The ultimate piece of advice that everyone seems to give me is: Get involved! Find — or carve, if you have to — your niche at UBC.
It’s not as easy as you think, though.
In the first quarter of the semester, I was hardly in residence because I was running around to my many club meetings. I missed out on a lot of residence activities like Graffiti Night and the Vanier Hallowe’en party because I didn’t buy a ticket on time for one, and had to study for a mid-term for the second. That is the second reason why I’ve been missing out a lot: I’ve been studying for the second quarter of the semester. I think I’ve only participated in Vanier Olympics-related events so far, and I’m really glad I did — I had a lot of fun!
This is why I am so excited to be taking part in Sock Wars. What is it? Everybody in the house gets the name of someone else who has signed up. Your job is to throw a clean, empty sock at them when they are not in the safe zones and when they are not holding the safe item of the day. You don’t know who is socking you. You might not even know who your own target is. So I’m really looking forward to that, and I’ll just shout out in advance to whoever is socking me:
Please give me at least three days of fun before you sock me. I don’t want to be out of the game so quickly; goodness knows when I’ll be able to do another residence event.
So I must be really busy with my clubs, you’d think. I joined nine of them, after all.
Unfortunately, the only two I go to with any semblance of regularity are the Dance Club (ballroom) and Swing Kids (swing dancing). I’ve plugged both of them before so I won’t bother to do it again. And the only reason I go to those regularly is because I paid for my lessons — at least there are lessons, otherwise they would just be a waste of time. (I’m really enjoying them, by the way. Plug plug plug.)
Other clubs are either too disorganised for my taste, or they clash with my schedule, or some other equally valid but irritating reason. I’ve been searching for some kind of volunteer work to do, and by that I mean hands-on, interactive volunteering. I’m not as fond of writing petitions as going out and talking to people, preferably children. Each to their own. Unfortunately a lot of of volunteer activities, both on- and off-campus, require people to be at least 19. I’m not 19 until March. Boo.
When I realised that UBC clubs depend almost completely on the vision and activity of their presidents, I searched around for more ways of getting involved. Sadly, it’s a bit late now to apply to Trek Learning Exchange. Sigh. Oh well. Next year! I’ve applied for the UBC VP Students Emerging Leaders Program in the meantime.
Right now I’m trying to go after a child literacy program and another volunteer position at a hospital. I’m skeptical about how well these will work out, but it’s try, try again, isn’t it?
This finding my niche thing is really turning into a stab and try again approach.