At Queen’s, there is always so much going on around you – from ComSoc execs to AMS committees, your daily class work to spending time with friends, or Varsity athletics to intramurals – you will never have a shortage of things to do. There are going to be so many different opportunities to get involved with that you may not know how to choose! However, here are some of my top tips when it comes to getting involved:
Do your research and choose only what you are truly and most passionate about
Keep a realistic and enjoyable balance between academics and a social life
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin!
Although you may want to try out everything, you also want to avoid spreading yourself too thin. It is so easy to get caught up in the overwhelming amount of clubs, committees and opportunities that Queen’s has, but it is so much better to put your all into a few extracurricular activities that you are super passionate about than to just manage the bare minimum in an extensive list of involvements. Just like you’ve heard your teachers say over and over, “it’s about quality, not quantity”, the same saying goes for getting involved. You want to get the most out of the things you are involved with and thus, you should narrow down your interests and choose your favourites.
Being over-involved can result in excess stress, under-commitment and having to miss social events because of work build up. So, do yourself a favour and be realistic. Make a schedule of your course load and any other current commitments and ask yourself, “what else can I manage?”. Additionally, ask yourself, “would adding more to my plate make me happier?”. Although we may have been able to manage several extracurricular activities in high school, university is a new environment so you want test out the waters before diving in too deep!
It is also important to remember to schedule time for yourself. While being busy can provide a sense of challenge and excitement, don’t forget that you need your down time to recharge. The social aspect of university is one that you will remember forever so you want to make sure that you are leaving time to hang out with friends and create lasting memories.
If you ever find yourself in a position where you think you have in fact spread yourself too thin, take a step back and re-evaluate your commitments. If there is any involvement that can be dropped, think about if dropping it or lessening your role in it would make your life easier and more enjoyable: is it adding more stress or value to your life? If the answer is stress, then I would advise dropping it. When it comes time to re-apply or re-register for all your commitments, remember tip #1: choose only what you are truly passionate about.
Getting involved is all about balance! One of the many perks of Queen’s is all the clubs, committees, executives, intramurals and events that it offers. So, yes, definitely get involved – just remember to think about your current commitment load before adding anything to your plate to avoid spreading yourself too thin!