Welcome to the University of Waterloo and congratulations! We’re so glad you’ve decided to make Waterloo Residences your home.
Waterloo Residences is a great place to start your journey. More than just a place to sleep, our residences will increase your chances of academic success by giving you access to all the best resources the campus has to offer, while also introducing you to new friends, and lots of fun experiences.
We have put together a list of 5 tips that will help you get the most out of your residence experience, both academically and socially.
University is about more than just studying, and living in residence at the University of Waterloo puts you in the heart of the action. With clubs, sports, and activities both on-campus and offered by your residence life team, there is no lack of opportunity to get involved. Make sure to make new friends and gain new experiences by taking advantage of what UWaterloo has to offer.
Be patient with your roommates
Whether it is your first time away from home and your family, or you’ve lived on your own before, adjusting to a new place can be overwhelming and difficult. Your roommate may be new, with habits and styles that are different from yours – and that’s okay! Remember that this is new for them too. Give it time and by the end of the year your new roommate will be just like family!
Call or text your family
With classes, studying, clubs and activities there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. All these new experiences are great and we want to remind you to call home and share them with your family. Calling home will help you to feel more grounded and find some of the answers you may need when you have questions. So schedule time to make those regular calls.
Set up a study schedule
For every hour of time you spend in class about two hours outside of class are spent studying on average. With no one to remind you to do your readings and assignments, you’ll need to schedule the time yourself. Get a wall calendar and clearly mark off your due dates and study time to help you make room in what is sure to be a very busy first year.
Take advantage of services
UWaterloo offers some great services, including study workshops, the writing centre, counseling, tutoring in residence and free technical support. All of these will help you achieve and maintain your academic success and contribute to your mental health and well-being. Make sure to take full advantage of these services offered to you to help you reach your goals and be happy and healthy.
Advice from past residents
Here to help you
Dons are upper-year students who live and work in residence. Each floor is assigned a don to help with questions or problems, uphold rules and policies, and provide support to students, but dons also specialize in making your stay in residence a great time! Dons plan fun activities and hold monthly meetings to help students get to know each other and have a good experience while living in residence.
Small groups of students in the same faculty or program who live together in the same area of residence are part of a program called living-learning communities. Each group has an upper-year peer leader to mentor and support first-year students’ academic goals, giving them greater access to their faculty and programming to help them be successful.
Along with quiet hours and silent study spaces, residence features drop-in tutoring for those that might need extra help. Five nights a week tutors come to the students offering a rotating schedule of subjects that can be found online. Study skills workshops are also offered in residence to help students develop the best habits for academic success.
Residence offers both paid positions and volunteer positions to give students leadership opportunities and career experience. From front desk assistants to residence ambassadors, there are a variety of great positions to give you a greater chance to get involved in residence life.
Each residence has a front desk with staff to help students 24 hours a day. More than just a place to pick up your mail or help you if you’ve locked yourself out of your room, front desk staff can sign out board games, books and movies, sell stamps, provide faxing services, and assist with common area activities, including signing out equipment and facilities.
With new state-of-the-art facilities and offering comprehensive medical care to all registered students, health services acts as your family doctor and walk-in clinic away from home. For challenging or difficult circumstances, Counselling Services offer professionals to help with everything from education related decisions to personal issues surrounding stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and more.
With one of the lowest crime severity indexes in Canada, Waterloo is a safe place to live, but should anything happen while on campus, UWaterloo Police officers are on duty 24 hours-a-day and easily accessible through campus phones. Additionally, campus shuttle, safety alarms and self-defense classes all offer resources to help keep students safe.
So you received an email from Waterloo Residences on June 15 confirming that you will be joining our community this fall, what next?
Fill out a preference form
In your email, you should have received a link to the Waterloo Residences Preference Form. It is here where you tell us a little bit about yourself and your residence preference. You have until June 22nd by 11:59 p.m. to complete the form.
Accept your contract
By Mid-July, students will begin to receive contract offers sent to their UWaterloo email account. Offers will continue to be sent into August. Contracts expire when they are not accepted within a specified time.
Once you accept your residence contract, you can start preparing for move-in day. Be sure to check your email often, as you will begin receiving regular communications from Waterloo Residences regarding dates, program information, and move-in procedures.
Applying for residence as a first-year is a simple experience. Fill out a few online forms and receive your contract by email.
Living in residence is an investment in your academic success. Find out how much residence and meal plans are.
Want to know when all residence deadlines are? This page has all the important dates in one place.
Nothing is more important than your safety in residence. Learn more about what measures are taken to ensure a safe residence experience.
Have specific questions about menus, hours of operation and meal plans? Food Services manages all eateries in residence.
Wondering what you should bring to residence? Visit our helpful online checklist before you pack!
To ensure a smooth move-in experience, we invite you to learn more about the move-in process.
Be sure to look over the term and conditions of your residence contract.
Have a family member interested in learning about what residence has to offer? This page is for them.
"Who knew such a small space could hold so many memories."
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Student Life Centre
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave West
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 32679