It’s Canada’s 150th anniversary, and uOttawa is in the heart of this nation’s capital. If you have already submitted an application or are a returning student, these are 19 of the reasons why this university deserves a special place in your heart.

1. Muggy Mondays

You know that ‘muggy’ can actually be a positive descriptor for a Monday. Unlimited Fairtrade tea, coffee, and hot chocolate will make the start of your week a lot less manic. That is, if you’ve remembered to grab a mug on your way out the door.

2. Free Store

If you don’t own a travel mug, don’t buy one from Timmies, you can be a good citizen and recycle by picking one up from the campus Free Store! Here you’ll find a ridiculous amount of free t- shirts, binders, Ice cube trays, scarves.. All that stuff you could sort of use, but don’t feel like paying for.

3. Govinda’s

You woke up late, rushed to classes, and by 3pm you still haven’t eaten anything. But you’re actually happy, because now you just have to make it to 5pm. The Hare Krishnas have a center just beside campus, providing $5.00 buffet dinner to students. No dancing or chanting required!

4. It’s a Magical Place

Every now and then you pause and remember that you go to the only real life university that has a quidditch team, and a witchcraft class that gives actual credits. Whether you’re practicing your broom handling, or watching your fellow students running around while holding a broom between their legs it is surprisingly entertaining, and getting an elective for a super fun class like witchcraft is even better!

5. The U-pass line-up

When uOttawa declared that it would provide free student bus passes, you cheered, initially. Then you wait for hours in line remembering that you are still paying full price, through student fees. Still, there is some fun in knowing that you will not have to worry about bus fair after this for the rest of the year. And that leads us to the next one…

6. Bussing Class to Class

You sometimes take a bus to your next class, because campus is that gigantic. You probably have at least one instance where two classes in immediate succession are six city blocks apart. If you’re a med-student, you need to catch the shuttle to Riverside campus, miles away. Because it’s downtown, the OC Transpo is packed like a can of sardines.

7. Sausages. Hotdogs. Tabaret.

On a crisp winter day, you know our valiant street-meat vendor across from Tabaret hall will fix you up with a snack to take away the chill. Sleet or shine, he’s out there selling sausages and hotdogs that are out of this world.

8. Morrisset Library

If you’re looking for someone to chat to, you just head to the front of the library. It’s one of those spots where everyone is there to hang out, so they’re super friendly. If you make a point of dropping by regularly, you start to recognize everyone.

9. French first. English message will follow.

Residents of Ottawa are already used to French accompanying English everywhere. At uOttawa, unlike most establishments in the city, the announcements come in French first. It’s quite disconcerting if you’re an Anglophone, because you zone out and then only cue in halfway through the English message. You’re pleased to know how Francophones feel in most other situations though.

10. Tunneling

It gets cold during Ottawa winter. So cold, you don’t want to walk outside at all, if you can help it. Instead, you’ll navigate the interconnected tunnel system, and love every twist and turn. If you’re lucky enough to live in a connected residence, you might go months without ever stepping outside. Thankfully, there are lots of windows to let in the sunshine.

11. Virtual Campus

At least once, you’ve accidentally opened the virtual campus window for more than one course at a time, and crashed your entire web browser. This may have resulted in you losing your place in more than a few online papers you were using for research.

12. Last-Minute Printing Woes

You’ve rushed to the library to print your paper, due in five minutes, and realized you forgot to bring your student/printer card. You try to purchase a temporary printer card, but the automated machines that dispense them are all fried. Even if you had a card, the number of functioning printers at the library is zero. This is exactly the same amount of luck you have in that present moment.

13. Course Evaluations

Each semester, you experience the small ray of joy that is known as the time of course evaluations. Classes have a full 15 minutes of no learning and rest for you mind, just so you can hastily scribble in some check boxes.

14. Dancing, Always

At uOttawa, the closest thing we have to a central indoor junction, is the space outside the bookstore. There is always at least one troupe practicing their choreography, but usually many more. You get used to it, and find yourself making a point of passing through just to get a bit of a groove in your step.

15. Best University Ever – Uottawacentricism

We have a lot of school pride. Don’t question it. We’re just the best university, and the center of the universe. Half the traffic moving through the city passes right through our gates. Don’t get us started about our rivalry with Carleton.

16. Timmies Lineups

Every day you scope out every Timmies, hoping that today is the day. There are a full four Tim Horton’s locations on campus. Every single one of them have a perpetual line up that is somehow always just bordering it being worth the wait.

17. Tooney Tuesdays at 1848

Okay, it’s only a small cup of beer for $2.00 but we have a tradition of thinking it’s a great deal. The food, on the other hand, really is a great deal (for a university bar). We take pride in our 10 dollar nachos.

18. Tabaret Hall

Outside our beautiful, monumental building, we can expect to see anything from weddings to picnics. In stark contrast, the interior is a maze of drywall. If you haven’t already, you will get lost in there for at least a full hour, just trying to find the registrar’s office.

19. Track Pants

Being stuck in your track pants since an 8 am class, when more than half the school is well dressed business and engineering students. We don’t let this happen often, but when it does we like to erase it from our memories soon after.


Julia Susan Inglis

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