GUEST BLOG: College Life – Books and Beyond by Jennifer Inglis and Kristy Brons

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Image shows young woman running on a grassy path, with her dog, with snow-capped mountains in the background.

There’s more to college life than studying, right? You bet! Make sure to take some time to explore your community and all it has to offer.

The College’s campuses are located in the beautiful East Kootenay region, and it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s playground!

  • Hiking: There are countless hiking opportunities in the area. Try to get a copy of Janice Strong’s book “Mountain Footsteps” for a list of beginner to advanced hiking trails.
  • Skiing and boarding: There are four ski hills in the region: Kimberley Alpine Resort, Fernie Alpine Resort, Panorama, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. If cross-country skiing is more your speed there are countless trails in the region.
  • Mountain biking, snowshoeing, golfing, water sports – the list of outdoor activities is endless.

Outdoor pursuits not your thing? No problem, there are plenty of arts and cultural events in the area.

  • History: Learn about the rich heritage and culture of the Ktunaxa First Nation by visiting the Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre at the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino. Many communities have museums full of local lore. Fort Steele Heritage Town hosts a number of great events throughout the year, including the annual “Halloween Spooktacular”.
  • Theatre and Music: Cranbrook’s Key City Theatre hosts professional theatre and music acts. Many local coffee shops, bars, pubs, and restaurants are a great place to catch up-and-coming musical acts. Kimberley, Creston and Cranbrook have active community theatre groups.
  • Arts: There are number of arts councils and groups you can Google for upcoming events. In Kimberley make sure to check out Centre 64.

If you’re a foodie, love trying new craft beers, or like to shop local you are in luck.

  • Farmers Markets: Make sure to check out local farmers markets in your area. Not only are they an easy and cheap way to take a break from the books, but they are full of local arts, crafts, and food.
  • Beer and Wine…oh, my! The East Kootenay is home to a number of craft breweries, and two award winning wineries. Remember, the drinking age in BC is 19 and if you are enjoying an adult beverage with friends make sure to have a designated driver and/or the local cab company’s number in your phone.
  • Coffee: If coffee is your passion, you’re in luck! Every community has great local coffee shops, many of which roast their own beans. Kicking Horse Coffee is located in Invermere and they have a café! It’s a must stop in the Columbia Valley.
  • Dining: There are so many great local restaurants in the region, but you MUST visit The Class Act Dining Room at the College. The Class Act offers a 5-course meal prepared by the College’s Professional Cook training students.
  • Main Streets: The main streets in your community are filled with local businesses, restaurants, and coffee shops. You can find essential oils, local honey, and maybe even a cute little top for a night out. Hint-many local business hire students!

Want to meet new people?  Join a club!

  • Knitting, soccer, chess…these are just a few clubs and organizations in your community. Check out the local recreation complex or library for information about clubs and organizations.

Don’t forget to support your local hockey team! KIJHL and WHL games are a great way kick off the weekend with friends.

College of the Rockies has a lot to offer students outside of the classroom.

  • The Student Life office is always planning events for students whether it’s free ice cream or a white water rafting trip. For students at the regional campuses, you can take part in Student Life trips too; you’ll have to provide your own transportation. Get info about Student Life events here: http://www.cotr.bc.ca/studentLife/
  • Avalanche games – cheer on student athletes at Avalanche home games. The Av’s schedule is at http://www.goavalanche.ca/landing/index
  • Continuing Education classes range from cooking, to arts and crafts, to business skills. Check out available courses at http://www.cotr.bc.ca/conEd/

We’ve just scratched the surface of all the amazing things you can do for fun while studying at College of the Rockies. Make sure to share your favourite places with your classmates.