Tis’ the season for university campus tours, when dozens of wide-eyed McGill hopefuls explore our beautiful campus, filled with promise for a future at this wondrous institution. Though optimism is great, realism is better. Here’s what your average preppy tour guide and his polyester fanny pack won’t tell you. You’re lucky you’ve got me, I’m not like other tour guides.
To your right entering from Roddick gates is Burnside Hall, the single greatest building at McGill. Burnside can’t decide if it’s a prison compound or an underfunded high school, so you’re sure to get the best of both worlds. And don’t worry too much about the sudden thump noises in the elevators––once you’ve attended your Calc tutorial in the basement, you’ll realize falling down the shaft isn’t much worse.
On your scenic walk up towards the Arts Building, avoid eye contact with the squirrels and mentally prepare yourself to abandon the glossy image the brochures sold you. Here it is! Note the marble floors, high ceilings, and students camped out in tents occupying the lobby––ah, the charms of a colonial landmark.
Continue to your left toward the McLennan-Redpath library complex, a dynamic study spot for all your diverse student needs. If you’re looking to watch YouTube at full volume with your friends, morph your spinal cord while trying to plug in your computer, or get absolutely nothing done, Cybertheque is the place to be. If you enjoy loud silence—the kind that pressures you into holding in a cough to the point of a self-induced aneurysm—McLennan’s upper floors will never disappoint. And of course, if you’re fascinated by the “duality” of entirely unspecific things, Emma will be attending her Zoom conference straight dab in the middle of the McLennan stairwell every Wednesday, without fail. Watch your step!
Continue right and you’ll find McTavish, where the Desautels Chad who mansplained the stock exchange to you last Friday is probably taking his Linkedin headshot. Off McTavish you’ll spot the Islamic Studies building, where white people love to congregate for the dark academia aesthetic despite not knowing Persians from Arabs, or the Palestinian from the Sudanese flag. This building is also where McGill takes most of its promotional human rights shots, in the Octagon Room.
For the classic lecture hall experience, you’ll find Leacock and Adams auditoriums on opposite ends of campus. Nay-sayers will urge you to watch the recording and spare yourself from cramming into a room of hundreds of overheated and likely hungover students. Perhaps you could’ve done without the leg cramps and half-hour of incessant questions from the first-years at the front. But isn’t that what university is all about?
High up Rue University, you will see beloved Trottier to your left. Don’t be fooled by its relatively modern design and good maintenance, for Trottier will find creative ways to elevate your blood pressure. For one, if you manage to squirm into the desk-attached chairs without breaking both your legs, prepare to cease all breathing and movement for the next hour unless you want to curse your class with screeching metal hinges. The last thing you need is a dirty look from the Electrical and Computer Engineering major next to you running 854 programs on his soon-to-explode MacBook Air.
Finally, a moment of silent admiration for all those that made it to Stewart Bio or McMed for their 8:30 a.m. in the winter. It doesn’t matter that you got a 34 per cent on that midterm, crossing the Peel and Doctor Penfield intersection without sliding to your doom is a true accomplishment worthy of the utmost respect.
Hopefully, this campus tour has cured any doubts you may have had about McGill from recent news stories denting our ironclad reputation. It really is an excellent option, and McGill is beyond excited to welcome your tuition, and you, of course! Best of luck with your applications.