Rating Each Library Floor From Worst to Best

Written By: Khameron Sikoulavong

The MacOdrum library is the main hub for your studies during your time here at Carleton. Each floor has its own unique characteristics that make it different from the other. Being a third-year student who used to sleep in the library during exam season, I know a thing or two on which floors are the most study friendly. For the first entry of the Carleton School Survivor Guide, I will be rating each floor from worst to best.

Second Floor:

You’ve probably never studied on this floor. You use this floor to either go to the basement or the better floors above it. Although it has its perks, like picking up a drink at Starbucks before you meet up with your friends at fourth, that’s all that it’s really there for.

Pros: Reserve centre, charge station, Starbucks

Cons: Too much traffic, the lobby of the library (who studies in a lobby?), the line at Starbucks

Fourth Floor:
This may be an unpopular opinion for the first years, but hear me out. We all fell in love with this floor during our first semester. This was the floor where we used to hang out with our high school friends, play video games, and just chat. But in all honesty, that’s what it’s really there for. You show up at 12 thinking you’ll start working on an assignment and the next thing you know its 8 PM, you’re hungry and feel like a waste of space because you didn’t do anything.

Pros: Great place to hang out with friends, group study rooms are A1, Gaming Laboratory

Cons: Way too loud, you might see an old flame of yours and instantly regret being on this floor. Hard to get a booth, arguably more traffic than the second floor

Third floor:
The first quiet floor on this list, this is an amazing place to study but don’t even think about snickering after a friend gives you a funny look. The employees at the library will come and hunt you down. There are a lot of individual booths to get your study on or just dread the fact that you have five final exams with two being on the same day. Your call.

Pros: Super-duper quiet, individual booths definitely help boost your productivity, spacious

Cons: I dare you to laugh on this floor, not chip bag friendly, not group study friendly

Fifth floor:

For starters, you get a great view of the beautiful Experimental Farms (one of Ottawa’s unique landmarks). The individual booths are exposed to a lot of sunlight so you won’t feel as depressed as you would be on the third or first floor. The Gumby chairs are also a good plus if you want to procrastinate that research paper in a more comfortable fashion.

Pros: Sunlight exposure, it’s good to soak some up after spending a week in the tunnels, good booth space, Gumby chairs, and group study rooms

Cons: Not group study friendly, nap chairs are usually taken

First floor:
This floor has everything. Booths for group studies? Has it. Quiet study spots? Has it. Nice and spacious study booths? Say less. Want to eat your Zesty Ranch Doritos without getting hounded by everyone? Sure, you may get some looks but it won’t be as bad. The traffic here isn’t as busy as it would be on the fourth floor, but it has the majority of the things that makes the fourth floor great. The only take away from this place would probably be the fact that there is no natural light coming into the level. But then again, we spend three-quarters of our time at Carleton underground anyways, so who cares.

Pros: Group study session friendly, chip bag friendly, good study booths

Cons: Lack of natural light. However, you should be used to it by now

The official Carleton exam survival guide

Exam are around the corner, and we all feel the struggle. That’s why we created this super helpful exam survival guide.

Sad Monsters Inc GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Clean your whole house. Re arrange your room. Don’t forget to get under your stove top burner!

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Read inspirational quotes instead of lecture slides.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!
You get the idea. #StayMotiviated
Shopping? Christmas is around the corner.


No time like the present to start binge watching Grey’s Anatomy! Or maybe rewatch Friends?

Might as well take up a baking hobby while you’re at it.

Brownie bites > Exam bites.

Have you heard of podcasts?

And there’s no such thing as a bad time for hours of Snapchat filter testing!

Naps on naps on naps.

Check an app on your phone, then check it on your laptop. And again on your phone.

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Roommate dance off?

Happy Hailee Steinfeld GIF by Pitch Perfect - Find & Share on GIPHY

Have you even beat the new COD yet?

Burn all your notes.

They’re not really going to help you out anyway.

In all seriousness, we hope you all crush it this month! Eat healthy, get some sleep and study hard Ravens!

The CU Food Checklist

Carleton University has so many options when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s almost overwhelming, but don’t stress! We’ve got your guide to the best food Carleton has to offer.

