University life can get hectic. Students are constantly trying to juggle academics, work, social life and a good night’s sleep. But amidst the constant stress and impending deadlines, sometimes we need to blow off some steam. One of the best ways to do this is to take some time off and get involved in some extracurriculars, which are often a welcome distraction from the humdrum of daily life.
For students in Education City, there are ample opportunities to get involved in activities that won’t break the bank because, let’s admit it, as college students we are almost always broke. Ignorance is not an excuse because Education City has something to offer to every kind of student, no matter what you are looking for.
We are all guilty of making big resolutions at the beginning of every year. We promise ourselves to start eating healthy and workout every morning, but we end up failing miserably. As a student, making diet plans stick can be difficult, but it is not impossible to stay fit. You can easily join one of many fitness classes offered around here. One of the many perks of going to a community fitness class is that you can always drag your friends along for some motivation, or just feed off the energy of the peers in your class. That is how you make working out fun and not a chore.
Hamad Bin Khalifa University offers a variety of different workout sessions at different times throughout the day. They range from full-body stretching to indoor cycling to circuit training. There are separate times for males and females, which makes it more convenient and comfortable for some female participants. These classes are currently taking place at Multaqa, Education City’s Student Center, in the Black Box Theater. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the schedule, which you can find by enquiring at the Student Center front desk. Good news is that there is no registration required, so you can walk into any of the classes without any commitments.
If monotonous sit-ups and burpees are not for you, an aerobic workout like Zumba may pique your interest. Not only is it fun, but it might give you the chance to learn the steps to a popular Bollywood number or break a leg to “Despacito.” Zumba is currently held only for ladies in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the month of February. It is taught by Jennifer, who is as enthusiastic as she is charming. As with the other fitness classes, the schedule for Zumba also changes depending on room and instructor availability. You can find the schedule by contacting the Student Center.
Martial arts, like karate, are often thought of as activities that require a lot of strength. However, karate is about understanding and taking advantage of the mechanics of the body. So, it is absolutely alright if you cannot do five pushups in a row, you can still learn to use the techniques of the art. In EC, karate is offered as a mixed gender class consisting of both students and faculty and takes place at Georgetown University’s Performing Arts Studio, which is located in the basement. The class instructor is Professor Byrad Yelland of Virginia Commonwealth University, who has 20 years of experience in karate and two black belts. The class meets twice a week on Sundays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. After a couple of kicks and punches, you’ll start to feel like Jet Li!
If you like meditation, yoga might just be the thing for you. Yoga classes take place in Georgetown University’s Performing Arts Studio mostly in the afternoons for all age groups and genders. The exercises range from beginner to more advanced depending on the comfort level of the participant. So, if you need a relaxing break between classes, you can head over to the 60-minute yoga session during lunch time for a little energy boost.
If none of the above appeal to you and you just want to relax without having to move a muscle, you can head to the Qatar Foundation Recreation Center for a swim in the pool or a dip in the jacuzzi. Their indoor Olympic size pool is open to all community members until 9:45 p.m. There are also separate timings for ladies only. For more information, contact them on their Facebook page.
Fitness Not Your Thing? Here are Other Options:
Not everyone is looking to incorporate a fitness regime in their routine. So, if breaking a sweat isn’t your thing, then you might find one of the following activities more appealing.
Qatar National Library offers interesting community circles open to the public. The knitting and crochet circle has been an ongoing community event that takes place every Thursday between 9 to 11 in the morning and is open to the public. No previous skills are necessary and supplies can be borrowed from the library. There are also several books available to help guide you through your first knitted garment. Check out the QNL website for their collection and to stay up to date on changes to the event.
For all the bibliophiles and literary enthusiasts, Qatar National Library has a range of book clubs that meet regularly for discussions. It includes the Young Adult Book Club, the English Fiction Book Club (for adults) and the Silent Book Club. The former is catered towards young adults where they come together and read a chosen book every month or share and discuss their favorite books. The English Fiction Book club has previously read “Never Let Me Go” by the award-winning Japanese novelist Kazuo Ishiguro and is currently reading “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce. If you do not want to constrain yourself to just one book, you can always join the Silent Book Club where participants can choose from a range of books to read silently and get together after to share their thoughts. You can visit the User Services Desk in the library to get a hold of a copy of the books currently read by any of the aforementioned book clubs.