University

University of Guelph: Student life on campus

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

Emily Bray, 23
Criminal justice and public policy

Emily Bray (Courtesy of Emily Bray)

Why did you choose Guelph?
The U of G community has a reputation for being very tightly knit and supportive, and this was a major factor that drew me to the school. I love city life, but I grew up in the countryside, so it can be easy for me to get overwhelmed by a lot of motion and noise. U of G seemed like the perfect fit for me: it’s close to the heart of Guelph but also to natural environments that I can escape to when the hustle and bustle gets to be too much.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
My best experience so far definitely would be the summer I worked as an undergraduate research assistant. The experience made me fall in love with my area of study and convinced me to continue pursuing my education at the graduate level.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
In my first year, I participated in a U of G-run program called Project Serve through which I had the chance to work in a northern community over Reading Week. I was also a part of the campus History Society at one point, and now I write for the student newspaper.

What do you think of your professors?
For the most part, my professors have been the best part of my university experience. Though I was admittedly a little afraid of them when I first started at U of G, I quickly discovered that they were very approachable and supportive. A few have become significant mentors to me. I have, of course, run into a few profs who weren’t so great, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
If you plan ahead, signing up for classes is pretty easy. I’ve found the administrative staff to be friendly and helpful, though they do work slowly at times. So long as you keep that in mind, you should be fine. If you run into any problems registering for classes, I recommend approaching professors before speaking with admin staff. They can often sign you into their courses directly and guide you through the process of submitting the required paperwork. Never be afraid to ask your profs for help!

What is off-campus life like in Guelph?
Off-campus life is typically lively in Guelph. For students who like to let loose, there are tons of great restaurants, bars and clubs downtown. For the creatively inclined, there’s a vibrant art and music scene and lots of cool arts-focused events. And for those who tend to be on the bookish side, there are a ton of unique little shops, cafés and quiet spots to hang out around town.

PROFILE: University of Guelph | Guelph, Ont. | Founded 1964

If I wrote the school motto: ‘Culture. Community. Cows.’
Best place to live: Johnston Hall. It’s the most iconic building on campus, it’s close to everything (including McLaughlin Library), and it has that classic university feel.
Best place to study: McLaughlin Library’s upper floors during the winter; Johnston Green during the summer
Best campus events: The annual O-Week pep rally and homecoming
Weirdest tradition: Painting the cannon and the annual charity Tractor Tug
Best campus food: Creelman Hall
Best cheap lunch: The Bullring
Best pizza: The honey bee pizza at Brass Taps
Best giveaway: Pretty much every campus giveaway during O-Week
Best bar for hanging out: Bobby O’Brien’s Irish Pub
Best live music venue: Jimmy Jazz
Best hangover breakfast: The 100 mile skillet at the 100 Mile Grill in Creelman Hall—I’ve never been so emotionally attached to a breakfast
Best place for a nap: Johnston Green during the summer and the CSAHS lounge or Bullring couches during the winter
The thing that surprised me most about the school: How friendly everyone is, even during exam season
If I could change one thing about the school: Cheaper parking

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