A Guide to Exploring Your University Town

young woman running through a field

When you go away to university, everything is different: the people, your surroundings, and what you do on a daily basis. It takes some time to start feeling at home. One way to settle in faster is to explore what your university town has to offer. This will give you ideas of how to spend your free time as well as revealing unique study spots and places to hang out with friends. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Check Out Main Street

Gain a feel for where you’re living by heading to main street and seeing what kinds of stores you find. Use the chance to note where you’ll be able to go grocery shopping, pick up supplies, or grab ice cream.

2. Find Spots to Spend Time Outdoors

It’s easy to spend too much time indoors as a student. Avoid this from happening by familiarizing yourself with places where you can enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking trails, lakes for kayaking, and local parks to take a stroll when you need some fresh air and sunlight.

3. Try New Restaurants

The dining hall on campus may be the most convenient place to eat, but you have countless other options. If you’re not saddled with a meal plan, there’s no need to eat at the same places every day. Expand your horizons by checking out all the restaurants in your area to find some favourites that you can frequent with friends. Don’t forget to try out coffee shops as well — these make for great study spots when you need a change of scenery.

4. Read the Bulletin Boards

Stay in the loop about what student events are taking place by checking the bulletin boards around campus. Clubs often hold meetings in various places around university towns, which is a great way to get to know the area with other people.

5. Ask for Recommendations

Attending campus events and signing up for extracurriculars will help you meet students who have already been at your university for some time. Ask them about the best places to visit nearby — if you become friends, they may even offer to take you to some of the top spots.

6. Find a Volunteer Opportunity

If you want to feel part of the wider community, search for volunteer positions with organizations off campus. Opportunities may give you the chance to meet people outside your social circle (such as seniors or the homeless) or visit different neighbourhoods each weekend for projects (such as picking up litter or creating murals).

7. Attend Local Events

Another way to feel like part of your community outside university is to attend town events. Find out when there are carnivals, parades, or holiday events happening as well as when local sports teams are playing.

You’ll also feel more at home if you’re living in comfortable student rentals. Oshawa students can find off-campus housing at 17Hundred. You’ll be close to campus and around likeminded people in a building packed with great amenities. While exploring the neighbourhood, make sure to pay us a visit. Book your tour now.