Winter Carnival lives up to the hype

With names such as “O-Week Round Two” and “O-Week for Seniors” there is no doubt that Winter Carnival has a tall order to fill. A week long spectacle created by our Wilfrid Laurier University Student’s Union (WLUSU), it is the epitome of “Frost week” at Wilfrid Laurier University. There are as many as 20 teams vying for the Winter Carnival trophy presented at the end of the week. Yet, it is fact that many of the events occur during class times, putting pressure on those with already hectic schedules. Is being a participant of Winter Carnival while juggling a full-time workload worth it? Well, by dishing out a good $25 on top of team t-shirts in mid-December and attending numerous team socials during the first semester, I believe it is.

Without a doubt the first perk of being a part of Winter Carnival is the expansion of your social circle. The variety of people that you meet not only on your team but during pre-Winter Carnival events is astounding. This event truly brings people of different academic experiences, programs and years of study together in order to pronounce team spirit in fierce competition. In my experience I have become friends with multiple members of my team through team socials and bonding over our excitement for this well-awaited week. In the end, it’s just a great way to meet people and make new friends.

This spectacle is also a way for students to develop valuable skills that can help them not only in university but also in any social or professional setting. Participants are able to develop skills in leadership by being a captain of a team or an event leader and teamwork by cohesively working in groups during multiple events. Like any other club, Winter Carnival fosters communication between members as they must effectively communicate ideas to their team and make engaging presentations for the audience. With events such as “Cribs,” one must demonstrate their personal creativity and uniqueness while with “Laurier Idol” some will have to step out of their shells – if put to the task, anyone is able to better develop skills they never knew they had and demonstrate their school spirit.

Lastly, Winter Carnival fosters inclusivity and school spirit. In high school, students join clubs not only to sound good on their university application, but to also find their niche in the increased social setting by finding others that share their interests. Through this inclusivity students are able to go beyond themselves and demonstrate a sort of civic mindedness for their school. Similar to this, Winter Carnival allows students to demonstrate their school spirit by working with a group of individuals toward a collective goal. It is through these experiences we can better learn to become a cohesive team working towards shared goals rather than just a group of students.

Nevertheless, by talking with students who participated in Winter Carnival in previous years, I must note that it is not for everyone. As it spans a whole week, there is a heavy toll on those who wish to keep up with their schooling, as all your free time must be dedicated to team initiatives. This makes it very easy to fall behind in school and potentially play “catch-up” for the rest of the semester. In addition, with events such as “Bar nights” there is always pressure to become intoxicated in a social environment when you may not want to. Personally, I plan to stay responsible in order to attend all my classes and stay up-to-date, while also spending any extra time with my team. Ultimately, the experience you wish to have is impacted by your own values and what one chooses to do is their own decision.

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