Students at the Pep Rally
January 4, 2018
3 mins read

Adding colour to your degree

There are lots of ways to get involved in campus life at UBC, and Term 2 is a great time to explore these opportunities—because there's more to student life than just hitting the books.

Study. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

This is a routine that we students know all too well and it can make UBC seem like only a means to an end: a degree earned after 4 (okay, maybe 5) years of rigorous study.

I certainly began my time here thinking that’s all UBC would be for me, but I’ve found over the years that my academic experience has become a lot richer because I've made time for activities outside of my courses.

AMS President Alan Ehrenholz has shared that “getting involved in the UBC community will add colour and depth to your degree,” and I couldn’t agree more.

There are so many things you can do, or be a part of, at UBC that can open doors for new friendships or connections, allow you to explore new interests or passions—or simply offer a release from your daily routine.  

A new term = new opportunities

If you’ve not yet had a chance to explore university life beyond the classroom, second term is the perfect time to discover where you can ‘add some colour and depth to your degree’.

It could be joining a rocket-building team, singing in a musical troupe, playing a fierce dodgeball game, or showing off your magic tricks.

It could be working as a residence advisor, volunteering in a laboratory, exploring your options for studying abroad, or gaining experience as a work learn student.

It could be going to an exhibit at MOA, helping to pick vegetables at the UBC farm, or running in your faculty’s or the AMS’ student elections.

Whatever suits your passions and interests, there are opportunities here to find your niche and your community.

Ideas to help you get started

If you’re looking for specific ways to get involved this term, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few ideas for adding a dash of colour to your degree:

  • Take advantage of Free Week (Jan 8-14). Try the early-morning bootcamp that you won’t commit to pay for until you know you can actually drag your body out of bed at 6 am.

  • Attend AMS Clubs Day at the Nest (Jan 15-18). It’s never too late to join a club with people who have similar passions as you.

  • Attend Winter Classic (Jan 19). If you missed Homecoming, this is the next big Thunderbird sporting event to attend. Grab your UBC scarfs and head to Douglas Mitchell to experience a proper Canadian hockey game.

  • Start a club (application deadline: Jan 30). If you want to leave your mark on campus, start a club that doesn’t exist yet. You never know who else will want to join!

  • Explore UBC’s Arts & Culture District. Music, art, and culture are therapy for the soul. Plus, checking out a museum, gallery, or play offers a perfect study break to rejuvenate your mind.

  • Share your voice in student publications. Your thoughts and opinions matter, and The Ubyssey and CiTR Radio are great platforms to share them from.

Explore on your own terms

Of course, everyone has their own timeline for getting involved and there’s no pressure to venture out if you’re not ready. It’s taken me almost 5 years to immerse myself into student life on campus, but I can gladly say that UBC has become more than just a means to a degree.

I’ve been an executive for an AMS club, completed the Arts Co-op program, went on a seminar exchange, worked for the Arts Undergraduate Society, played on a Rec team, and (yes) had my fair share of Pit nights.

I also participated in my first Polar Bear Swim last term because it was on my bucket list of ‘things to do before I leave UBC’. So, on a dreary and rainy December 1st—the last day of classes—I put on my swimsuit and ran into the ocean with no regrets.

We’re all here to learn, but it’s good to remember that learning can be done both inside and outside the classroom.

So get out there when you’re ready and maybe after a year, or 2, or 4 (it’s your timeline and no one else’s), you’ll see a vibrant canvas of colour behind your well-earned UBC degree.