Opportunities beyond the books

Weighing the pros and cons of extracurricular activities on campus

By now, you’ve probably heard of the numerous extracurricular activities you can be a part of at Queen’s. But with over 450 to choose from — how do you know which ones you’ll enjoy? To help you decide, here’s the ups and downs of joining some of campus’ most popular extracurricular activities.

Varsity teams and clubs


– Queen’s offers an array of varsity sports teams and clubs, from soccer to rowing to volleyball. You’re sure to find one you’re interested in.

Lots of travel opportunities: “Even though I wasn’t a top recruit, I still got to travel a number of times,” said Leo Burns Scully, PheKin ’16, of the track and field team. “I went to Toronto twice, as well as Montreal and Ottawa.”


– Early morning practices can be tough, especially when you’ve got 8:30 a.m. classes. Rowers, for example, are out on the water before sunrise.

Intramural sports


– Much lower time commitment than varsity sports. Just show up and play — no drills, practices or

experience required.

– Laid-back social setting is a great way to meet people


– Not as much of a cohesive team feeling.

Queen’s Debating Union


– Travel opportunities: “I went to McGill twice, which is great, because I love Montreal,” Kaitlyn Meloche, ArtSci ’16 said.“I even got to go to upstate New York, a place I’d never thought to visit, but was beautiful.”


– “It takes a lot of your time,” said Meloche. “Debate is not just going to practice; you have to keep up on the news and learn a lot of historical-political content.”



– Get paid — it’s minimum wage, but it will still make

a difference.

– Great opportunity to meet new people.


– The working hours: expect to work well past midnight.

– Gets significantly less fun when the weather starts to turn cold.

AMS first-year internships


– Can provide valuable job experience.

– With internships ranging from media and communications to sustainability and the environment, there’s something for everybody.


– Can be quite competitive, as there are typically a lot of applicants.

CFRC (campus radio station)


– Potentially host your own show.

– Great way to meet people within both the Queen’s and Kingston community.


– Can be difficult to get your own show, as the slots are usually already filled up.

– All volunteers must go through 10 hours of mandatory training.

Off-campus opportunities


– Break out of the “Queen’s Bubble”, like Hannah Shirtlief, ArtSci ’16: “During first year, I realized that without attending St. Mark’s (Lutheran Church), I would never have interacted with people who weren’t aged 18 to 25,” she said. “I really appreciated the conversations I’d have with adults and seniors every Sunday after church. I also found out a lot more about local politics than I would have otherwise.”


– May be a longer commute.

– Hours might not be as compatible with your class schedule.


Campus life, Extracurriculars

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