Best place for a nap: Comfy Lounge or the SLC
Best cheap lunch: Bombshelter Pub
Best hangover breakfast: Mel’s Diner
Favourite campus food: Wasabi Sushi
Favourite watering hole: Sweet Dreams Teashop
Where to live: Uptown, or just east of UW
Best place to study: Top floors of any math building, or EV3
Coolest electives: Knowledge and Reality (philosophy)
Most notorious transit route: The 7, very confusing with its letter suffixes. Also very essential to getting around.
Best campus events: Sex Toy Bingo, Humans vs. Zombies (week-long capture- the-flag game combined with tag)
Best giveaway: Free beer and sushi almost every week during co-op times
Best live music venue: The Jazz Room, Maxwell’s, Beta
Weirdest tradition: So many! All are faculty specific: engineers have an obsession with big tools, arts students love to rub a pig statue’s nose, mathies celebrate Pi three times a year.
Best spectator sport: Quidditch and robot competitions. E-sports are good, too.
Unofficial school motto: ‘Work hard; play hard’
Most original social event: Bomber Wednesday: a club night (often themed) on Wednesday at the student-run bar/club.
Best cultural event: Oktoberfest is a really big deal around here
University Insider: Tristan Potter, 22, Science
In the heart of what many people call the “Silicon Valley of Canada” sits a relatively young academic institution. The University of Waterloo, celebrating its 60th birthday this year, is a Canadian beacon of innovation and entrepreneurship. Many identify it as a university of hard-working students bent on changing the world; they would be correct. However, we don’t spend all our time working for the future. In between all the start-up planning and studying is a vibrant student life, with people at the school looking for personal growth, as well. Groups like the University Choir, Imprint Publications, Warrior Tribe, and more than 250 other student-run clubs make university life more interesting, while services like the Women’s Centre and the Equity Office make our campus a diverse and friendly place for people of all types.
When I first came to Waterloo for computer science, I was worried that the program would be boring, studious, and uptight—that I’d be getting a world-class education at the expense of my social life. Fortunately, on arrival I was immediately greeted by a community of students and teachers who were interested in making the most of our undergraduate years. We’re just a short walk down the street from Wilfrid Laurier University, and have an energetic (and large) student body. So I can assure everyone that your social lives are in no danger in this city.
As students of the most innovative university in Canada, we are focused on making the best of our university careers in any way we can think of. We have something here for everyone: submarines and solar cars; poetry slams and creative arts magazines; investment funds and student-run corporations, and yes, even parties and the university traditions you might be worried about giving up.
We have the largest co-op program in the world, and some students have work placements after only one term of school (and they get hired by those companies). It isn’t uncommon for students to graduate with no debt, without any help from their parents.
We also have an almost completely enclosed campus, allowing us to walk between classes in different buildings without going outside. There are services to help students start businesses (Velocity, Enterprise Co-op, specific residences, and more). Even if you aren’t in STEM, uWaterloo has been focusing more and more on showing how the arts can lead to entrepreneurship.
Waterloo is a small city, but don’t let its population numbers fool you. It’s got a very active community spanning two downtown areas. There is always something going on and the opportunities are endless. With public transportation to Toronto continually improving and our new Ion LRT system being installed, Waterloo is a hub in the middle of a fast-paced and globally connected tech corridor. Enveloping this high-tech hub is a small-town feel, with weekly farmers’ markets, quaint restaurants and coffee shops.