are amazing and intense but make sure to take care of yourself. With the excitement of a new adventure, the adrenaline from so many new situations and the extreme highs and lows of getting settled in, it’s even more important to take some time to breathe. Whether it’s by writing a journal, hitting the gym or sitting under a tree on campus to read, anything you find relaxing can help stop you from burning out. This way you can carry on making the most of every moment!
The best part of exchange is that everyone’s in the same boat when it comes to nerves, excitement and wanderlust. There’s no doubt that change is hard but you’re not alone in this experience. By getting to know people it all seems far less daunting and luckily your chance to make friends doesn’t end after week one. Take every chance you can to introduce yourself to someone new, you already have the perfect topic to talk about – Canadians love a Kiwi accent.
My new normal here in Canada is something I’m working hard not to take for granted. Enjoying every moment, making the most of every opportunity and looking at the world from a new perspective gets easier every time I try. I can’t wait to keep you posted on more of my adventures and introduce you to my new home!