By Imane Chafi
During a hot summer’s day, next to the willow trees and swinging grass, you wander the walls of McConnell Hallway. The buzzing sound of voices fills your ears and you marvel at the extensive amount of tables lined against the walls, as though you’ve entered a banquet made especially for you. Banners and posters of colorful names and ideas are everywhere, promoting music, arts and science, with flyers travelling hand to hand in crowds of cheerful students. This wonderful event, Activities Night, happens once every semester, where McGill engineering clubs gather in one place to present their activities to students and lead them on a journey that will shape their McGill experience.
Joining a club, whether it’s a cycling team or a community service organization, is a big commitment and requires engagement and participation. To help you in your search for an extracurricular activity, here are a few tips on what to expect from SSMU clubs and how to join them. Every year, at the beginning of the fall semester, one of the largest gatherings of clubs at McGill takes place to engage with new and returning students and present opportunities for involvement within the university. This event, fittingly called “Activities Night”, occurs on multiple days and features every student-led club the university has to offer. Student representatives will be there to explain the purpose of their club, what it has to offer, and how you can contribute to its development. Plus, most of the time, there is also some really cool free merch to grab along the way, which makes this event an even more marvelous experience.
Once you’ve found a club that you like and shares your passion for involvement, you can simply give them your email address and be added to their respective newsletter to get weekly information about their projects throughout the year. Even if you can’t attend Activities Night, the university provides an abundant description of all the clubs and their contact information on the SSMU website. Furthermore, there are many other outreach sessions throughout the year where clubs and organisations host an infamous McConnell “samosa” sale and promote their activities.
Clubs are made by students, for students and managed with the idea that students should benefit from extracurricular activities and pursuing hobbies, whether they are new endeavours or already a passion. They provide an incredible scope for the imagination, whether it’s by learning the intricate physics of bridges with the Bridge Building Team or by trying out something completely different and joining the creative contemporary ballet company Alegria. By joining a club, you get the opportunity to meet a uniquely diverse constellation of people that share your interests and partake in fulfilling adventures where you can apply the knowledge you learn in school in real-life situations.
However, clubs are also a commitment and demand a certain amount of responsibility on your part. University life is a great endeavor that will teach you how to balance your social life and your studies. Adding a club to the equation may seem like a challenge at first, but the results will leave you wanting for more. The first finished painting you will see bloom in front of your eyes, the breathless steps after running to the finish line in an athletic race, and the final note sung from the bottom of your heart with a chorus of voices behind you will be the defining and gratifying reasons you keep involving yourself in the myriad of enrichment and triumph we call clubs. ♦