BY ALEXANDRA COOK
If there is one thing that I can attribute to being my saving grace throughout my undergrad in times of stress, feeling sad or overwhelmed, it is my involvement in extracurriculars.
I am in my third and final year of my undergraduate program and I have been involved in various clubs/jobs on campus since first year. I have been apart of Queen’s Fashion Photography, Vogue Charity Fashion Show, MUSE Magazine (as an online contributor this year AND a make-up artist in previous years), and the AMS Pub Services as a Hybrid and Server my past two years.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have been involved in extracurricular activities my whole life. In high school I was actively involved in various sports team, and despite not being very good at any of them, I had the time of my life travelling with my teams to different events and bonding on overnight trips. When you participate in something outside of school, which is the most consistent thing many of us have known our entire life, the people you meet are that much more special because you are all there sharing a love for something and dedicating your time to developing whatever it is.
University life can get really lonely sometimes. Mental health becomes a huge issue for many students entering into university because we experience a sort of pressure to do well with a seemingly unbearable amount of work to do each and every day. It is easy to quickly become wrapped up in a routine that allows us to forget about self-care and putting time aside to do the things we love that makes us happy. I experienced this in first year and realized that in second year I needed to put a lot more effort into making time to do things that I loved. So I got a job at TAPS and joined MUSE and Vogue and my life throughout undergrad was forever changed for the better.
We are extremely fortunate as Queens students to be offered a GENEROUS amount of extracurriuclars. Whether you play a varsity sport, intramurals, join an AMS service to make money and try something new, or join one of the hundreds of clubs there is an option virtually for everyone. Extracurriculars, for me, have been therapeutic. They are my spaces to put my current school life aside and focus on ME beyond my academics. The people I have met through my various involvements have been absolutely incredible, and they come from all different walks of life, programs, and places.
My favourite part of joining an extracurricular? The relationships you develop with your coworkers/teammates, etc. that you would probably never meet outside of your extracurricular. I am so thankful for the incredible people I have met whether they be in Science, Film, Con-Ed, Kin, Eng., and so many more despite me being in Arts. Our mutual love for whatever club or service we are working for creates a relationship like no other. I used to hole up in my room, never wanting to leave thinking I had no option for a better alternative on a bad day. Boy was I wrong, and I encourage anyone who is seeking some sort of escape to look into the options Queens offers for extracurricular activities and jobs!
Below I will share a link to AMS club directory page where every single one of Queen’s clubs and their contact info is listed with background info or links to social media. I will also list some clubs under different areas of interest to jump start any ideas you may be having of looking into something for you! There is an option for everyone, so I encourage all to have a look, get inspired, and join something that will motivate you to take better care of yourself.
Interested in Sports/Working out but not a varsity athlete? Check these out!
Interested in Fashion/Beauty? Check out these amazing clubs!
Muse Magazine at Queens (P.S hiring season is NOW!)
Looking to make a little extra money and work on campus? Then check out the AMS services!
Wanting to get more involved with Social Issues and/or your Cultural Identity? Check these out!