Carleton University: student tips for surviving life on campus

Where to get the best cheap lunch, find the perfect study spot, or snag a nap on campus


Best cheap lunch: BLT bagel at Rooster’s Coffeehouse in the University Centre
Best hangover breakfast: Elgin St. Diner. Open 24 hours a day, this iconic Ottawa restaurant will keep you and your belly filled for a reasonable price.
Favourite campus food: The samosas at Mike’s Place Pub in the University Centre
Favourite watering hole: Mike’s Place Pub (on campus) and Quinn’s Ale House, an awesome spot located a short walk from campus with several local brews on tap
Best place to study on campus: The MacOdrum Library. There are five floors of study spaces, but I usually choose a cubicle by the windows on the first floor overlooking the academic quad. That way I can always keep my laptop fully charged, and I’m only a stone’s throw away from a Starbucks.
Best place to study off campus: Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar. This quirky used-books store serves dynamite coffee and is just a 15-minute walk from campus.
Best campus service: Foot Patrol. This volunteer organization offers safe walks on and off campus until 2 a.m. Monday to Friday.
Best place to buy textbooks: Haven Books
Best campus event: Relay for Life. In 2017, Carleton raised more than $128,000 for cancer research, making it the top university fundraiser in the country.

PROFILE: Carleton University | Ottawa, Ont. | Founded 1942

University Insider: Noah Richardson, 21, Journalism and Canadian Studies

My relationship with Carleton University began even before I had accepted my offer of admission. The university places a great deal of importance on its outreach programs for prospective undergraduate students. It even runs a call centre where current students contact applicants to answer questions about residence life, academic programs, extracurricular activities and other topics. As a recipient of one of those calls, I was both touched and amazed by Carleton’s down-to-earth approach.

While Carleton is home to more than 28,000 students from every Canadian province, I have never felt like a number. Whether it was my interactions with a professor, librarian or Starbucks barista, the Carleton community has gone out of its way to make me feel like I matter. As a student in the journalism program, I have had the opportunity to develop long-lasting relationships with my professors. They offer useful advice on my future career and how to make it as a journalist in the real world. The journalism program has also led me to successful internships at CBC in Prince Edward Island and iPolitics on Parliament Hill.

Carleton has a reputation of having one of the best student housing programs in the country, with more than 3,600 students in residence each year. While in residence, I was never bored. Fellows, upper-year students hired to live on each floor of the residence buildings, plan community outings such as afternoon skates on the Rideau Canal or museum visits.

One of the best ways to enrich your university years is to get involved. Carleton students are lucky to be able to choose from more than 300 clubs or societies, including the Sock ’n’ Buskin Theatre Company, the school’s longest running club.

Carleton has world-class academic support services. The Centre for Student Academic Support in the MacOdrum Library runs Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). The workshops, led by a trained facilitator who took the course and received a grade of A- or higher, help students review difficult concepts and prepare for the midterm and final exam.

The school also boasts five kilometres of underground tunnels connecting every building on campus, including the residences.

Local Vibe
Ottawa has a reputation as a stiff government town. But it has a thriving local arts community, a bustling craft beer scene and world-class museums, including the Canada Science and Technology Museum, which just underwent an $80-million renovation. While studying in Ottawa, take the time to explore some of the capital’s eclectic and diverse neighbourhoods, including the Glebe, Hintonburg, Chinatown and Little Italy.

The Skinny
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