Queen's University: student tips for surviving life on campus

The best places to study, take a nap or grab a greasy breakfast

University Insider: Iain Sherriff-Scott, 20, History

Best place for a nap: Grab a booth on the fourth floor of Stauffer Library
Best cheap lunch: Queen’s Pub, or the famous Lazy Scholar
Best hangover breakfast: Tommy’s breakfast poutine wins every time
Favourite watering hole: Stone City Ales is a great place to grab a local pint
Perks of living in this town: Anything you need is just a short walk away, and an even shorter bike ride
Best place to study: Common Ground Coffeehouse or the Tea Room
Weirdest tradition: If weird traditions are your thing, apply to Queen’s engineering
Best campus events: Homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day
Best giveaway: Take a walk through the University District during move-out week
Best live music venue: The Grad Club, right on campus

PROFILE: Queen’s University | Kingston, Ont. | Founded 1841

Despite being small geographically, you can’t help but feel like Queen’s University is a big place when you first arrive here. Orientation week at a campus boasting 27,000 students can be dizzying. But as a first-year student, you’ll quickly get accustomed to life in the limestone city. With the Student Wellness Centre set to be completed by spring 2018, campus is becoming more accessible than ever.

The ease of getting involved at Queen’s is one of the university’s greatest assets. The Alma Mater Society, Canada’s oldest student government, offers an incredibly wide variety of clubs, committees, organizations and services. Whether you are passionate about sustainability, human rights, politics or campus journalism, chances are Queen’s has you covered.

As a freshman, you will encounter a host of unique and exciting experiences to supplement your academics. With new degree options, like the interdisciplinary politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) specialization, incoming students can choose a plan with a broader scope. Another way to diversify your experience is to take one of Queen’s’ new certificates. With undergraduate certificates in business and law, students have the opportunity to explore fields unrelated to their degree. If you’re eager to study abroad, dive into life at Queen’s liberal arts campus in East Sussex, England. The centuries-old Herstmonceux Castle hosts a small-scale community of just over 100 students every semester.

So don’t be intimidated by the fanfare of frosh week. You’ll find a unique place here to explore your interests and passions.

As a university older than Canada itself, Queen’s is steeped in tradition. Students experience the school’s long history right off the bat, attending the time-
honoured tamming ceremony during orientation week. Take a walk down University Avenue and Queen’s culture is unmistakable. You’ll likely never see so much furniture in gold, blue and red anywhere on earth.
Queen’s traditions extend into extracurricular life. Whether it be the oldest undergraduate democratic student body in Canada, or the second-oldest student-run newspaper in North America, you’ll be able to put your mark on the history of Queen’s.

Local Vibe
Kingston boasts one of Canada’s highest bars-per-capita ratio, so you’ll find a relaxing environment nearby. Bars like the Brooklyn, Stone City Ales and the Brass Pub provide a much more personal atmosphere than a big club to enjoy a few craft beers with friends.
Downtown Kingston is a great place to dig in and study all year round. A wide variety of cafés and coffee houses will ensure you’ll never go without a seat when you venture off campus.

The Skinny
The Queen’s Journal ( offers a student’s perspective on life at the university.

First-year mathematics and statistics students attend a lab led by Professor Peter Taylor in Geoffrey Hall on campus at Queens University in Kingston, ON. The lab promotes interaction between professor and student enabling a hands on approach that is lost during populous lectures in large rooms. (Photograph by Coel Garside)

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