I’m broke. I think most university students, at least in North America, can relate to this. Not wanting to take any more money from my (also broke) parents and feeling kind of liberated by my lack of monetary possession, I’ve decided to look at the bright side and make a list of 5 things I can do in Squamish and at Quest without money. Here it goes.
1. Camp at the Chief in the off-season
Coming from freezing cold, snow covered Ontario, my idea of winter camping was very different from what I experienced in Squamish. It was chilly but with only a dusting of snow it was more of a winter wonderland than a frozen version of hell. (Sorry Ontario, you’re lovely sometimes too…) Another bonus is waking up and being able to hike the Chief, even getting up early enough to hike it in the dark and make it up in time to see the beautiful sunset over Squamish and the valley.
2. Lie in the sun
This feels extra special in Squamish, especially during the winter/early spring when it’s cloudy and rainy a lot of the time. The grass in front of the library is especially lovely to lounge on and on particularly beautiful days it’s pretty much covered in Quest students.
3. Go to a Quest basketball/soccer game
We were pretty lucky this winter to have the honour of hosting the men’s national basketball tournament and even luckier to be able to attend all of the games free as a Quest student. There was some amazing basketball and we’ve made a reputation as being the loudest, most excited and supportive fans in the league (maybe Canada!). In the fall, it’s equally lovely to sit on the grass watching the super talented Quest soccer teams play to the sound of bongo drums and chants from the stands.
4. Volunteer in Squamish
There are so many opportunities in Squamish. This year I volunteered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in an amazing program called Go Girls. I was graced with the presence of 20 energetic girls, and specifically 5-11 year old girls in my group, every Thursday at the community centre. Quest let us borrow a van so transportation was free and we were able to hang out with wonderful people, build self confidence in young girls, and play ridiculous team building games over and over again (usually involving a rubber chicken, of course).
5. Explore the woods and water around Quest
There are lots of great trails right behind Quest (we have the best backyard) that lead to waterfalls, rapids, beautiful clearings, and more trails. Sometimes you have to scramble down steep hills and cling to rocks but it’s usually pretty easy to find natural beauty all around Quest. (This can be enhanced even more if you’re with beautiful people, who are also very easy to find at Quest.)