In grad school we tend to “verb” the need of making friends as, socialize, which sounds rational, aimed and mature. In socialization, we strive to be more interesting, appealing and impressive; we take this occasion as a chance to practice self-marketing, an experiment to test one’s popularity, or sadly, a reinforcement of a sense of disgrace resulted from a “boring” performance.
However, if we regard socializing only as marketing strategy, or as MSG added to our meaning-making academic life, as the word is frequently advertised, we might lose an opportunity to develop genuine relationship, dare to walk out of one’s safety zones, and become better off reconciling ourselves to our less “interesting”, but honest, reliable characters.
Many of us have the experience of starting a new life in a strange environment, with new faces around. When I asked some new graduate students about how they made friends at Queen’s, some of them said they took initiative to talk to strangers, discover similar people and thus founded friendship.
Birds of a feather flock together.
We not only learn this prophesy, we experience it. Therefore, if spending a few hours in each party does little to generate valuable conversation and relationship, why not join in some Queen’s or Kingston’s organizations where members share the same value, work on the same goal, and thus are like-minded?
AMS club and organization offers a comprehensive list of student clubs at Queen’s. From sport to culture, business to art, you can easily find participation opportunities to either develop friendships, build professional profile or just have fun!
If you want to get involved in aboriginal culture, Four Direction Aboriginal Student Center is a hub of activity where everyone is welcomed and encouraged.
Employment & Volunteering opportunities are abundant here. Engaging in departmental planning in student councils, playing a leading role in student affairs, or building better community with your strengths are always appreciated.
Seeking contact out of school? Kingston Community Health Center might as well a good fit for you. With multiple programs set up to help the Kingston people from all walks of life, KCHC offers training and places volunteers to positions that match their strengths and interests.
Though my list will be ended in here, it is not exhausted! Grad life is closely associated with the spirit of exploration, and it could be a feast of experience. Instead of “boring” busy, you can utilize many resources to make it “diversely” busy!