Preparing for university: Student culture
“It’s the extended family I never had,” said Tim Rocke, an undergraduate student at Laurier, about his peers. Despite being considered a young institution, Wilfrid Laurier University is full of traditions that are upheld by its students with pride and excitement.
The student culture at Laurier is definitely more unique than that of any other university. Its uptown location and medium-sized campus are factors which enable such a strong culture to exist. You are never too far from where the celebration is. With that said, there is always something to do and see because of its tight-knit temperament; creating a sense of relentless liveliness that students of other universities can only mimic during special occasions.
All partying aside (for now), going to lectures has an ironic appeal to it. Matthew Doyle, a third-year student, recalled, “It’s kind of fun. You always run into five or six people you know every time you go to class — helps you keep in touch with people you may not always hang out with or it’ll translate into you hanging out with them more.” In between class, students are often found in the Concourse, socializing and catching up on some readings or in the 24-hour lounge doing group work for a project. Wherever and however you decide to spend your time on campus, you are always surrounded by friendly people yet have enough personal space.
Wilf’s, the on-campus bar and restaurant, is major venue in hosting social events. It’s also a place to just enjoy a laid-back dinner with some friends.
For all new students, it is very important to note that the Golden Hawk emblem outside Wilf’s is not to be stepped on. “People take that tradition so seriously; they will notice if you step on it—but it does get tiring always having to walk around it,” said Carly Amodeo, a second year BBA student at Laurier, about the large insignia. The Turret is another notable late-night venue on campus accessible by all students that occasionally holds concerts, including Down With Webster and Lights, who have previously taken the stage there.
The “casual hustle-and-bustle” of the campus allows for students to always be in the loop —knowing which extra-curricular activities are available and how to join them. The wide-range of extra-curricular activities available enforces the respect that the student body has for individuality and encourages students to go outside their comfort zone.
Events such as O-Week, Homecoming, Oktoberfest and St. Patrick’s Day are some of the wildest that will ever be experienced. There is a pancake kegger party being thrown at almost every house on the blocks around the university from 9 a.m., with streets flooded with students who are all chanting Laurier cheers.
Although it sounds like an overwhelming transition at such a high-intensity energy level, fourth-year student Ellen reassured, “It’s not scary at all. No one is judging anyone; everyone just co-exists and wants to have a good time and be friends.” The student culture at Laurier speaks for itself and soon it becomes easy to realize that you attend Laurier for the education, but you love it for the people you meet.