Get involved: The extracurricular path to becoming well-rounded

University life can consist of a constantly rotating to-do list of readings, essays, memorization, group work, et cetera - if you let it. There is an expectation that once we arrive at tertiary level education, we should succeed on a constant basis - which means that we must prioritize. But prioritizing is quite a different matter from allowing course obligations to consume one’s every waking moment. Striking that balance between academic and non-academic activities provides much-needed balance, and ensures that our mental growth is expanded beyond a strictly academic frame. The result, hopefully, is that we become more well-rounded individuals.

When I started school, I told myself that I wanted to become immersed in university life. After spending my first undergrad year getting a handle on managing my school work load, I think that I'm now ready to join a campus club.  Just in time, because on Thursday January 27th, the Sussex Clubhouse will host its annual Club Crawl. This event seeks to showcase the various student-run clubs that you can become involved in. It's like one-stop shopping for extracurricular organizations! Come and converse with the different club representatives about what their organizations have to offer, while sipping on free snacks and hot chocolate. Having over fifty campus clubs represented ensures that, whatever your interests, there is sure to be something that you can get involved in. The Sussex Clubhouse is located at 21 Sussex Avenue, and the event takes place from 3 to 6 pm.

On another note, if you are starting a campus club, you can apply to the Sussex Clubhouse for office space. You can find the Clubhouse's requirements here, but basically the Clubhouse allocates 2 year lease agreements annually. Your club must be one that is recognized by the University of Toronto (see here); other stipulations are that you must attend 2 Sussex Clubhouse meetings each year, and you must also submit a club activity report each June. Other than the ability to apply for office space at Sussex House, there are several benefits to having your club recognized, such as the ability to access web hosting services.

So whether you want to join an established organization, or start your own - just get involved. I for one am looking forward to finding the right extracurricular fit at the upcoming Club Crawl. I'd love to hear from folks who are already members of campus organizations - has it been challenging to maintain a healthy balance? Or are your clubs a way for you to let off some of the steam that academic expectations can create? Drop me a note, and stay tuned for a follow up post about which club I signed up for!


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