Involved, Not Involved, and “Too Involved”

The start of a new semester is always filled with excitement, nerves, add-drop season, and the dramatic shift from perpetual procrastination to keeping up with classes. For returning students, it’s an opportunity to see friends we haven’t connected with for a while. For new students, it’s the beginning of new friendships and connections at the university. For new and old alike, it’s a period of time where we join new clubs and organizations, both on-campus and within the Montréal community!

When I started my first year at McGill, I was hesitant to join student societies and other groups because hanging out with strangers was terrifying. I wanted to concentrate on my studies, meet people living in my residence, and save enough time to Netflix daily. I eventually joined two associations that interested me: my residence council, MORE Council, and the Freshman Undergraduate Science Society (with a great acronym, “FUSS”). Both of these were a great way to meet my peers and to understand group management. I did not put in an excessive amount of effort into either of them, but I learned enough to guide me towards other leadership roles on campus.

As a second year, I was more than ready to embark on new projects and I signed up for a design team, POWE, my department’s student society, International Buddies, and more. I also worked three short-term jobs at McGill in August and September, with one of them extending throughout the school year. I realized about a week ago that I did not schedule any alone-time for myself… and I also did not schedule enough study time to review notes and do math problems. I was reluctant to leave any societies because I didn’t want to disappoint my peers. In the end, I did say a final goodbye to two clubs, which was the right decision; it’s unfair to sign up for a task that I’m not ready to undertake.

Being involved at uni is one of many ways to network and to learn new skills that may prove useful in the workplace. However, it’s important to join clubs that you are interested in or you may find yourself in my position (and quit before September!). If you’re not involved already, I would definitely recommend giving it a shot. The worst outcome is that you don’t stick around with the group, but you may also find yourself with a new interest. Good luck with the rest of the school year!

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