University

Trent University: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Evan Robins, 19
Cultural studies

Evan Robins (Courtesy of Evan Robins)

Why did you choose Trent?
The biggest factor in my decision was Trent’s incredible sprawling campus, which was built across two banks of the Otonabee River and linked by the iconic Faryon Bridge. It is an enchanting place to study and live. The cultural studies program was also a strong selling point. I’d applied to fine arts programs at several other schools but chose Trent because I could take a mix of theory-heavy courses and practical workshops, which appealed to me greatly.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
I was on campus during O-Week this year. With all the fall colours, the smell of campfires and the warm air, I felt my first week at Trent was like a fairy tale. Having hands-on workshop classes and seminars also made a difference for me this year; I’ve been able to produce a portfolio of work while getting academic credit.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
I work for Arthur, Trent’s independent student press, and am involved in several other extracurriculars. Trent has a bustling levy group scene (the groups—such as the student paper, a film society and an outdoors club—are funded by student fees), and I’ve sat on many of their boards and steering committees. I’ve found it to be one of the best ways to meet people in my first year.

What do you think of your professors?
My program is known for the diligence and passion of its teaching staff, but professors across all departments at Trent have left a good impression on me. Most of my profs know me by name, and I’ve found them exceedingly supportive and accommodating, especially given the strangeness of the past two school years.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
There’s a joke among students that in your four years at Trent you’ll switch your major five times and still somehow end up in the one you started with. All to say, reconfiguring schedules is made easy by the myTrent online system and the academic advising team. The rare administrative problem I’ve encountered has been resolved with a few emails.

What is off-campus life like in Peterborough?
Peterborough is a smallish town, but there’s a lot on offer for students, because Trent plays a big role in the community. Many restaurants and stores offer student discounts. Peterborough is pedestrian- and bike-friendly, and anything that’s not close enough to walk or bike to can be easily reached by bus.

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

Best place to live: East Bank is quiet and residential, provided you don’t mind the commute. The area around the Rotary Greenway Trail is affordable, close to downtown and an easy bike ride from campus.
Best place to study: Sadleir House is a co-operatively owned student centre in a Victorian mansion on George Street. They serve free coffee.
Best campus events: Dis-Orientation Week
Best campus food: The Seasoned Spoon
Best cheap lunch: El Camino’s
Best pizza: Brothers Pizza
Best place for a fancy dinner: The Publican House Brewery
Best giveaway: At the Free Market, you can pick up all manner of free things
Best bar for hanging out: The Only Café
Best live music venue: The Gordon Best Theatre
Best hangover breakfast: The Whistle Stop Café
Best place for a nap: Any place on campus makes for an idyllic nap spot, but the Lady Eaton College quad might just take the cake
Best weekend activity: Biking or canoeing up to Lakefield is a great day trip, and camping at the locks on the Trent-Severn Waterway is a great weekend getaway
The thing that surprised me most about the school: I continue to find new rooms in the old buildings

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for daily stories and analysis.