It is far too easy to remain comfortable at Elon University. It is too easy for students to stay in their well-constructed comfort zones — constantly hanging out with the same groups of people, attending the same events and sharing the same ideas to the same willing listeners.

Students complain about the monotony of living on a residential campus and our university’s general lack of diversity, but it is necessary to remember the role students themselves have in making their time at Elon more interesting.

While the university could still do more in terms of diversity initiatives, there is no shortage of opportunities for students to hear new perspectives or try new things on campus. Students just need to be willing to go out and search for them.

It is important to find a sense of community or home on campus, but these communities shouldn't cage students or keep them branching out and appreciating all sides of campus life. Too often, students stick to their existing groups and attend the academic speakers pertaining to their discipline and sporting events or performances their friends are a part of. Students may be actively attending campus events, but they are still keeping within their communities.

Almost every week there is a different speaker on campus, lending their voices and experiences to help educate and inspire Elon students. Cultural groups are always hosting panel events, small group discussions or film screenings to give students a new perspective on different cultures. Students outside of these communities should be attending these events to truly learn the most from their fellow students. 

Later this month on April 25, dozens of Elon students will be presenting their undergraduate research at SURF Day. This is the perfect opportunity for students to learn more from their peers and hear different perspectives. Students can watch members of the Performing Arts Department perform in Little Women from April 27 to May 1. There are a number of events students can attend and their motivation should be something more than just knowing someone or their personal involvement. 

At our new student convocation, when we first got to campus, most of us heard President Leo Lambert compare being an Elon student to being at a buffet with all of the most incredible foods in the world. It is up to us to go out and try all the different experiences Elon has to offer.

Students are doing themselves a disservice if they do not embrace all the different opportunities this school and its students have to offer. By doing this, students not only learn more about themselves, but also connect with other students across campus.

So, as registration begins, consider taking a class outside of your discipline or one without any of your friends. Get a ticket to the spring musical or attend a soccer game alone. Try a new food at the dining hall. Whatever way works the best for you — simply break from your routine and make an effort to do something different.

You don't even have to leave campus to gain new experiences. All you have to do is try.