“Victoria is boring” and other misconceptions about UVic

I have a confession to make.

I didn’t even know that the University of Victoria existed until two months before I applied here. (I know, I know, cue the dramatic look.) But as I grew to learn more about what the University is like two months before I made the plunge to apply here, I also learned that there were tons of misconceptions about it that are simply not true.

After living here for a whopping 8 months (yes, I know, I’m kind of an expert now), here are some of my favourites that I heard and what the truth is behind each UVic misconception.

Misconception #1: Victoria is boring

I have to admit that I believed this one.

Victoria is not a “big” city when you compare it to the two world-class cities just hours away from us. I’ve even had to learn how to slow down. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from moving to Victoria, it’s that, in the best way possible, you need to make an effort to find your place here. Go out and find that club, community, church group that makes you feel at home while you learn to make Victoria your new home.

UVic-wise, did you know that we have over 200 active clubs and one of BC’s largest intramural associations that you can join? There is no shortage of community here at the University, it’s all about taking that first step to join it!

Joining your course union (like the French Undergrads) can really make the difference between community and coasting throughout your degree!

Misconception #2: UVic will never be like [insert other university here]

You’re right. UVic is not like UBC, or Harvard, or VIU (just to name a few). As much as those schools are great and you should consider them as much as you should UVic, we aren’t them and they aren’t us!

UVic is grounded by the UVic Edge, a set of values and experiences that we as a university are so proud of and is what sets us apart from other schools. Like other schools, we conduct research and professors teach classes, but with that West Coast vibe and flair that other schools could only dream of.

Misconception #3: UVic is a “party school”

Oddly enough, this was the main reason that my friends discouraged me from going to UVic, but it would be naive to believe that all 22,500 of our students were partiers. I, for one, am definitely not one of them. The truth about partying is that it does happen at every university. The beauty of being in university, however, is that you are now adult enough to define your personal boundaries.

Remember that no one ever has the right to ever make you uncomfortable and that you have the power to say no to a drink, no to a proposition, and especially no to a party that you are invited to. For more information, visit the Office of Student Life webpages on alcohol and consent.

Learn more about consent from UVic’s Equity & Human Rights department.

With views like PKOLS (aka Mount Douglas) in your own backyard, the West Coast beauty is unrivalled and underrated! (Photo by Kosuke Noma on Unsplash)

Misconception #4: Everyone at UVic is “white”

If you took 10 random students from UVic and put them into a room, at least one or maybe two of them will be an international student! UVic is home to over 4,000 international students and almost 19,000 students from all across Canada – not just from Victoria and not just those who look, live, or eat a certain way. Wouldn’t that be boring if that was the case?

UVic’s Global Community highlights the different cultures that are present in Victoria and hosts tons of inclusive events in the hopes of expanding the presence of different cultures at the University level!

Learn more about UVic’s international study initiatives, whether you are an international student wishing to come to UVic or if you’re a current student who is thinking about studying abroad!

Is UVic the perfect school for everyone? Absolutely… NOT! But neither is every school. Don’t fall into the misconceptions trap when choosing universities – I’ve been there before and it’s not productive for anybody, and for some it can overshadow the good, the genuine, and candid moments you can make at school.

The best advice I can give to break down those misconceptions is to connect with a recruiter, book a campus tour, and to always keep an open mind when comparing different universities. And whether or not you end up at UVic, you’ll realize that those misconceptions… are just that.

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