Looking for something new to get into or join a group with whom you have much in common? There is no better time than the beginning of the school year to check out all the student clubs and associations that are opened to you!
Whether it’s practising sports, tabletop hobbies, arts, discussions or even creating communities of like minded individuals, the University of Ottawa offers a plethora of widely different clubs, associations and communities you can check out on the CVUO club list.
We’ve asked students participating in clubs to tell us about their experiences, motivations and advice when it comes to joining a club as part of your University experience to show you how beneficial and enriching it can be. Here’s what we can gather from what they have to say:
Why did you choose to join this club?
Students can have all sorts of reasons to join a club. Some simply want to share some quality doing something they’re passionate about with their fellow students. Others wish to create a space and community for the sake of awareness or culture sharing. No matter what ambitions you may have, any club will welcome students willing to join them for a good time.
“The interest began during my introduction to Celtic studies class when the professor mentioned the new club. I had never really heard of hurling or Gaelic football before and was fascinated by the undiscovered sports. At that time, I was also looking into intramurals to become more active. Joining this club combined my interest in learning about a new culture and being active.” Paisley Robertson, Vice President of UOttawa Gaelic Athletic Association Club
“I chose to create this club because I felt that the University needed more representation of diverse, non-Abrahamic religions. I wanted to let pagan students (and non-pagan students who are interested in learning about it) know that they have a club on campus where they can discuss their beliefs without judgement. I also wanted to help promote religious tolerance on campus - or virtual campus, for now.” Andrea Raymond, President and founder of uOttawa Pagans & Friends
“I wanted to get closer to the people in my program as well as create a more inclusive experience for the translation students. Even though we take a lot of the same classes together, the university experience can be very lonely if you only interact with your fellow classmates during classes. By joining the association, I could get to know the other members better and also help create a welcoming community for others in the program to want to join it as well!” Stéphanie Coulombe, Vice President of Social Affairs, Translation Students’ Association
What has this club brought to your life / university career?
On top of taking your mind off your stressful studying for a few hours per week, clubs can prove to be remarkably rewarding experiences, which many students hold as their fondest memories of their time on campus. Students that have become really involved in their clubs have discovered new things about themselves they never would have otherwise all the while having a reason to stay engaged in what they love.
“This club has given me the chance to meet many great people that have a true passion for what they do. We, as a group, learn together and work as a unit to make sure everyone is included. This club keeps my university life exciting as it is very different from the work I do as a nursing student. It is good to have an outlet for stress that does not have a relation with your work or studies.” Paisley Robertson, Vice President of UOttawa Gaelic Athletic Association Club
“The UOTC really made my student life more active. We often get too busy with our lectures & projects that we forget to get physical activity. Playing tennis always made me feel better, especially if i had a rough week.” Sara Zeineddine, Communication Executive for uOttawa Tennis Club
“I've learned that I can be a leader when I want to. It's also definitely brought me a sense of community, as I didn't expect so many people to be interested. It's good to know that students still care about stuff like this, haha.” Andrea Raymond, President and founder of uOttawa Pagans & Friends
What is a piece of advice you would give to incoming students from a club's perspective?
Honestly, every club member we’ve asked has given us the same answer: “Just do it”. Students highly recommend you join a club no matter what it is that interests you. While you may feel that your class or work schedule is already a lot to bear, casually participating in a club really isn’t that big of a commitment and takes your mind off that stressful course load.
"Just do it! Many clubs are low-commitment, so you can just go when you have the time or want to socialize. It's a great way to get yourself out there. If you were like me and worried about the difficulties of making friends in a new environment, this is one of the best ways to get out there and guarantee a similar interest or motivation with the people you meet." Emily Bertrand, President of Wargaming and Roleplaying Society
“Even if you have the tiniest feeling of wanting to join a club, take the first step of trying it out. It may not be for you, but you will never know until you try. Most of the regrets you will have in life aren’t the things you did do, but the things you did not.” Raymond Feng, Founder and President of uOttawa Bboy Club
Deadlines to join a club are usually around the end of September or early October so take some time to check out the club list if you haven’t! If you don’t find a club that relates to your interest, start thinking about how you can create one when that becomes possible for you!
Follow Campus Vibez uOttawa on social media for more updates on clubs at uOttawa!