For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
Display screen shot 2017 04 23 at 12.18.27 am
Apr 30 2017
by Nicole Molinari

A Freshman's Guide to Wilfrid Laurier University

By Nicole Molinari - Apr 30 2017

Hey there, future Golden Hawks. University isn't far away, and while you're probably very excited to make headway into the world, I wouldn't be surprised if you're feeling a little nervous as well. So here's a neat little guide to WLU for you complete with things you need, places to be and what to do. There is an endless amount of opportunities here at Laurier, and we want you to make the most of it! Without further ado, Fresh U proudly presents a Freshman's Guide to Wilfrid Laurier University.

1. Check out the Student's Union.

The Student's Union is your go-to for anything and everything related to extracurriculars at Laurier. It provides easy access to information on clubs, volunteering positions, events, fees and much more. The Student's Union is also the organization that provides these opportunities for students, so they're quite important to you. Trust me.

2. Your OneCard is everything. 

You need to get into the dining hall for your meal plan? Your OneCard will get you in. You need to get into your residence building? Your OneCard is also your key. You want to work out? That precious card will get you into the athletic complex. It's also pretty important if you need to get somewhere, because this card just also happens to be your bus pass. Here's another surprise: it's also your library card. Moral of the story: your OneCard is everything. DO NOT LOSE IT.

Nicole Molinari

3. There are academic support resources everywhere.

Laurier does not want you to fail. We actually want to see you succeed to greater heights than you ever thought you could accomplish. It goes to say that no one has a smooth ride through university, which is precisely why we have centres for student aid. You can bring your essay to the writing centre if you need help editing it, and the math assistance centre is your best friend if you feel like the world is about to end every time you walk into your calculus lecture. It's also important to know that if you have a permanent or temporary disability, the Accessible Learning Centre will help take care of you.

4. The Athletic Complex will prevent the freshman 15.

A gym pass is built into your student fees, so you have access to the Athletic Complex, their workout equipment and the pool. The AC also offers a Group Exercise pass for an additional fee, which grants you access to all fitness classes whenever you want. Other things you can sign up for are intramurals and dance classes. Fitness is endless here at Laurier. Take advantage of it.

Nicole Molinari

5. Every freshman has the chance to be in residence.

Even if you're living off campus next year, I'd recommend registering for LOCUS - Laurier Off-Campus University Students. This group is dedicated to ensuring you enjoy your time at Laurier just as an on-campus student would. You're split into smaller groups of students, called your "floors," and you still have dons to look over you. I have some friends who took part in LOCUS in their first year, and they all became super close with other peers in the group. I'd highly recommend it. What's not to love? After all, the world is your residence.

6. Sign up for a club or two.

Golden Hawks are proud to admit that we're number one in Canada for student satisfaction, and we believe that a large part of this comes from all of our on campus clubs. I can guarantee you that there is at least one club that suits your interests, and in the very unlikely case there isn't, you can always apply to create your own club. There are general clubs, and there are also clubs under different student societies that relate to your faculty. I joined a club in my first year, and I am so grateful I did. I'd highly recommend it to anyone. The key to your happiness at Laurier is finding a balance by getting involved in the campus community.

7. Study spaces? We've got your back.

There are places on campus with different atmospheres, so you can find the environment you work best in. There's the library that gets quieter as you go up the floors and there's the solarium which is also very quiet, albeit warm. The concourse is good if you enjoy working with some background noise, and the twenty four hour lounge, commonly known as the two-four, is a very comfy place. If you're ever craving some Tim Horton's while on campus, then the Science Building is your best bet. While there are other study spaces on campus, these will most likely be your go-to's. 

8. Never step on the golden hawk.

Right by the Student's Union desk, we proudly have our mascot, the golden hawk, embedded into gold tiles on the floor. If there is one rule to live by at Laurier, it's this: never step on the golden hawk. If you're in a crowd of people in that small hallway and you're in a rush, you shall take your time walking around the hawk along with everyone else. Crowds will part around the hawk just as the red sea parted for Moses. Lesson learned: this is a tradition that we take very seriously. 

9. And let us not forget about the statue of Wilfrid.

Right by the quad you will find a statue of Canada's seventh prime minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. This guy is great for taking photos day or night, rain or shine. There's not much else you can do with it, but it's Wilf, and he's kind of a big deal.

Nicole Molinari

10. Go to Wilf's, our on-campus restaurant. 

Wilf's Restaurant and Bar is the place to be. The food is great, and you can come with your friends for a trivia night, bingo and karaoke. You can also use flex dollars from your meal plan here, so it's a win-win situation. On a final thought, the spinach dip here is amazing, and it's great to order at midnight when you're studying for a midterm you have the next day. 

11. You can give random people shoutouts on Spotted at Laurier.

You can find our popular twitter account here, @SpottedLaurier. You'll find everything from people being "spotted" to students collectively mourning their grades. All you have to do is send them a direct message and wait for them to tweet it. I don't think anyone knows who actually runs this account, but it's still pretty cool to see all of the shenanigans on here. See below for a tweet regarding a drawing of Homer Simpson on Alumni Field.

I hope you find this guide useful as a future golden hawk! Never be afraid to put yourself out there and take advantage of everything Laurier has to offer. You've chosen to become part of such an inclusive, loving community, and I couldn't imagine a better place for anyone to do their undergrad (or post-graduate studies, for that matter). I only have one thing left to say to you, class of 2021: stay golden.

Lead Image Credit: Nicole Molinari

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Nicole Molinari - Wilfrid Laurier University

Nicole is a sophomore at Wilfrid Laurier University who is pursuing a major in business administration and a minor in writing. She loves working part time as a lifeguard, and in her spare time she enjoys reading and making memories with friends. A victim of late night syndrome, she knows she needs more sleep but wouldn't want to live her life any other way.

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