Doing the campus tour thing - Macleans.ca

Doing the campus tour thing

I officially old and uncool – I may as well ship myself to a home now.

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I’m taking my 16-year old cousin for a tour of the University of Western Ontario today. It looks like it will be the unofficial kind, Western requires that one "pre-books" for tours and silly me, I did not realize this until Monday when the tours for Friday were already "full."

Not that it matters, most other universities plan for people just showing up during March Break – hopefully, Western does too.

Worse case scenario, we go for a walk around the campus and she gets a chance to see the place for herself. (with her "uncool, old" "you used to be cool" cousin.)

It’s going to be good times, especially since I’m the tag along that she really hopes never visits the campus again (especially when she becomes a student there).

Now, she is dead set – she is going to Western no matter what. (This will change when her friends start deciding to go other places, but that is another post altogether – I was going to Waterloo at her age, until all my friends decided to spread across Ontario.)

At least, I can feel confident that I am going to teach one important thing about being a Western student – avoiding the VIA train and taking Greyhound.

We are taking the VIA train in the morning to get to London, but returning on the Greyhound.

The reason for the VIA train in the morning is that it gets to London one hour prior to the first bus from Hamilton. I figure there is a 50/50 chance that the train will actually arrive within that hour it is schedule to arrive. The cost is steep – $65 bucks for the two of us. Coming back on the Greyhound will only be $28 for the two of us.

The other reason for the bus back is the extremely poor customer service and complete lack of schedule adherence by VIA rail on the Toronto-Windsor line combined with it being a Friday. I cannot tell you the number of times when I used to go to London for appointments that I would sit for hours waiting for a train that was late only to discover that it only had three passenger cars and VIA’s sold tickets to fill six. Never had that problem with the Greyhound. Friday’s are the worse for VIA, whereas Greyhound runs extra buses to Hamilton and Toronto knowing that (surprise, surprise) university towns tend to have people leaving on Friday and coming back Sunday.

Now, this would be much easier if you took my advice and applied to Mount Allison. We could just skip the endless argument between her and I about why I don’t think Western’s the place for her. But, what do I know, I just an "uncool, old" adult. (How it sucks to look at her and see my exact attitude at her age.)

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