Student blog: How to break out of your shell and foster your own personal development - Choose Brisbane

Student blog: How to break out of your shell and foster your own personal development

Prince Long Lo

By Long Lo (Hong Kong)

Hey! My name is Long Lo, but everyone calls me Prince. I am studying a bachelor degree at QUT. My friends know me for being highly involved in student clubs and projects, but it didn’t start off that way.

Like most international students, I came to Australia alone. I set up everything myself and I was forced to adapt to a new style of living and educational environment. Even though I am an extrovert, I felt uncomfortable and scared to reach out and ask for help. So in my first year of uni, I basically just went to class and back home. I had a lot of free time to spend on assignments (and Netflix) but I realised that there was something missing in my life.

University education is not just for studying. It is really important to have a social life. I saw my friends at home having fun and getting involved in student groups, and I admired their life and the friendships they were making.  So I decided to get out of my comfort zone … this is how.

Find something you’re passionate about

Start with a strength. For me, this is dancing. I have a strong background in dancing which helps me to feel comfortable to socialise with the people who are keen to dance as well. I got involved in my university dance society when I felt comfortable to reach out in my second year. I wish I’d done it on day one.

If you don’t have something you are passionate about like music or a sport, start with your international organisation/club.

QUT Dance Society

QUT Dance Society – performing a Bollywood dance at the QUT Ball

Make friends with similar interests

Schedule time with the people from your student associations and clubs, and actively encourage meet-ups. It is much easier to share your experience with people you can already relate to, so this is your first step to make friends outside of your classes.

Being involved in extracurricular activities will help you get more involved with your university. It is also a gateway to network with students.

Volunteer your spare time

Volunteering provides students an opportunity to give back to the community and to meet new people. There are a lot of volunteering opportunities inside and out of university where you can meet friendly people and learn how to work with others effectively to achieve the same goal.

The experience is different from working in a group assignment at university. People working in volunteering projects are really passionate to help people out and you can learn from their experience and keep building your knowledge. It also looks good on your resume that you have been involved in volunteer projects.

QUT Big LIft

QUT Big Lift - The largest volunteering student club in QUT. We had a five-day trip to Dalby, Jandowae and Chinchilla (regional Queensland). In the photo, we are at the Anglican Church of Australia, St Paul’s Parish of Jandowae to doing some community work and play with the kids in regional Queensland.

You can’t deny that personal development is important in a student’s life. Participating in student clubs and volunteering will be your first step in the right direction – it will help to diversify your experience, learn new skills and keep building your knowledge. It’s beneficial to all students and something that should be prioritised throughout your overseas study journey.

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