Western University: student life on campus

An insider's guide to the best cheap lunch, live music venue and more

The 411

Best place for a nap:
The Fireplace Lounge
Best cheap lunch:
The Spoke
Best hangover breakfast:
The Early Bird
Best pizza:
King Richie’s Pizzeria
Favourite watering hole:
As Western’s unofficial pub since 1890, the Ceeps is the perfect spot for students to partake in an unapologetic night of drinking
Best place to live:
It really depends what you want. For more of a quiet living experience, live near Oxford Street West and Wharncliffe Road North. If you’re looking for more of a social experience, live around Broughdale Avenue.
Best place to study:
John & Dotsa Bitove Family Law Library
Best campus food:
Smoked meat sandwich from the Spoke
Best campus event:
Purple Fest and Fake Homecoming on Broughdale in late September will really introduce you to party life at Western
Best live music venues:
London Music Hall and Rum Runners
Best giveaway:
CHRW Radio Western has great contests year round
If I wrote the school motto:
“Purple and proud!”
Weirdest tradition:
Tobogganing (or “Taboozing”) down University College hill using trays from the cafeteria
If I could change one thing about the school:
More food options would be nice. There’s like eight Tim Hortons on campus, for crying out loud.

PROFILE: University of Alberta | Edmonton, Alta. | Founded 1908

When I arrived at Western University for the first time, I knew I had stepped outside of my comfort zone. Coming from a big city, it was difficult for me to imagine living in a mid-sized town like London. Would I meet those good friends often portrayed in coming-of-age flicks about university life? Or would I be stuck in a city with nowhere to go and nothing to do? The first option came true for me.

As my parents pulled up during Orientation Week, I was immediately drawn into the tight-knit community at Western.

A group of rambunctious upper-years clad in purple paint took me out of the car and catapulted me into O-Week. My orientation was filled with concerts, motivational speakers and a plethora of residence-bonding activities. Within my first hour at Essex Hall, one of the first-year residences, I made friends who have lasted to this day. They still bother me to join them on Richmond Row, London’s infamous party strip. Living across the street from a state-of-the-art recreation centre and a 10-minute walk to all of my classes were perks I didn’t consider in high school.

Western is definitely the school for you if you’re an outgoing person with a “work hard, play harder” mentality. Our party scene often lands us on the front page of local and international newspapers. Yet we also have an exceptional academic reputation. If you value both of those things, Western will feel like home in no time.

After Class
If you’re thinking of coming to Western, don’t expect to go to class, get homework done and then lounge at home. If you truly want to make a mark on campus, the University Students’ Council provides a number of great extracurriculars and clubs. Some of the most popular clubs on campus include the Canadian Asian International Students Association, which hosts a grand fashion show annually; the Western Climbing Club, which hosts rock climbing events every Sunday; and the Western Gazette, the most illustrious student paper around town.

Local Vibe
While you may be tempted to stay inside the “Western Bubble” during your first year on campus, burst out into London. The city offers a number of great artistic outlets, scenic river crossings and—contrary to popular belief—great job opportunities. The “forest city” also has a top-notch bar and eatery scene, a newly renovated mall and the massive Budweiser Gardens, the concert hall hosting this year’s Juno Awards.

More Info
The Western Gazette is the perfect outlet to get your daily fix of campus news, culture and sports coverage. Follow Western TV for entertaining, student-based video content.