Five insider tips and tricks for Waterloo students

Waterloo students may come from different programs, hometowns, age groups or backgrounds, yet one thing all students can come to a consensus on is this: Student life can be challenging.

Whether it’s living on a tight budget, dealing with long, cold commutes or not getting into the class you really wanted, the life of a student can be a trying time for most. Well, here are five insider tips and tricks to make life even a bit easier for all Waterloo students!

Free UWaterloo Shuttle Services

Most students find it difficult to study at home – whether it be the distraction of your roommates, your pet, or Netflix. Students generally tend to get the most studying done on campus because it offers a quieter, attentive and less distracting atmosphere. However, students generally find themselves going home early because they don’t want to walk home or take the bus late at night. Well, that’s where the UWaterloo shuttle service comes in.

The shuttle is a complimentary (yes – that means free!) service that offers a ride home to students seven nights a week. It is offered all year, with the exception of Reading Week, and runs from 7:15 p.m. – 1:15 a.m. Yes, it runs past midnight, so don’t be afraid to fit in that late night cramming study session on campus!

Indoor Paths

Nobody likes having to walk across campus in the cold. Whether it is raining, snowing, or just plain freezing, I think we can all agree that we would rather walk indoors to get from one class to another. One thing that many students don’t know is that it IS usually possible to get from one place to another without stepping outside! Waterloo has a ton of indoor tunnels and bridges connecting one building to another. One example would be the indoor path between the David Centre and the Environmental Information Technology building.

There are many ways to stay warm while walking on campus. Watch the video below to learn how to navigate some of the paths.

UWaterloo Carpooling and Rideshare Groups

Have you ever just really wanted to rush home and eat a home cooked meal, only to find out that all the Greyhound tickets are sold out? Have you hurried to the GO bus only to realize you left your presto card at home? Luckily, there is a UWaterloo student group on Facebook called the “University of Waterloo Carpool,” where you can carpool with fellow students. The costs generally range from $10-15, which is cheaper than both the GO bus and the Greyhound. Depending on your driver, your rides can be a lot more time-flexible than a bus schedule. Also, in many cases, the drivers are generally willing to drop you off at your doorstep, as opposed to a bus stop. Make your life easier and more cost-efficient by joining this group. You may even make a new friend!

Campus Free & For Sale Group

Are you looking to sell something, but you’re a little worried about meeting up with a complete stranger? Do you want to buy something for a cheaper price but you’re concerned about getting scammed? If these are your wants and concerns, join the UWaterloo Free & For Sale group on Facebook! This is an awesome group to join to sell or buy things from other Waterloo students! You can usually find items at a discounted price, and because the sellers and buyers go to Waterloo, you can generally make your exchange right on campus! It’s an easy, fast, and convenient outlet for getting rid of the things you don’t want anymore, and buying the things that you do!  

Permission Overrides to get into that class you want!

Let’s face it, seeing that red “X” telling you that you are unable to take a class is the moment every student dreads. However, the mistake that students often make when seeing this “X” is to automatically accept their fate and look for another class. This doesn’t always have to be the case!

If you really want to take a class and you’re unable to register for it in Quest because it’s full or reserved, ask a professor for an override and permission number. There is not a 100% guarantee that they will give you an override, however professors are much more empathetic, reasonable, and accommodating than more people might assume. Unless there are zero physical seats available in the classroom, there is a very good chance that a professor will give you the permission number you need to join the class. Don’t underestimate the kindness of a Waterloo professor, and more importantly, do not be afraid to ask for what you want!

Well, these are just five insider tips to make Waterloo students’ lives easier. School can be difficult, and of course, we all know that nothing worth having comes easy. However, these are just a few tools to make your UWaterloo journey a little less stressful.

Hope this helps, and remember to study hard, stay warm, and most importantly, enjoy the ride!

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