Spice Up Your School Routine With Unexpected Extracurriculars

 Photo credit: John Loo via Flickr

Photo credit: John Loo via Flickr

Think of extracurricular activities as your ticket to self-exploration and the road to your niche. They’re not for credit and you get to decide how much effort you’re willing to put in. Aside from the traditional activities like cooking, dancing, or yoga, there are tons of different ways to get involved and enlist your passion as a way to make your university life shine! Here are three extracurriculars to add to your list.

UNUSUAL SPORTS

Between competitive, recreational, corporate, and even charity teams, there is a team to fit anyone’s schedule and fitness level. But instead of playing rec volleyball or basketball, try one of these:

  • It is said that dragon boating is one of the truest team sports because unlike in other sports, there can be no single all-star paddler. It takes every single one of a crew’s 20 paddlers to make it across the finish line—and teamwork will almost always win over pure brawn. On dragon boats, which look like long canoes, paddlers sit facing forward to paddle instead of backward to row like typical crew teams do. Races can range from 200 “sprints” to 2,000-meter “guts and glories.”
  • More than 300 universities and high schools all over North America, Europe, and Australia have a Quidditch team, the Hogwarts-to-Muggle World sport that was started by a single group of people at Middlebury College in 2005. As per Harry Potter rules, all seven players must stay on their broomsticks—a.k.a. running with sticks between their legs—at all times as they manipulate volleyballs (Quaffles), dodgeballs (Bludgers), and tennis balls (snitches) to score points and deter the opposing team.

DIY VOLUNTEERING

Volunteering is a great way to help out your community (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s great for the resume, too). Think you have a great idea? Take advantage of school grants and start your own initiative. Here are a few projects started by current college students for inspiration:

  • Ingrid Chandra, a third-year Land & Food Systems student from the University of British Columbia, partnered with South Burnaby Neighborhood House to create and deliver nutrition workshops and activities for youth. Each workshop included a nutrition lesson and food preparation.
  • Erika Henningsen, an art student from the University of Michigan, organized the Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop, an event that gave more than 150 children to participate in three hands-on performance workshops and then show off their skills in jazz ensembles, comedy groups, and a cappella groups.

CREATIVE CLUBS

Joining a club is one of the best ways to meet new people at school, because it’s easy to bond over shared interests. But what if there isn’t a club that matches with what you’re interested in? Create your own! If you’re passionate about something, chances are someone else is too—whether it’s computer animation, all things Disney, or board games, there are virtually no limitations.

Some other ideas we love:

  • Slacklining is a crazy sport for those who love the thrill of circus acts. It’s similar to tight rope walking but can be set up anywhere between two sturdy structures and with a more flexible rope, suitable for performing a multitude of tricks and acrobatic moves. Getting started is easy—find a few daring friends, rope up two big trees on campus, and go wild.
  • One of the biggest gripes about campus living is limited dining options, so why not gather a group of hungry foodies for an eating club that explores some restaurants beyond the school walls? It’s much more than pigging out. You’ll be taking the chance to try different cuisines, get to know different neighborhoods, make some friends outside of your immediate circle, and support local businesses.