You've completed your first term—now it’s time to start thinking about how you can take advantage of all those campus opportunities and make the most of your UBC experience.
From the moment I arrived at UBC, I was so excited by the endless opportunities that campus had to offer.
I could join a dance club, take a wine-tasting course, or play on a Quidditch team—I felt like I had just entered a “UBC-themed” amusement park!
Your time at UBC and a day at Disneyland are pretty similar if you think about it. If you spend your entire day at the amusement park going on the same ride over and over again, you’re probably going to leave disappointed that you didn’t get to try anything else. Likewise, if you spend your entire degree focused only on studying, you may feel like you missed out on all the other opportunities UBC has to offer.
Oftentimes, it can be difficult to step outside our comfort zones and get more involved on campus. Maybe you don’t feel like you have any spare time or you’re feeling unmotivated, or maybe there’s a fear of putting yourself out there and failing. However, you can learn so much about yourself in the process of trying new things!
Remember, there's no “right way” to do university. It may take jobs you didn’t like, classes you wanted to skip, or events where you snuck out early to really figure out what you want to invest your time and energy in.
New term = new opportunities
The beginning of a term is the best time to try something new and get involved since there’s plenty happening on campus.
Plus, there are a ton of benefits to trying something different—you’ll gain confidence in unfamiliar situations, discover new passions, and make new friends!
Below are just some ideas to help you start adding depth to your degree:
- Check out student clubs at AMS Clubs Day (Jan 15 - 18). If you missed out last term, it’s definitely not too late. Try out a new club event to expand your social circle.
- Join an intramural team or event. Bring out your competitive spirit and meet people in a recreational setting. You can sign up solo and join a team or bring your friends—you also don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to compete!
- Attend the Winter Classic (Jan 18). It's the next big Thunderbird sporting event after Homecoming. Embrace the classic Canadian love for hockey and take your Thunderbird pride to the hockey rink.
- Explore Arts & Culture on campus. UBC is an endless treasure trove of unique spots where you can learn, relax, and take in some culture. Get to know all that's available—and impress your family and friends who come to visit you.
- Start your own club (applications are due by Jan 30). If you don’t see a group that interests you, start your own club and grow a community under an initiative that you’re inspired by!
- Share your voice by writing for student publications. Develop your opinion and perspective with other peers on a vast range of issues through a variety of mediums. See your words on paper, online, or hear them by pitching your own radio show.
Make UBC about YOU
Now that I’m in my fourth year, I’ve ventured beyond academics by finding my favourite picnic spot on campus, joining a dance team called Project U&G, helping run the IONA Journal of Economics, and I currently plan on storming the wall at the end of this term!
Every time you take on a new role, learn something in class, or develop a new relationship, your perspective on your UBC experience will change. If you take on an executive position in a club, you may see your university life as something that shapes you into a leader. Or, if you attend an event like the Winter Classic, it could be where you discover your love for hockey. Maybe for you, UBC is where you create your network of life-long friends!
It’s completely natural to feel overwhelmed by all the opportunities—you might not know where to start, and that’s ok. But remember, you wouldn’t go to Disneyland and not try at least a couple of new rides to see what you like!
So take this new year to explore what UBC has to offer you—on your own terms!
Photo credit: John Yuen