10. 1am Pizza Pizza

Late night Pizza Pizza at Oasis is a staple at Carleton, especially if you live in residence. We all know Pizza Pizza isn’t the best, but when it’s 1:15am and you’re about to get in your uber home from Thirsty Thursday nothing really compares to a cheesy slice of warm pizza.

9. Smokes

If you’re not a pizza person that’s okay! Although MacDaddy’s is gone, Oasis has still blessed our lives with Smoke’s poutinerie.

8. Henry’s Sushi

New. Delicious. And easily accessible in the UC convenience store!

7. The Oliver’s John Belushi

Fun fact: Oliver’s Pub and Patio has business hours outside of Thirsty Thursday & if you wake up early enough they’ll make it worth your while with the one of a kind John Belushi. You can’t go wrong with homefries topped with eggs, cheese and mounds of hollandaise sauce.

6. The Rooster’s Bagelwich

If you haven’t had a bagelwich from Rooster’s before, you have not lived. That’s all.

5. Samosas at Mike’s Place

All amazing. Chicken is the best. Don’t forget to take advantage of the tamarind sauce.

4. Spring Roll’s Spring Rolls

Nothing says comfort food quite like $1 spring rolls at Spring Roll in the food court.

3. The Oliver’s Buffalo Chicken Wrap

With fries, or salad, or sweet potato fries on the side. It’s amazing regardless.

2. Rooster Grilled Cheese

Only $2.50!!!

1. Omelettes by Sharon

Sharon. The Queen of the frying pan. Our saviour. Forever the best food option on campus. Whether or not you’ve lived in residence and made your way to the cafeteria, you’ve definitely heard about Sharon and her skill with pan in hand.





It’s October already, which means it’s time for students everywhere to ask themselves, how are midterms are already a thing? It’s also the time of year where we tend to ignore the importance of daily exercise, healthy eating, and sleep.

Here are some healthy, delicious and quick recipes that will buy you more study time and make you feel better about snacking while you hit the books.


  1. Banana Pancakes

    1 banana
    1 egg
    A handful of oats
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    Mash the banana in the bowl. Then add everything else, cook in a frying pan over medium heat until crispy.


2. Banana Bites

Wheat tortillas
Peanut butter

Spread peanut butter on tortilla
Wrap tortilla around banana
Cut into inch bite-size slices


3. Frozen Yogurt-Covered Berries

Greek yogurt

Dip blueberries and strawberries into yogurt
Freeze overnight


4. Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Chicken breast
Chopped bell peppers
Chopped onions
Chopped zucchini
Broccoli florets
Tomatoes, chopped or plum/grape
Olive oil
Black pepper
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Place chicken and veggies in a pan. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and Italian seasoning.
Bake for 15 minutes until veggies are charred and chicken is cooked.


5. Goat Cheese Grape Balls

Goat cheese
Shelled hazelnuts and pistachios

Chop or blend hazelnuts and pistachios
Roll grapes into goat cheese pieces
Gently spread honey over grapes and roll them through chopped hazelnuts and pistachios
Eat with toothpicks, YUMMY!

13 ways you can tell you definitely go to Carleton

Everyone has those typical university experiences. Living in residence. Late night cram sessions. Consuming so much coffee you start to get the shakes. But if you’re a Carleton student, you’re also pretty familiar with this other stuff.

1. You never have any idea what floor you’re on in every single building.


Seriously can we talk about the Tory building? One second you’re in fourth floor UC, the next you’re in second floor Tory. Like what??
2. Campus actually gets busier on Thursday nights.

If you haven’t been to Thirsty Thursday, do you even go here?
3. Even if you’ve gone here for years, you still get lost in the tunnels sometimes.

And it’s always right before a big test.
4. If you miss the bus it’s not even a big deal because you can catch it at athletics.campus4
For real, you don’t even have to run; just do a fast-walk type thing.
5. You always see people walking around in slippers (and potentially full pajamas) even in the middle of winter thanks to the tunnels.

For the record, if you do this your prof is definitely not giving you that 5% attendance mark.
6. But you also see a ton of well-dressed students because half the student body works on Parliament Hill.

S/o to the first years clearly wearing their dad’s old suit jackets.
7. And then there’s the groundhogs.

If you don’t think they’re cute there’s actually something wrong with you.
8. Also, sometimes wild turkeys.

Yeah. That was a thing.
9. Everyone spends half of their degree in a Tim Horton’s line.

