It’s campus touring season, when dozens of out-and-out McGill hopefuls explore our beautiful campus, filled with promise for a future at this wonderful institution. If optimism is good, realism is better. Here’s what your average preppy tour guide and polyester fanny pack won’t tell you. You’re lucky to have me, I’m not like other tour guides.
To your right as you enter through the Roddick doors is Burnside Hall, McGill’s largest building. Burnside can’t decide if it’s a prison or an underfunded high school, so you’re sure to get the best of both worlds. And don’t worry too much about sudden noises in elevators – once you’ve completed your Calc tutorial in the basement, you’ll find that falling down the shaft isn’t much worse.
On your scenic walk to the Arts Building, avoid eye contact with the squirrels and mentally prepare to ditch the glossy image the brochures sold you. It’s here! 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 to the McLennan-Redpath Library complex, a vibrant study location for all of your students’ diverse needs. If you’re looking to binge-watch YouTube with your friends, spin your spine while trying to plug in your computer, or just doing nothing, Cybertheque is the place to be. If you enjoy loud silence – the kind that causes you to hold back a cough until a self-induced aneurysm – McLennan’s upper floors will never disappoint. And of course, if you’re fascinated by the “duality” of totally unspecific things, Emma will attend her Zoom conference right in the middle of the McLennan stairwell every Wednesday, without fail. Mind the step!
Keep going right and you’ll find McTavish, where the Desautels Chad who explained the stock market to you last Friday is probably taking his photo on Linkedin. Off McTavish, you’ll spot the Islamic Studies Building, where white people like to congregate for the dark aesthetic of college, even if they don’t know Persians from the Arabs or Palestinians from the Sudanese flag. This is also where McGill takes most of its human rights promotional shots, in the Octagon Room.
For the classic boardroom experience, you’ll find the Leacock and Adams auditoriums at opposite ends of campus. Opponents will entice you to watch the tape and save yourself from cramming into a room of hundreds of overheated and potentially hungover students. Perhaps you could have done without the leg cramps and half-hours of incessant questioning of the first years at the front. But isn’t that the purpose of the university?
At the top of University Street, you will see the beloved Trottier on your left. Don’t be fooled by its relatively modern design and good maintenance, as Trottier will find creative ways to raise your blood pressure. For one thing, if you manage to squirm in the chairs strapped to the desk without breaking both legs, be prepared to cease all breathing and movement for the next hour, unless you want to curse your class with creaky 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 her soon-to-explode MacBook Air.
Finally, a moment of silent admiration for anyone who’s been to Stewart Bio or McMed for their 8:30 in the winter. It doesn’t matter that you got a 34% on that halfway mark, crossing the Peel and Doctor Penfield intersection without slipping to your doom is a true accomplishment worthy of the utmost respect.
Hopefully this campus tour has dispelled any doubts you may have had about McGill following recent news reports that have tarnished our reputation. It really is a great option, and McGill is happy to accommodate your tuition, and you, of course! Good luck with your applications.