What does it mean to be a Warrior?

 Student cheering together

Written by Tamara (she/her) and Alyssa (she/her), students

Welcome to Waterloo, home of the Warriors.

If you're considering coming to Waterloo, or you've already accepted your Offer, you might be wondering what your life will look like when you get here. There’s one important factor you should be sure of when it comes to choosing which university to attend, and that’s the campus culture.

Once you've accepted your Offer to Waterloo, you'll officially become a Waterloo Warrior and be welcomed into the Warrior community. But what does that mean? To give you a true sense of this identity, I've asked a few of my fellow Warriors and here's what I've discovered.

Curiosity and courageousness are at our core

To me, being a Warrior means that you work with your fellow Warriors to build something bigger than you. To be a Waterloo Warrior is to stand alongside your fellow students and support one another.

Innovation is in our DNA — it's what sets us apart from other universities. At Waterloo, we're encouraged to be curious and courageous, meaning we think outside the box and challenge the status quo. But it doesn't stop there — we take it a step further by putting those ideas into action – we did rank #2 in Canada for most innovative university for a reason (Maclean’s, 2024)! We have many supports for students on campus to help you create new ideas and make your innovative dreams a reality.

Perhaps you're already aware of our reputation when it comes to being entrepreneurial and innovative. But did you know that group work is a big part of many of our courses? This means you'll be collaborating closely with other students to solve problems and come up with creative solutions. It's not always easy, but the reward is always worth it.

Our community of Warriors has a long list of impressive accomplishments. From creating a bicycle-powered energy storage battery, to driving positive change on campus through leadership roles in organizations like the Black Association for Student Expression, and advocating for greater gender diversity in STEM fields, we're making our mark by working together to achieve remarkable things.

Five students smiling together.

Excellence is what we strive for

Being a Warrior to me is belonging to an institution that understands university is only one step in my life goal. There are a ton of resources for helping to develop career skills, taking care of my physical and mental health, and so many events where I can make new friends and build connections.

Achieving excellence is what Warriors do best! We’re a community of changemakers who challenge ourselves to think differently and push the boundaries of what's possible. Our academic programs and co-op opportunities provide us with the knowledge and experience to succeed in any field we choose. We take pride in being curious and courageous individuals who work together to better our community and ignite change. As a result, Waterloo graduates are highly sought after by employers around the world.

The Waterloo co-op program is a cornerstone of our commitment to excellence. It provides us with the opportunity to gain real-world experience and develop the skills that’ll set us up for success.

Personally, joining a co-op program was one of the best choices I could’ve made in terms of my future career. Not only has co-op opened up career opportunities for me that I never thought of before, but it has taught me so much about myself in terms of my passions, skills, and capabilities. And honestly, having some extra change in my pocket is pretty nice!

However, co-op isn’t the only way to get some real-world experience! There are a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in and outside the classroom like EDGE, labs, work-study, and more. Waterloo also recognizes that wellness is an essential part of any student’s success, which is why there’s many resources to support our students' mental and physical well-being.

Students posing with a King Warrior at orientation.

We all belong

Being a Warrior is so much more than school spirit. It’s an identity that connects and inspires all members of our campus to be leaders in our communities. We strive to do our best and support each other along the way.

As a Waterloo Warrior, you'll be surrounded by some of the brightest minds from around the world. We encourage collaboration and learning from each other, which is why we have over 200 student-run clubs. These clubs are the perfect place to make new friends, get involved, and learn from others.

We understand that university can be overwhelming at times, which is why we support each other through thick and thin. Our student government, Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA), offers a range of student services such as Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity, and Equity (RAISE), the Glow Centre, and the Women's Centre to ensure that everyone feels welcome and supported.

Warrior pride goes beyond our campus and academic achievements. We engage with and make meaningful contributions to communities beyond the University of Waterloo. You'll find Warriors volunteering in local hospitals and shelters, working in start-ups across the region, and contributing to community-based arts and culture projects. Balancing academics with other pursuits, we are everywhere, making a positive impact, and contributing to something bigger than ourselves.

Two students cheering and smiling for a photo

Ready to be a Waterloo Warrior?

Being a Waterloo Warrior means being part of a community of innovators, collaborators, and changemakers. It means challenging yourself to think differently and to push the boundaries of what's possible. And most importantly, it means being part of something bigger than yourself. If you're ready to be a part of that community, then Waterloo might just be the place for you.

By choosing to attend Waterloo, you’ve already completed your first act as a Warrior. You’ve chosen a university that will push you out of your comfort zone, encourage you to think outside of the box, and collaborate with your peers to create real change in the world. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and remember that there’s people and resources to help you every step of the way.

So, if you're ready to be part of a community that values innovation, excellence, and collaboration, then Waterloo is the place for you. Come and join us in pushing the boundaries of what's possible and making a real difference in the world.


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