Whether you choose to complete your undergraduate studies at Concordia, UdeM, McGill or UQAM, one thing is for certain: It'll be one of the greatest experiences of your life. Everyone has got a different opinion when it comes to McGill, but experiencing the front lines for myself I can safely say it has changed a lot over the years. So if you've recently been accepted and are looking for some A's to your Q's, sit back, relax and find out what to expect if you've been accepted to McGill.
Photo cred: McGill News
Foreigners visiting the city often take a tour of the University because why the fvck not? Some of them may ask you questions about your experience, some of them may not. Often, tourists are taken around the campus and enter the McLennan/Redpath Library. Be prepared to be stared at: "And to your left, you'll see Exhibit C, a student in its natural habitat. Don't poke at it, it may bite".
Photo cred: Ginger Bread Manor
You're in the middle of downtown, which means cafes, movie theaters, and shops. The temptation to not go to class and wander through the city may seem ridiculous now, but the need to explore will kick-in a few weeks into the semesters so beware. However there is a plus side to being in the city. There are countless coffee shops, food stops, pharmacies and banks, you get the idea.
Photo cred: McGill Lealock
3. Huge Classes
Now that we've mentioned the exterior, let's get to the fun stuff, shall we? Everyone needs to take those intro classes, as they are often required for several majors. Most of these 100 or 200-level classes will be filled to the max with over 500 people, but don't be fooled by their common appearance, this does not mean they'll be your easiest classes. Some of us love it, some of us don't, but one thing is for certain; you'll be spending most of your first semester in Leacock 132. Enjoy.
Photo cred: SimplyStudying
4. More Work
University is a different ball game and can take some getting used to. But this isn't just at McGill, it's everywhere. Some say you should expect your grades to drop in the first semester, but if you put more work and effort into what you're doing, you should be golden.
Photo cred: SurLaTerre
5. International Students
And LOTS of 'em. British, Chinese, Italian, South African, Indian, Argentinian and oh so much more! McGill is a clusterfvck of cultures, and you'll be making friends from all over the world. Maybe you won't see them as often once they graduate, but hey, if you actually maintain a relationship with some people, you'll have an extra reason to travel the world (as if you needed more).
Photo cred: Klaus Fiedler
Traffic, ambulances, fire trucks and people. Even libraries can't be trusted for peace and quiet. But you'll get used to it, and if you're lucky you'll find a few moments of silence here and there. Arm yourself with headphones, a death stare that means "shut the fvck up", and you're good to go.
Photo cred: Ready.Set.Go.McGill.
7. Great Student Life
Whether local or foreign, McGill isn't the elitist, clique-based Uni you were told about. Although there are always jerks and assholes within a group of people, just ignore them and turn towards the thousands of other awesome students on campus. Everyone you meet is just as confused/drunk/scared/hungry as you are so don't be shy! With awesome people comes amazing organizations, clubs and, councils of all kinds. There are hundreds of them to choose from, so go on the McGill website, pay attention to your listservs, and talk to some people; you are bound to find the group for you.
Photo cred: HerCampusMcGill
8. OAP (Open-Air Pub)
It's exactly what it sounds like. Every beginning and end of the year (so August and April), students hold this awesome-sauce event, with cheap beer, hot dogs and music. It's open to McGill students only, so make sure you have an ID, or a friend that has one. The important decision won't be whether or not to go, but whether you should skip class to attend (apparently professors haven't realized yet that class outside is the best thing ever).
Photo cred: Herd of Squirrels
Yes, they are cute. Yes, they'll follow you and your sandwich around the campus. No, you should NEVER, EVER feed them, for they are vicious little creatures that will get fat and attack. Most people feeding squirrels are foreigners who've never seen one before. Be a good friend and spread the word: you'll keep them from getting bitten AND make a new friend (genius).
Photo cred: MTLBlog
Did someone say BEACH DAY?! We saved the best for last. The lesson here is: GO TO FROSH. Take off work, save some money, move in the city earlier. point is, you do not want to miss this. Not everyone remembers what happens during that weekend, but we all know we had the best time. Besides, partying and alcohol is the best way to make new buddies, all the more reason to put on your party hat and dance your way into freshman year. And if you miss it so much the next year, you can become a frosh leader or coordinator, which is a bit more work, but still gives you access to booze, events and memorable (or not) nights.