Finding your home community at UWaterloo

Monday, April 15, 2024
by Nicole S., Social Media & Web Associate
Nicole's selfie with friends

People say that “the concept of home does not rely on the number of places you’ve been, but instead is about the people you’ve encountered, experiences you’ve had and most importantly, the people in it”. I feel the same way. To me, "home" is more about the relationships I’ve created, the journeys I’ve had, and connections with people rather than a physical location. 

Since I moved from Hong Kong at fourteen years old, finding “home” in a new country was a scary thing. With time and new experiences, I have learned to be independent, gained intercultural skills, and developed curiosity for the people and things around me. Starting university at Waterloo was a learning curve too (with co-op as well). 

Here’s what I found works for me in terms of finding community in Waterloo: 

  1. Join clubs and societies: finding people who have similar interests makes your time at university more enjoyable and helps you to gain a sense of belonging and relatability with others. 
  2. Plan adventures according to the seasons: whether that is skiing with friends, visiting a cafe you’ve always wanted to try, or enjoying a meal together, quality time spent with the people you love is so valuable. 
  3. Normalize feeling homesick: remind yourself that this is temporary, validate your feelings, call a friend or family member, or journal. 
  4. Try new hobbies: disconnect from your phone, play sports, bake, engage in a conversation with a stranger are examples of ways you can extend your network and build your confidence. 
  5. Volunteer: whether that’s at a local foodbank or in your workplace, small acts of kindness go such a long way! 

Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be scary, but growth is messy and unpredictable! Once you open your mind to receive all that life has to offer you, it can also be a form of self-love. Remember to enjoy this present moment, appreciate the little things, and do what feels right to you! You're on your own unique journey and that’s what’s beautiful.