What Our Students Say

Residence is hard to put into words, so here are a few of students who lived the RezLife and wanted to share their experience with you.


Nassir A.

Saugeen-Maitland Hall ALP

I travelled a lot growing up. I was born in Baghdad, Iraq, then at the age of seven I moved to a small city near Dubai called Fujairah, and at the age of 15 I moved to Mississauga, here in Canada. It’s definitely changed me in some ways.

I feel like not having a stable home allows me to think of home in a different way than most people do. For me, home becomes more about the people, how they make me feel, and who I trust the most, as opposed to where I’m most comfortable. I’ve lived in residence for four years, as a Residence Soph and ALP.

Residences are big communities - you continue to meet and get to know new people every day. Being able to run into people I know so often is a truly rewarding feeling, and in turn it allows me to think of Western as home.

Likun Y.

Essex Hall Head Rez Soph

Coming to university as an international student who didn't know anyone in Canada, residence provided me with a great sense of community and a sense of 'home' on campus.

That's why I returned! Living in residence, you'll be able to meet many different kinds of people and be engaged in different kinds of activities, so put yourself out there as much as you can to get the full experience.

Ryan T.

Ontario Hall Orientation Staff

"There will be no other time in your life when you can live with over 1,000 great individuals who not only share similar values, but also accept and respect each other's differences."

If you see a blonde-haired Soph running around, walkie-talkie in hand, looking like he's on a mission, but smiling the whole time, you've likely run into Ryan, or as his first-years know him, Charmander. Ryan started his Western career in Saugeen-Maitland Hall in 2013. Now, heading into his third year in Media, Information, and Technoculture, he is also embarking on the new position as Ontario Hall Head Soph.

I had the lucky opportunity be to be Ryan's Faculty Soph in his first year and I could tell instantly that he was Soph material; yet, like many first years, he was nervous about how his first-year experience would go. When I asked him about his first-year experience, Ryan explains his first year experience as "the best way to introduce [yourself] to the Western community". Whether it was making new friends, conducting group study sessions, or having a Residence Advisor or Soph around, Ryan was able to expand his horizons in so many ways.

The first-year experience Ryan experienced is common to many Western students. "Since I had such an amazing experience during my first year in residence, I thought it would be appropriate to turn my passion for residence and community involvement into a Sophing position." Ryan noted that the support he received from his Sophs in first-year inspired him to continue that support towards future first year students.

The Sophing experience at Western is unlike any other. When I asked Ryan to describe his year as a Soph in Ontario Hall he had just one word for me: thrilling. When over 1000 new students arrive and start to call one building home is an exciting experience. However, not only is it the new students who provide such an amazing experience, but Ryan makes it clear that his team was another reason for the success he had. "I was so fortunate to have such a great Soph team that supported each other and our various aspirations. Together, we made Ontario Hall an amazing place to call home."

You can always tell what Soph is made to be Head Soph, and for the Ontario Hall's Soph Team, that was Ryan. "The residents in Ontario Hall were the primary reason I decided to apply as Head Soph. Every year, Western is fortunate to have residents who are caring, supportive, and enthusiastic about their community, and I wanted to contribute to that."

As one might expect, the weeks leading up to move-in day and OWeek are exciting and nerve-racking for both incoming first-years and Sophs, and Ryan had some great advice for both parties: "Take advantage of every opportunity you get. There are so many great opportunities that will be thrown your way either as a first-year student or as a Soph. There will be no other time in your life where you can live with over 1000 great individuals who not only share similar values but also accept and respect each other's differences. In this kind of environment, you can learn a lot about yourself and others while growing your interpersonal skills and having a successful university career."

Brittany J.

Medway-Sydenham Hall Former Resident

It was just such a good time. Nothing could compare.

Distance definitely didn't affect this couple. Even from across the world, residence friendships have managed to be maintained, but rarely do you encounter long distance university friendships that have turned into life partnerships.

In 2003 Brittany went to visit her prom date at Medway-Sydenham Hall on JN1. However, a weekend visit to MedSyd introduced her to many amazing individuals including James who incidentally resembled Drago from the Rocky Series. Spiky blonde hair and all, who would soon become her best friend. As Brittany returned every weekend to visit her at-the-time boyfriend, she was consistently spending time with James playing Nintendo or going to the gym.

Eventually, Brittany decided that she had enough of Laurier and wanted to become a Mustang herself. When I asked Brittany what the contributing factor was of her transferring, she replied". It was just such a good time. Nothing could compare (casual dig at Laurier). I was coming back to Western every weekend to hang out with the friends I had made in MedSyd."

For four years, Brittany and James continued to maintain their friendship even while James was pursuing an engineering internship in Calgary during his fourth-year. Talking on the phone every day drove up quite a phone bill as James talked Brittany through her recent breakup; yet the two remained platonically inseparable.

At this point I was interested in when this friendship turned into an actual relationship, and as in any love story it had a dramatic turning point. Brittany explained she had been traveling for the next few years after graduation and found herself in Japan in 2011, losing touch with James.

Only two weeks after she left did the tsunami hit, devastating many towns and people. "I just thought about how lucky I was... when that happened I thought I just had to call Drago. I needed to tell him that I needed to see him again." And so began the consistent phone calls again, rekindling their friendship and finding surprising things about themselves. Brittany explained, "we started talking about all the things we wanted in life and we agreed on everything."

A few months later, desperate to see each other once again, James bought Brittany a plane ticket to Calgary to visit him and she realized she had to put her feelings out there, "I didn't know what it meant, but I needed to tell him that I loved him". Obviously a nerve-racking thing to tell someone; however, it all turned out in Brittany and James' favour even when Brittany moved to Australia to pursue her masters.

A few expensive phone bills and four months later, James visited Brittany in Australia, and they had what Brittany describes as "the most rational conversation anyone has ever had... we just knew we were going to get married." So in 2014 Brittany and James were engaged and got married this past December, where else? But the historic building where they met.

Eoin B.

Elgin Hall Former Resident

I chose to come to rez to get the true feeling of what rez is all about, and so far I have. It's inclusive, exciting and the Sophs are awesome. You should live in Rez if you want to make friends and be a part of something fun.

Jessica M.

Ontario Hall Ontario Hall Soph

The most memorable part of my residence experience was the people. All the staff and sophs never failed to have a smile on their face and really helped make residence feel more like a home, and your floor feel more like your family.

I chose to return to residence because of the close commute to class, the delicious food, and the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Living in residence opens up plenty of opportunities and makes it easier to make new friends!

Mitchell C.

Medway-Sydenham Hall Former Resident

Residences at Western have incredible spirit.

Many of my friends from high school do not attend Western, and none of them speak as highly of the spirit in their residences as I do!

Katherine G.

Saugeen-Maitland Hall Former Resident

Living in residence is special because you literally live a few steps away from your best friends, which is something I find very difficult to give up.

Also, the convenience of the caf is nice and residence activities are so much fun.

William H.

Ontario Hall Former Resident

Residence life was one of my most significant highlights of first year. I was able to connect with so many people through living in residence, and residence life has definitely contributed to my success at Western so far.

Being in the residence environment and living with so many supportive students definitely helped me cope with the stresses of school.

Jake A.

Saugeen-Maitland Hall Saugeen-Maitland Hall Soph

The most important thing I experienced in residence was meeting so many new people. I come from a village that contains less people that Saugeen alone.

So to be constantly surrounded by so many people was really something to adapt to.

Though, out of it, I met so many new and interesting people, each with their own interesting ideas and views. I'm sure I learned just as much from them as I did through my studies!