How is there a line at all five locations at all times.
10. You casually visit a World Heritage Site on the way to campus every day.

Not only are the locks super historical, but they look great on your insta.
11. There’s so many excellent nap spots all over campus and you’ve used all of them.

Looking at you, River Building benches. Thx for the memories.
12. You see homecoming as a warmup for the real party.

13. And the Panda game is just a preview for when we smash Ottawa U at Capital Hoops.

If you don’t go to Cap Hoops you’re probably a Gee Gee spy.

10 reasons why we don’t even need a student union building

1. The campus has like a million charging stations already.

2. There’s so so so much study space on campus. Like a ton. Enough for every single student.


3. Nobody actually wants a designated dance studio. No one even likes dancing. Or fun.


4. The current tabling space in the UC is totally fine. No one is ever overbooked. Or squished.


5. Clubs & societies already have way too many bookable rooms to choose from on campus and booking rooms is super duper easy all the time.


6. There’s definitely enough storage space too.


7. There’s always open spots in the library to hang out.sub9

8. And anyway, it’s not like the building will even be that nice.

for Add, Inc.

9. Beautiful, modern study nooks? Pfft, who wants that?


10. A student union building would be super lame.


This is a real thing that could actually happen. Find out more at the official Facebook page or check out shapingourskyline.com.

10 financial tips for students

We know how hard it can be to balance your finances as a student. You’ve got to pay rent, tuition, groceries, utilities…and you still want to have a little fun at some point. Right now is probably the most broke you’ll ever be, and we know it can be challenging. As part of our Financial Literacy Month, we’re sharing our best student finance tips with you. They won’t exactly make you rich, but if you follow some of our advice, you might be able to buy a few extra boxes of mac and cheese this month.

1. Take advantage of all the scholarships and bursaries you can.
In Canada, over $15 Million dollars’ worth of scholarships go unclaimed each year and over 50% of scholarships are not merit-based. Plus, scholarships are not just available in September; they’re offered all year long.

2. Try a budget app.
There’s tons of apps you can download to make budgeting easy. Apps like LearnVest, Level, and Mint automatically upload your bank account information and categorize your spending.You can set budgets for each category and the app will let you know when you’re close to going over.

3. Always ask about student discounts.
You’d be surprised at how many there are out there! Even if a store doesn’t have a discount posted, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Also, don’t forget to pick up a College Survival Coupons Card at the CUSA office. For just 20 bucks, it gets you awesome discounts at a bunch of local clubs, restaurants,and more.

4. Buy used textbooks—and sell your old ones.
New textbooks are absurdly expensive and you’re probably only going to use them for a semester, so don’t buy them new if you can avoid it. Buy used books from Haven Books or check out one of the Carleton used textbook groups on Facebook. The Carleton Bookstore also offers used and rentable options for most books, so take advantage of those.

5. Buy generic whenever you can.
Sometimes brand name items are better quality than their generic counterparts, but often the items are exactly the same, but in different packaging. Generic ibuprofen, for example, is exactly the same as Advil and it costs quite a bit less. Don’t be afraid to buy generic for everything from condiments to cheese to deli meat. It won’t make a difference and you’ll see the savings when you hit the checkout.

6. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
Okay, this is a silly one, but we all know it’s true. When you’re hungry, everything at the grocery store looks delicious. Eat a quick snack before you go so that you don’t end up blowing your budget on eight dozen croissants and six pints of ice cream.

7. Take advantage of free activities in the city.
Save a few bucks by seeking out free fun! From yoga on Parliament Hill, to free Thursday night admission at the National Gallery, Ottawa has plenty of cool community events that cost you nothing.

8. Check out student bank account options.
Most banks offer chequing accounts for students that include lower fees, unlimited transactions or other special perks. You definitely want to ask your bank what they have available for students.

9. Look for a great student job.
We all know the struggle of trying to find a good part-time job that offers plenty of hours, but works around your school schedule. Finding an on campus job is a great option, and there’s plenty available if you know where to look. They’re all posted on CUHire, the Carleton job portal.

10. Use the Carleton Awards Office.
The Awards Office is a great resource for information on Work Study programs, OSAP, out-of-province scholarships and bursaries, and more. It exists to help students, so take advantage of all the services available.

