First year from A-Z
A – Athletics
Laurier’s teams are semi-decent when it comes to the field and rink. Women’s teams naturally dominate, with women’s soccer and hockey capturing OUA titles last year.
Soccer, lacrosse, rugby and football play at the stadium, while basketball plays at the Athletic Complex. The hockey teams play at Waterloo Rec, which is a trek through Waterloo Park — so bring a buddy for the walk. Students get cheaper tickets for games, as well.
B – Budget
As first-years, you may be on your own for the very first time when you come to live in residence. In a lot of cases, this means that your parents aren’t watching your every move and nagging you not to spend your money. Somehow, your money just disappears two months into the fall semester.
Don’t waste your money on stupid things. The money you use buying five sweaters from the bookstore could buy you a lot of food or other essentials.
The same thing applies to your OneCard. Use it when you actually need it and avoid buying Starbucks every day and you won’t find yourself running out of money in November.
C – Consent
Consent is about having everyone enthusiastically involved. This involves everyone being sober, aware, awake and excited! Do not coerce people into sexual acts; remember the lack of a “no” does not mean it is a “yes.” During sex, check in — open communication is important. Ask every time and for every different sexual act; just because someone has said yes previously does not mean that they have consented to a future sexual act. Consent is mandatory every time and enthusiastic!
What’s sexier than enthusiastic, consensual sex? Nothing!
D – Drinking
Alcohol for some is a big part of the university experience, but it’s important to be safe about it.
Don’t drink to the point that you’re blacking out, and don’t let friends do it either. If someone is too drunk to get home on their own, make sure they get home safely. And never, ever leave your drink unattended.
E – Elections
Every year Laurier students decide who will govern the Students’ Union the following year. Pay attention to who’s running and what their plans are, and make sure you are an informed voter!
In addition to campus elections, Waterloo will be having a municipal election in October. Any student who lives in Waterloo can vote, so be sure to follow along and make an educated vote.
F – Fitness
Be warned, the heavy traffic times for the gym are September to early October and January to early February. If you’re planning on being a consistent gym-goer, try going early in the morning or late at night to avoid heavy volumes of students. Also, ladies, take advantage of the women’s only hours in parts of the gym.
G – Group work
This is unavoidable in most classes. There’s always going to be someone who slacks off and someone who takes control of the group. If you want a good mark, be the one that takes control, but don’t be an asshole about it, okay?
H – (The) Hawk
The hawk is in the floor in the Fred Nichols Campus Centre. People will yell at you if you walk on it. Sometimes it’s unavoidable because the hall is so busy and sometimes it’s just fun to walk on it to see how people react.
I – Independence
Take care of yourself and be your own person. Don’t go running to your parents for everything, because believe it or not, you’re an adult now. Do your own laundry, cook your own meals and buy your own stuff. University is perfect practice for when you are truly out in the real world and have to fend for yourself.
J – Jobs on campus
Tons of places on campus hire students, and are way more accommodating to students than many jobs off-campus. Keep an eye out for opportunities to earn yourself some money during the year without having to work 15+ hours a week.
K – King Street
Walk in one direction and you’ll find McDonalds and the mall. Walk in the other, and you’ll find the glory of uptown Waterloo. Here you’ll find amazing restaurants and most of the bars in the city, as well as some clothing stores and coffee shops. Get acquainted with uptown and all the fun things it has to offer rather than staying in a bubble around campus.
L – Library
Go to it! You’re going to need more reliable resources than Wikipedia for your essays and research papers. It also makes a good place to study when midterm and exam season leers around the corner.
M – Mental health
University life can be stressful and it’s very important to keep your mental health in check. Be aware of the services on campus like Peer Help Line and the Wellness Centre and never be afraid to ask for help or express your thoughts.
N – New friends
Leaving your hometown and your high school friends behind can be tough, but it’s important to branch out and make new friends. Constantly going back home or visiting other universities to see high school friends is going to hinder you from getting comfortable in your new home, so stick around and meet new people.
Trust us, if your high school friends are really that close to you, they won’t let a little distance get in the way of your friendship.
O – O-Week
Can be a really fun week! Don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers and meet new people. This is where you will get a chance to connect with people in your year and meet some of your closest university friends. Who knows, you might even meet your future roommates here.
But, if it’s not for you don’t fret. If it gets overwhelming take a step back and relax. You aren’t forced to be best friends with every person you meet, so if it isn’t your thing don’t worry about it.
P – Procrastination
It’s inevitable, no matter how many times you tell yourself that you will not violate your organized schedule. Just remind yourself that it’s better to jump the gun and get your assignments done early than to cram eight hours before the assignment is due. The product will come out cleaner and more organized if done early.
Q – Quad
The Quad is one of the nicest places to be on campus on a nice day. Take advantage of the warmer weather while it lasts and spend some time in between classes hanging out there.
But beware, geese really enjoy the Quad as much as students do. Whatever you do, do not make eye contact — they are evil.
R – Residence
Crazy things will happen — people breaking into the janitorial closet, parties on every floor of your residence and most of the time you’ll be bombarded by drunk people. Get to know the people you live with and learn the best way to survive and have the most fun possible.
S – Social life
Don’t be afraid to branch out into different groups of friends, but don’t compromise who you are. If you feel pressured to do something, you can say no. Find the balance between a great time with friends and NOT failing out of first year.
T – Transit
Taking public transportation is a new concept for some people when they first get to Laurier. You’re going to end up on the wrong bus at least once in your first year — it’s inevitable. Bus schedules can be confusing so using Google Maps to figure out what bus to get on can be a life saver.
U – Used books
Seriously, buy your books used as often as you can. You’ll save a ton of money and most of the time they’re in really good condition.
V – Volunteering
There is so much more to university than drinking and studying. Get involved on campus or in the community. And hey, it looks good on your resumé.
W – Wilf’s
Two words: spinach dip.
X – X-plore
Make sure to check out all the city has to offer. There are many different kinds of shops and restaurants in Kitchener-Waterloo, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences.
Y – Yourself
This is your university experience, not anyone else’s. Make it all about you and find your niche; don’t live for others. Define your own university experience!
Z – Zzzs
Sleep is important! Whoever told you that all-nighters are a good idea and will guarantee your success is a liar. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night and try to keep your naps during the day succinct so you don’t disturb your REM cycle.
Also, try not to fall asleep in class. It’s really embarrassing when people notice.