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
Pros:
- 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.”
Cons:
- 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
Pros:
- 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
Cons:
- Not as much of a cohesive team feeling.

Queen’s Debating Union
Pros:
- 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.”
Cons:
- “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.”

Walkhome
Pros:
- Get paid — it’s minimum wage, but it will still make
a difference.
- Great opportunity to meet new people.
Cons:
- The working hours: expect to work well past midnight.
- Gets significantly less fun when the weather starts to turn cold.

AMS first-year internships
Pros:
- Can provide valuable job experience.
- With internships ranging from media and communications to sustainability and the environment, there’s something for everybody.
Cons:
- Can be quite competitive, as there are typically a lot of applicants.

CFRC (campus radio station)
Pros:
- Potentially host your own show.
- Great way to meet people within both the Queen’s and Kingston community.
Cons:
- 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

Pros:
- 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.”
Cons:
- May be a longer commute.
- Hours might not be as compatible with your class schedule.

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