Marissa Evans, 21
Because going to university often uproots your entire life, it can take a while before you feel completely comfortable in your new setting. Luckily, Laurier is all about comfort.
I had little figured out at the beginning of first year, but, as soon as I mastered finding my way around campus, I felt infinitely more comfortable. Laurier is a small campus, pretty much contained within one block. As a result, it doesn’t take long to remember where the buildings are and how to navigate them—except for the Peters Building, an unsolvable maze, even to upper-year students.
The overall friendliness of the campus makes up for the fact that it’s not the prettiest. Traditions—such as not walking on the hawk on the floor of the Fred Nichols Campus Centre (FNCC) or taking your picture with the statue of Wilf—will make you feel like part of the community in no time.
Make sure you visit your academic adviser early on and ask questions about ways to enhance your degree. There are many options you can build in that will help set you apart, such as doing independent studies, specializations or a double major. These options aren’t always obvious, so it’s important to do some detective work to take full advantage of the opportunities available.
With the emphasis the university puts on business, sometimes the successes and quality of the programming provided by other faculties is overlooked. Staff and faculty in the sciences, music, and arts are constantly working on behalf of students to create better educational experiences. For example, the faculty of arts recently invested in active-learning classrooms, equipping them with multiple projectors, laptops and mobile whiteboards.
Laurier, like most Ontario universities, is facing a series of budget cuts, which, admittedly, is a concern. No matter what the impact, staff and faculty will ensure you get the best student experience possible and an education of the highest quality.
Intramurals are a pretty big deal at Laurier; there are a lot of recreational sports to get involved in year-round. Beyond this, there’s always a pickup game of some sort being played on the turf field in the middle of campus. There are tons of ways to participate in campus life, whether going to the soup lunch at the Aboriginal Student Centre, contributing to the student paper, going to trivia night at Wilf’s, or taking a dance class at the gym. Another perk is the Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt across the street, which is great for both lamenting and celebrating your marks.
It can be tempting not to stray far from the strip of University Avenue occupied by Laurier and the University of Waterloo, but, to really experience the city, you need only take a short bus ride uptown, home to a variety of local restaurants and shops.
The city is growing fast, which is an advantage and a disadvantage. There is always a ton going on, but there is also constant construction everywhere as apartment buildings shoot up around the university area.
Visit TheCord.ca for all things relevant to students on campus and in the city.