What’s next when you’re getting involved?


Graphic by Kash Patel

Now that you’ve been to the Get Involved Fair and you’ve seen all the clubs you want to get involved with — and probably some that you don’t — your schedule is probably looking pretty full.

That’s fantastic for now, but when midterms and final assignments roll around, having activities straight from 8:30 in the morning to 12:00 at night isn’t going to do your grades or your mental health any favours.

Coming into university, it was suggested to me to join three activities on top of classes: one for your resume, one to keep you active and one just for fun.

That’s not a rulebook, of course, and you can customize it to fit your own lifestyle, but it’s a great starting point to decide which activities are worth your time.

This is your time to get the infamous three-years-of-experience for the entry level job. No pressure, but the decisions you make now are just as important as what your major is and your grades.

Seriously, don’t panic. Just like university in general, you have to make it fun if you want to get through it.

And joining extracurriculars that relate to your chosen field shouldn’t be a chore. If you join activities that directly relate to where you want to end up in your life, you’ll get a better understanding of if you’re on the right path or if you’re headed in the wrong direction.

If you’re really lost as to what that direction is, though, make note of what kinds of questions were asked on the general application for scholarships through LORIS.

They don’t just ask those questions because they want statistics, they’re specifically trying to match candidates with money.

If you want a scholarship in the future, try to get heavily involved in the clubs and associations that both interest you and fit what the application is asking for.

Going to an event doesn’t make you a member right away, and you can always pop in again when there is an event you are particularly interested in.

At the same time, remember to differentiate yourself — volunteer at an organization that means something to you and try something out of your comfort zone. Getting an authentic experience on top of the resume and scholarship boosters is essential to your success in university and in the future.

Executive positions can be really tempting and work better on a resume, but don’t expect to be a president in your first year either. You have to put in the time and work for one of those positions, so consider starting as a first-year-rep, as many clubs have, if you’re looking to be even more involved.

The slogan for the Students’ Union Clubs and Associations this year is “there’s a club for that,” and there really is if you look — and it doesn’t have to be a Students’ Union funded club, either.

Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, our parent organization here at The Cord, is independent from the Students’ Union, which is pretty special, especially considering our context and political climate at Laurier.

It’s also free week at Laurier recreation this week, so if you’re interested in group exercise classes, now’s the time to try them out and get your feel for the ones that you enjoy.

There are also plenty of opportunities off campus, from part time jobs to volunteering in other capacities, there’s no need to limit yourself to campus. Take an extra course, sort cans at the Food Bank, help run the events at the museum or try your hand at all three and see what sticks.

You just have to know your limits about when enough is enough.

Don’t let others tell you that you’re taking on too much or too little, as you can only find that out yourself by testing your limits, but also remember that these first few weeks will be the easiest of the semester and you can expect to start writing a paper a week or so in November.

The best advice I can give you is to show up to the first event, feel out whether you’ll like it or not, and then decide to stay or to go.

Going to an event doesn’t make you a member right away, and you can always pop in again when there is an event you are particularly interested in.

Keep your future, your health and your resume in mind as you pick your activities for the year and you’ll be golden right through your four years.

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Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.