For more information about managing your finances, make sure to check out all the great Financial Literacy Month events we’ve got going on during November. From scholarship information, to credit counselling, to a seminar on repaying your student loans, there’s something for everyone. Best of all, it’s all FREE. Find out more by checking out the Financial Literacy Month Facebook event.

International students answer questions about Carleton, Canada, and studying abroad

Being an international student can be tough. You’re moving to a different country with a different culture, likely a different language, and extreme weather. We know how challenging it can be, so we asked some international students on campus to share their experiences and offer any advice they have for incoming students.

This year we’re answering your questions about your first year at Carleton on CUSA Hub and here on our blog. It’s all part of our #FirstYearQuestions project. Like us on Facebook and check out the campus feed on CUSA Hub to learn more.

Can you tell us your name, program, and where you’re from?
International Student - Brenda
Name: Brenda Lachowski
Home country: Tanzania
Program: Environmental Engineering

International Student - Ilse
Name: Ilse Mendoza
Home country: El Salvador
Program: English and Communications

International Student - Ahmed
Name: Ahmed Hozzayen
Home country: Egypt
Program: Economics

International Student - Manuela

Name: Manuela Barcenas
Home country: Colombia
Program: Journalism and Communication

Name: Paul Balcazar (Not pictured)
Home country: Ecuador

What’s living on campus like?

“There’s so many advantages to living on campus. You’re going to make new friends, you’re going to get involved in a lot of activities. It’s just awesome.”

“For me it was really good. I really liked the fact that I was here on campus all the time, so it kind of forced me to learn about everything the campus has to offer. I thought it was really beneficial. I would definitely recommend living on campus in your first year.”

How do you meet people?

“Just get yourself out there. Get involved in everything you can – join clubs, do different activities. That’s the way you’re going to meet your friends.”

“People are so friendly and open minded here that it is possible to meet new friends everywhere. I met many of my good friends in my classes and tutorial groups, or during study groups for exams.”

“I joined the Egyptian Association, and the MSA (Muslim Students’ Association). I play soccer intramurals and I meet new friends there. Even now in my ESL class I have Chinese friends. One time they took me to iftar somewhere and we had Chinese food!”

“Some of my friends that I met at Carleton lived on my floor. Some of the friends that I made were in my classes, but I also met a lot of friends through getting involved with different clubs and societies on campus, and that’s also something I really recommend, especially in your first year. Just test out the waters, and anything that even remotely interests you. Because even it’s something that you’re not too into, you never know what kind of people you might meet there and you never know the kind of relationships you might form.”

Favorite place to hang out on campus?

“The library. All people go there, so I say hi and see all my friends there.”

“The canal. I just like the scenery and it’s just beautiful, especially during the summer.”

For real though, how bad is the winter?

“Yeah, it’s really cold, but just wear layers and you get through it and it’s great. Put on a sweater or a jacket and you’re fine.”

“Egypt was so hot. In Canada, the weather is good. I like winter.”

“Thanks to the tunnels on campus, dealing with the winter has not been very tough for me. It is a blessing to be able to go from your room or the cafeteria to your classes not even wearing a jacket when it is actually -30 degrees outside.”

But what can you even do in the winter? 

“You have to try out skating. You might not be able to learn how to skate, but just try out skating. I’d say that’s a once in a lifetime opportunity you’re going to get and it’s free at the canal.
– Brenda

“I really like to cozy up in little coffee shops, for example on Bank Street or on Elgin Street. I like hang out there with some hot chocolate and just study.”

How do you build a support system?

“Get over the shyness and just talk to people. I hate talking to people, but if you just put that to the side for the first couple of weeks and you just talk to people you have a much easier time later on when all the stress comes around and all the projects and assignments and you have people that you can talk to and rely on.”

“Luckily for me I got friends who got me involved in things. Whenever I needed anything they were always there for me.”

“When your family is so far away, your friends become the family that is there to support you. Whenever I face a challenge, I normally like to receive support from my closest friends. However, there are many places on campus that can help you in many things! For instance, contacting your Residence Fellow when you live on residence is a great way to talk about the challenges you are facing. There are also counselling services and lots of people available to listen and help you all the time. That’s what I love about Carleton. I feel that people always care about me and how I’m feeling.”

