Whether you’re a freshman or senior, you’ve probably begun to feel a certain level of comfort in your college environment. Perhaps the barista at your local cafe knows you by name or maybe the route you take to classes has become second nature. Knowing the ins and outs of your college campus can foster sweet feelings of warmth and safety, as well as efficiency for getting from point A to point B.
But has your routine made your brain shift to autopilot?
Although familiarity has its perks in college, it might be time for you to switch up those routines and do some exploring. Here are some pointers to becoming a tourist in your own college town.
Refuse the classics
We all have those places on campus that feel homey, from cozy study spots to beloved breakfast and lunch locations. Unfortunately, when we get used to these sweet spots, we tend to give up on branching out. Choose to challenge yourself and refuse your classics on campus. Instead of going to Starbucks, walk down the street and check out a different local cafe. Instead of running the same path every morning, try a new campus loop. Simply choose to go against your normalcies, knowing that these nostalgic locations will always be there for you to come back to.
Turn off Autopilot
Do you ever find yourself walking to the dining hall in a full on sleepy daze, unaware of your surroundings? We've all been there. Once you've obtained a certain level of comfort with your college routines, it can be easy to walk throughout campus without even thinking. Go against this tendency and choose to notice details on routes you take daily. Stop to look at the building architecture, say hello to fellow students, and make a conscious effort to soak in your surroundings. You'll be surprised to see a number of sweet details that you don't normally notice!
When going someplace brand new, get a group to go together. This sense of community makes new adventures even more fun, and makes you more likely to broaden your horizons again. Get your friends and sorority sisters together, and go to that brand new restaurant or boutique. Trying new things is always more fun with other people!
Commit to the contemporary
Along with straying from comfort, actively seek out the uncomfortable! Create new walking routes to class and grab a latte from the highly praised local spots. You can also branch out through simple on campus changes, like trying a fresh workout at your school gym or getting a different meal than your usual at the dining hall. Whether on campus or off, decide to seek out some new spots to study, eat, and hang out. By switching it up you could end up finding a brand new favorite!
Hopefully these little pointers give you some inspiration to rediscover your college campus and town. Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zones, and uncover hidden gems- you will be so surprised at the new things you find. Have fun exploring!
Kappa Kappa Gamma
University of Colorado Boulder