You’re looking for a university that will push you outside your comfort zone and encourage you to take on new challenges. The possibilities are exciting, but they can be intimidating too. If you’re feeling anxious and wondering whether you’ll succeed, the answer is yes — and we’re here to help.

Before you begin, you’ll get Waterloo Ready. We’ll prepare you for life at university and introduce you to a peer community where you can ask questions and share resources. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way.


Sometimes university can get overwhelming – but don’t worry. We’ve all been there before, and we have lots of support services to lift you up when life gets you down.

Health and Counselling Services

Have a health concern or need someone to talk to? You can book an appointment with Campus Wellness professionals to access medical care or counselling services.


Mental health support programs are available for free, including individual appointments, seminars and workshops to help you succeed in all ways while here at Waterloo.


Our services are always inclusive and collaborative. Whether you see us in person or online, we provide a safe space that respects human rights and supports 2SLGBTQ+ people and their allies.

Peer mentorship and support

Available to everyone, peer mentoring connects you with upper-year students who know what first year is like. They can provide non-judgemental support with social, cultural and academic challenges by meeting one-on-one or in a small group.


Depending on your program, you may also have the option of residence Living-Learning Communities, where you live with students in the same program or faculty as you. Along with making peer connections, you get an upper-year peer leader who provides support as you navigate your first year of university.

Online help from anywhere

If you’re dealing with social isolation, academic concerns or mental health challenges while at home, you don’t have to go it alone. Get Skype-based individual peer support through MATES (Mentor Assistance Through Education and Support), meet with a peer success coach from the Student Success Office (SSO) or talk to a professional counselor by phone or video through Counselling Services.


If you’re someone with diverse interests, choosing a university program can feel impossible—like trying to pick your favourite movie or food. How do you choose just one? For others, you may be feeling pressured by parents, friends or teachers to follow a certain path.

The good news is you’re never locked in – and it’s not uncommon to change programs midway through your degree. After all, it’s your life journey and you call the shots!

Academic advisors to the rescue

They say not all superheroes wear capes – and that’s true about your academic advisor, too. Whether it’s your first month or second year, if you discover your program isn’t the right fit, your advisor can help you explore your options and rework your plan, no matter how big or small the change.

Think of your advisor as an academic success partner who’s there to provide recommendations, help you set realistic goals and explain academic requirements. While they’ll share their professional advice, ultimately, the final decision is up to you.

Program minor, impact major

Another way to satisfy diverse interests is by adding a minor to your program. A minor is 8-10 courses in a specific subject out of the 40 or so you need to earn a degree. A minor doesn’t have to be related to your major and there are hundreds of options, as well as lots of valid reasons to choose one, whether you love the subject or want to make your résumé look good.


At Waterloo, we love challenge – especially when it pushes you to learn new concepts, question your assumptions and defend your ideas. But university should never be challenging because you don’t have the right tools or resources to succeed. As a Waterloo student, you’ll always find support to achieve your best.

Academic accommodations

The role of AccessAbility Services is to remove barriers and equip you with the tools to succeed in university. Students with disabilities can apply for academic accommodations, such as these:

  • learning strategies
  • assistive technologies
  • alternative testing and course material formats
  • notetaking support
  • peer mentorship
  • accessible transportation

Support to write home about

How many times have your teachers told you how important writing skills are in university? We hope you’ve been listening, because it’s true. Luckily, if you need writing support (like most of us), advisors at the Writing and Communication Centre are on hand to provide one-on-one appointments, writing groups, Instagram Live Q&As and workshops.

Upgrade your academic toolkit

Feel like your research and study skills could use a boost? It’s easy to level up with programming from Library Services and helpful workshops on topics like time management and effective study techniques from the Student Success Office (SSO).

You can also drop in to a weekly Warrior Virtual Study Hall session facilitated by a Peer Success Coach. They will share weekly tips and strategies to improve your focus and increase your productivity. Or access the many online learning resources with strategies for everything from managing your time to how to succeed on tests and exams.

Success for international students

Whether you’re studying in Waterloo or from your home country, you can access services and resources dedicated specifically to international students, including academic skill building, English language support, online learning resources and more. We also have a team of experienced licensed Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who can provide free, confidential immigration advice.


And make a permanent seat groove in the spot where you learn best. While everyone has their preferred study environment, here are some choice spots for hitting the books:

With plenty of natural light, the first floor of Dana Porter Library has lots of table space and all the resources you need to study or finish assignments.

HHHub overhead

The Arts Hub foyer is bright and open with outlets at all the tables and the Liquid Assets Café close by. Once you hunker down here, you won’t want to study anywhere else!

group of students studying together

The study options are endless at the Student Life Centre (SLC), whether in the cafeteria or Great Hall, at the group tables in the basement or in the third-floor silent study area. And when hunger strikes, sustenance is steps away.

Voted the quietest place to study on campus, the Lusi Wong Library provides a peaceful, welcoming and warm environment. The Library is home to the East Asian Special Collection, a foreign language collection consisting of over 1,000 titles in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.