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Serena Ngo

SFU Student Undergraduate
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

Home Country
What's one thing you've learned about yourself since starting at SFU?

I've come to realize that I'm not fearless; I'm brave. As a shy and introverted person, stepping out of my comfort zone to make new friends has always been a challenge. Back home, surrounded by a small circle of close friends and family, I never felt the need to expand my social circle.

However, studying abroad at SFU changed that. In the first semesters, I often felt really lonely and got anxious about making new friends. Observing others enjoying their time and interactions in class made me feel like I was missing out.

Feeling lost, I decided to seek advice from my advisor, who encouraged me to explore student clubs. Although the idea terrified me, I knew it was time to overcome my shyness. Joining the Communication Student Union (CMNSU) turned out to be one of the bravest decisions I've made since coming here.

Was I afraid? Absolutely yes. I feared not fitting in, being too shy to start conversations, and feeling anxious about making connections. I even practiced talking to myself, searched for conversation topics online, and worried about stuttering when speaking. The anxiety was intense, but the warmth and kindness of the CMNSU members made it easier. Everyone in the club was patient and welcoming. They never pointed out my social struggles, always tried to get to know me, invited me to hang out, and supported me in club projects. Gradually, I started feeling more comfortable talking to multiple people, realizing that I could navigate conversations and, most importantly, make friends. 

So, navigating SFU and making friends isn't about fearlessness for me; it's about bravery. I bravely faced my fears, stepped into the unknown, and discovered the joy of connecting with others. For anyone feeling the weight of anxiety, my advice is simple: don't do it alone. Consider joining student clubs at school. It might be scary, but it could lead to discovering a supportive community that makes the journey worthwhile.