Trent University: student tips for surviving life on campus

Where to get a cheap lunch, good beer and a nice nap

University Insider: Clay Duncalfe, 21, Political Studies

Best place for a nap: The LEC Pit
Best cheap lunch: Island Cream Caribbean Cuisine
Best hangover breakfast: The breakfast sandwich with kale, pesto and goat cheese at Amusé Coffee Co. is a must
Favourite campus food: Anything from the Seasoned Spoon. This on-campus food co-op offers delicious vegetarian dishes at an affordable price.
Favourite watering hole: The Only. This café and bar serves as a great study space during the day with an endless selection of local and international beers.
Where to live: The bus ride to campus is quick from pretty much wherever, so anywhere near the downtown core is great
Best place to study: The upstairs study spaces in Sadleir House are a hidden gem
Worst place to study: The OC cafeteria. Not even once.
Best campus event: The annual Head of the Trent is our unofficial homecoming. Come for a weekend of competitive rowing on the Otonabee River and live music at the beer gardens.
Best live music venues: The Gordon Best Theatre, the Garnet and the Red Dog
Most notorious bus route: The Trent late-night bus. Bring earplugs and an extra pair of shoes.
Best cultural event: Peterborough Folk Fest
Unofficial school motto: ‘Bleed green!’
Official school motto: ‘Nunc cognosco ex parte’ (‘Now I know in part’)

PROFILE: Trent University | Peterborough, Ont. | Founded 1964

Trent’s physical beauty is as absorbing as the educational experience it provides. The Otonabee River cuts through the centre of the school’s main campus, with its western bank hosting the castle-like, brutalist architecture of Lady Eaton and Champlain colleges. These distinct landmarks stand in bold contrast to the rolling landscape that surrounds them. Situated east of the river is the science complex, as well as Gzowski College, a building with a peculiar design that has garnered a reputation with students as resembling a “giant piece of cheese.”

Like many first-year undergraduates, I found that the days between receiving my offer of admission to Trent and my first day on campus were occupied with feelings of excitement and anxiety. What if I don’t make any friends? What if I don’t like my program? What if Trent just isn’t for me?

Upon arrival, it didn’t take long for these daunting apprehensions to be quelled. Trent’s small-but-active student body made it easy to reach out, connect and develop meaningful relationships with a multitude of like-minded folks. The school’s small class sizes facilitate an intimate learning environment and offer a direct access to professors that doesn’t exist at larger schools. It is common for courses to be cross-listed with one another, allowing for an intersection of disciplines between a wide range of subjects, and students often pursue joint and double majors to get the most out of their degrees. What Trent may lack in big-name prestige, it makes up for in an in-class and extracurricular learning experience that is incomparably fulfilling.

Trent’s dynamic clubs mean there is a wide range of social circles. You can find your place whether you’re a film buff, theatre kid, musician or fencer. Students can even host their own weekly programs on Trent Radio, or write for the student newspaper, Arthur.
The Trent community also has a long history of advocating for issues of social justice. Groups like the Kawartha World Issues Centre and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Society give students a chance to enhance their understanding of the world around them and put theory to practice through direct action. Be sure to check out Clubs and Groups Day in September to find what suits you best.

Local Vibe
Peterborough is home to a lively and active artistic community. Galleries like Evans Contemporary and Artspace host rotating exhibits with works from locally and nationally renowned artists.
Looking for a bite to eat? Students can enjoy dishes from across the globe. Whether it’s authentic Mexican cuisine, Indian buffet or Mediterranean shawarma, we’ve got you covered. Don’t worry—you won’t run out of places to grab a beer, either.

The Skinny
For all of your on-campus news and gossip, try The Trent Central Student Association’s website ( includes bus schedules and information regarding campus clubs and groups.

Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario: First-year Biology students taking class in Wenjack Theatre, Trent University’s largest lecture hall with over 380 seats. The lecture hall is named after Chanie (Charlie) Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who passed away escaping from a residential school in Northern Ontario. (Photograph by Jessica Darmanin)