The real learning at university is done beyond the classroom

Although students initially come to university to get a degree, post-secondary education is about a lot more than just academics. 

For many undergraduate students, the time they spend at Queen’s is their first experience living away from home. During our time here, we learn how to be self-sufficient and we start to figure out who we are and who we want to be. In order to maximize this personal growth, we need to be able to learn both in and outside of the classroom.

We all live in our own personal bubbles on campus. It’s easy to become comfortable with routine, but the most enriching experiences at university occur when we step out of our comfort zones and expand those bubbles to new people and new experiences.

As part of The Journal’s video team, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a video series called ‘Clubs @ Queen’s’ where we explore a different club in each episode. As someone who wasn’t involved in extra-curriculars during my first three years at Queen’s, trying out various clubs on campus helped me to realize that the Queen’s community extends far beyond our academic programs and social circles. There are a lot of clubs and organizations on campus that can help us figure out more about ourselves and what we’re passionate about, and potentially lead us towards a fulfilling career path.  

Clubs and extra-curricular activities allow people to explore their interests while offering a more practical learning experience. By trying different clubs, students can figure out what they enjoy the most and what they want to pursue. Once they find where their interest lies, extra-curriculars can also serve as a platform to improve upon those skills before graduation. 

Although at times it can be intimidating, stepping out of our comfort zones and getting involved with extra-curricular activities can teach us things we can’t learn in class. There are so many people on campus that can teach valuable lessons, and all it takes to meet them is to branch out, whether that be through joining a club, working or volunteering on campus, or even joining an intramural team.

Like many other undergraduate students, I don’t exactly know what I want to be doing after I graduate, but participating in extra-curricular activities has given me a sense of direction.

Max is The Journal’s video editor. He’s a fourth-year film and media studies major. 

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