How To Get Involved In Extra-Curricular Activities After Graduation

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Faculty clubs. Athletic events. Social committees. Campus newspapers.

There are so many possibilities for extra-curricular involvement former students let go of once we graduate.

These various initiatives become a part of each one of us as they shape who we are and what we do.

Once we walk across that stage to accept our degree or diploma, it’s representative of walking over the threshold into the next stage of our lives, which is often consumed by the big C-word: career.

A few months after I left school and started in the work force, I started to feel somewhat empty. I knew that during my four years of university, academics were not enough to keep me fulfilled, so what made me think a career would?

While we’re in school, many of us want to give back to our community and contribute to a cause that matters to us.

During my four years at McMaster, I did everything from playing intramural volleyball, to organizing a charity pub night for the local Boys and Girls Club, to working with the City of Hamilton to foster positive relationships between students and the community, to being a teaching assistant for my favourite marketing course.

Each one of these activities and more allowed me to become the determined individual I am, but the only problem is all of the traits that encouraged me to diversify my interests are now channelled into one stream. Yup, you got it: my career.

What many new grads fail to realize is each of your personal endeavours will not only build on the person you are, but will also enhance your resumé and show potential employers you are a well-rounded individual.

A few months after I left school and started in the work force, I started to feel somewhat empty. I knew that during my four years of university, academics were not enough to keep me fulfilled, so what made me think a career would?

So, I began my search to involve myself in the greater community, much like I had at Mac.

Here are a few things I did to get involved again – you should try them too:

  • Browse charity websites that represent a cause you believe in to see what volunteer initiatives are available World Wildlife Fund, Canadian Cancer Society, Toronto Humane Society, etc.)
  • Pick up pamphlets that advertise major fundraising events and participate in them. One event I committed to was the CIBC Run for the Cure. We raised money for a great cause and got a great work out!
  • Check out your local YMCA or community centre to see which intramural sports teams are accepting new members.
  • Research volunteering websites to see what openings might be a suitable fit for you (Volunteertoronto.ca and Habitat.ca are two great examples)
  • Search for volunteer opportunities on career websites (like TalentEgg.ca, which led me to become a volunteer writer!)

Yes, post-secondary education is about achieving educational goals and preparing for a future career, and getting that paper that signifies so much. But it is also about finding your true self through many different pursuits, and realizing you can make a difference afterwards.

So join a sports team, embark on a charitable initiative, attend a fundraising event and look up the numerous organizations around your city. You may come across a group that reveals a meaningful message to you. Remember that every voice, every action, and every representation matters, so keep those wheels turning and don’t give up on the extra-curricular activities that make each and every one of you who you are!

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About the author

Sasha Rana is an honours commerce graduate from McMaster University, currently working as a sales account executive. During her four years at Mac, she was the director of the Student Community Support Network for the McMaster Students Union, a teaching assistant, and involved in various campus clubs, planning events and fundraising initiatives. She frequently wrote for her service’s newsletter, the campus newspaper, as well as a local community newsletter. She would like to continue her passion for sharing her thoughts and experiences, while reaching out to fellow new grads.