Laurier Open House

Posted: July 15, 2015

Last week I talked about how, as soon as I stepped onto the Laurier campus, I knew it was the school for me. The reason I was even at the campus to begin with was for their March Break Open House, so let’s talk about that.

March 20th, the Friday of March Break, was the date of Laurier’s Open House. This was essentially Laurier’s last opportunity to woo potential students, and they capitalized on that. In addition to campus tours, residence tours, and information sessions, there were also specialized events for each faculty. Being a future business student, I was invited to the Leaders of Tomorrow Business Summit, which I will be talking more about next week.

Campus tours were scheduled to run every 15 minutes, starting at 9:00. Since the information session for Double Degree students didn’t start until 11:30, I started my day with a tour of the campus. One thing that was very apparent to me was just how small the campus is - according to Google Maps it’s only 600 metres from one corner of campus to the other. This means that no matter where you are on campus, nothing is more than a 5 to 10 minute walk away. Although the tour pointed out all of the major locations on campus, I will most definitely need to reacquaint myself with everything once I move in.

As I mentioned, all of the the residence buildings were open for tours during the Open House. Laurier decided to introduce something new this year, which was that students whose average was greater than 90% were able to pick their exact residence room. While this event is something else I’ll talk more about in a few weeks, I knew that it was important for me to get a feel for each of the different residence buildings while I was here. I decided to stop by three residence buildings: King St. and Waterloo College Hall, which are the two residences with single dorms, as well as Bricker, an apartment style building. 

King St. and Waterloo College Hall are very similar to each other. While WCH is closer to the University of Waterloo, houses the Business RLC (Residence Learning Community), and is a little bit further off of the main campus, King St. has a café and a multi-purpose lounge on the main floor and is a newer building. Although I felt that my decision would end up being between these two, I did want to look at an apartment style before I ruled anything out.

In an apartment style residence, you live primarily with 3 or 4 other people. While everyone has their own private room, you do share a common area, kitchen, and washroom. Unlike in dorm style, where you are likely to get to know everyone on your floor, apartment style makes it very easy to only interact with your 3 roommates. In apartment style you are also much more self-sufficient - cooking your own meals as opposed to eating in the dining hall. As soon as I stepped into Bricker I could tell that it wasn’t the right fit for me. I wasn’t too fond of cooking my own meals right away, and the idea of living that closely with 3 other people I didn’t know wasn’t very appealing.

Once I had finished looking at the residence buildings, it was nearing 11:30 - time for the Double Degree information session! The seminar was nothing too extraordinary, covering the basics of what the next five years would be like for us. As a Double Degree student, we take 52 courses spread out over 10 semesters as opposed to the 40 courses taken over 8 semesters that most single degree students take. One of the more important things discussed was the differences to consider when picking a home school, those being scholarship amounts, first year residence buildings, co-op programs, and varsity sports teams. The session lasted just over 45 minutes and I found it to be a very good summary of what exactly the Double Degree program was.

Looking back, I do think that the Open House was a valuable experience. Not only was I able to answer all of my questions and get a look around campus, but I was also able to get a preview of what my next five years would be like as a Laurier-based Double Degree student.

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