“I definitely turn to the sisters in my sorority. They’re always there for me, they’re a constant in my life. I know they have my back through thick and thin. I also turn to a lot of friends I made in my first year who learned the ropes with me. They were starting out university life at the same time as I was and we were all figuring things out together.”

Do you miss home?

“I tend to feel a bit nostalgic during holidays, or reading weeks, when I see that most of the students can go and visit their families but it would be too far away for me to visit mine. Moments such as moving in and moving out can also be hard, as we have to look for ways to do those things without the help of our parents or families. This is why, for international students, friends become family, and the main support during transitional and stressful moments.”

“One of the biggest challenges that I faced was feeling like I have family here or feeling like I’m at home here when I really don’t. Getting involved on campus really brings you so close to so many people. Being part of a Greek organization and being an executive of a club on campus helped me to form friendships with people who have become home and become family to me.”

Any advice?

“Try to find that balance between retaining your culture and your customs that you have at home and embracing the new ones that you have here, and just kind of letting them mix in a really comfortable way. It’s really great when you can find yourself in a very very Canadian setting, and then like, to be able to bring your own twist on it with the experiences you’ve had at home. I think it’s really important to not let yourself get too caught up in what you left behind, but also don’t get too caught up in all the new things you have here, because you have so much to offer because of your different world views as an international student, and I think that and I think that those things are really valuable”

Try new things! Go to the Carleton Expo and sign up for different clubs and societies. Get involved. Don’t let your university experience be just going from your room to your classes and back. That’s my main advice, apart from, of course, going to your classes and trying to put the best effort on your studies.

Do you have more questions about your first year at Carleton? Post them on our online platform, CUSA Hub, for a chance to win $250 and a CUSA prize pack! Visit cusaonline.ca/cusahub to learn more.

For more information about Carleton International Student Orientation, contact the International Student Services Office (ISSO).

Meet your councilor: Isabella Boushey

Have you met your CUSA councilor yet? Councilors represent you at monthly CUSA Council meetings and collaborate to improve your services, events and campaigns. Our new Meet Your Councilor series gives you the chance to get to know a little bit more about your student representatives. This week, get to know Science Councilor Isabella Boushey.

CUSA Councilor Isabella Boushey
Name: Isabella Boushey
Program: Environmental Science with a Minor in Chemistry
Year: 3rd
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
On campus
Where can you be found hanging out on campus? Usually spend most of my time in Herzberg, Athletics, and Roosters!
Campus event you look forward to the most: I really enjoyed the Science Formal this year that was organized by the Science Society so I look forward to attending that again this year!
Favorite on-campus eats: As mentioned above, about 90% of the time I go to Rooster’s for my food and morning coffee.
What’s your favourite thing about Carleton? There’s something for everybody here. Whatever your passions, hobbies, or interests are, there are other people, clubs and societies with similar interests and it makes it so easy for you to fit in.
About Isabella
Favorite Ottawa hangout: I really love going to The Loft to play some board games with friends and I spend a lot of time reading and studying at Black Squirrel Books!
Hobbies: Tennis is by far my favourite hobby and I’ve been playing competitively my whole life. Yoga is also a passion of mine and I try to take classes as often as I can.
Any pets? (names, breeds…) I had an aquarium once…… It didn’t last long……
A weird skill you have: I can move my belly button up and down. I could also sing Ave Maria almost exactly like Schubert (just don’t ask me to do it…)
Dream job? I think my ultimate goal is to become an Environmental Lawyer and work for UNEP.
What do you wish you could go back and tell your first year self? Explore all the possible programs here and actually figure out what you really love to study rather than listening to what people say you should do.
At Council
Issues and policies you’re focusing on this year: Trying to push to get some noticeable changes made to the Carleton campus as per the request of students.
What you want your constituents to know about you: I ran for this position because I really want my constituents to become more familiar with how CUSA works and I want them to feel comfortable coming to me and expressing how they feel about certain motions that are put forward. We represent YOU so come talk to us! We’re super nice, I swear!
What you want your constituents to know about CUSA: Regardless of any differing views and opinions on certain motions, policies and issues, at the end of the day, CUSA just wants to be able to create a university environment that is fair and welcoming to all students.
The best way to contact you: By Facebook or e-mail (isabellaboushey@cmail.carleton.ca).