pubs on the west side | Briana

So we’re all starting to settle in, I would hope! School is becoming more and more routine and everyone is settling into the swing of things. On my end, I’m proud to report that I have not skipped a single class yet! Things are going well for me. Education classes are mandatory, since, you know, showing up to your teaching job is pretty mandatory, so for the last year I haven’t skipped a single class. I think that keeping up that record this semester will be a sure-fire way to get some As… I hope!

Anyway, now that you’re settling in, I wanted to talk about something that is near and dear to the hearts of almost all university students – the pubs and clubs around town. I don’t claim to be an expert, and there’s no way I’ll have listed them all, but here are some of the more popular places that you’ll want to check out, starting today with the pubs closest to home, right here on the West side.

(Side note – I said I don’t claim to be an expert, and that is absolutely true. But you know who does claim to be an expert? Leth Night Life! You can follow them on Twitter @lethnightlife or on Facebook, click to like Lethbridge Night Life. They guarantee to know “all the best events, parties and deals around Lethbridge.”)

We have Backstreet and Pop’s Pub West, which are both in the shopping complex on Columbia. You know, the one with the Shopper’s. I haven’t been in Pop’s since it used to be the Duke, though I do go to Pop’s South quite a bit. They have some great meals, and the perogy special on Saturdays is not to be missed!

Backstreet is typically a bit quieter and calmer and attracts an older crowd. That being said, this is one of my favourite places to grab a bite to eat – specifically the famous Jamie Sandwich. If you’re new to Lethbridge or have someone never tried this delight, you must remedy that right now. Not this weekend, or “whenever I get a chance.” RIGHT NOW. This is a decision you will never regret.

Mojo’s Pub is run by the same folks who run Pop’s, which means you are in for the same delicious meals. My favourite is the sizzling calamari, which comes out with peppers and some delicious mystery sauce, or the classic nachos (big enough to share and still have leftovers!) The other thing to keep in mind about Mojo’s is that if you get there early enough, they sell beer in towers. Yup, you and your friends can purchase a “tower” of beer and then pour it for yourselves once the tower is set up at your table. They also have a great patio and a ton of TVs to catch this great CFL season!

The Black Tomato is the last pub on this side of town and also the newest. This location has changed hands frequently in my four years on campus, but I’d have to say that the Black Tomato is off to a great start. They run nightly specials, which means you can get great deals on your drinks for the night, and the food is tasty as well. The vibe is low-key and relaxed. I quite enjoyed my night out there and I have yet to hear anything negative about this place, so I recommend checking it out!

So there you have it, the four pubs on the West side that you should check out this weekend, if you have time for a break in all the studying and homework-doing that I know you’re already busy with (right?). Enjoy the weekend, take time to relax and hang out with new people that I hope you’ve met in these first whirlwind weeks on campus, and come back to class Monday nice and refreshed!

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get rushing! | Briana

Well, I was going to preview the Fresh U Jamboree, but amazingly, it’s over already! Where did the time go?! I heard it was unbelievable, that the music was great, the crowd was having fun and that the weather cooperated to make for an unforgettable weekend! I’ll have to read more about it from Basia and Braden, as I missed out on all the fun to spend my weekend in Calgary. I had fun though, it was a birthday party for a friend of mine and it was a pretty quiet night spent with some great people.

As far as school goes, here we are! We’re a week in… how’s everyone feeling?! I thought I’d have the usual couple of weeks to ease into this semester, but it turns out my professors had other plans. I already have a paper due September 20! That’s next Tuesday!! I can’t even believe it. Luckily, I work night shifts while I’m in school, so that means I have 8 full hours every night to do nothing but schoolwork. In theory, at least. In practice it never works out that neatly.

Some great things are going on that I’ve already seen, not the least of which is Rush Week! I love Rush Week. I love getting to see all the diverse interests and passions that students have at the University of Lethbridge. People will try to tell you that students here are apathetic – don’t believe that for a second. You don’t have to look any further than the atrium to see that the exact opposite is true!! So take a gander if you haven’t already. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Maybe all the groups aren’t for you, but if you don’t poke around, you’ll never know. And don’t be shy – I personally guarantee that the person sitting at the rush table you’re approaching is genuinely thrilled to talk to you and explain why you should join up! Keep and open mind as well, and remember that no clubs on campus are exclusive. You don’t have to be First Nations’, Metis, or Inuit (FNMI) to join the FNMI club, you don’t have to be LGBT to work with the PRIDE Centre and you don’t have to be female to get involved with the Women’s Centre! I know that all those organizations welcome (and crave!) diversity, so ask questions!

And, as always, I’ll end with my shameless plug for Rotaract, a service and humanitarian organization on campus that is affiliated with Rotary International. The club mandate is “Service Above Self” and there are lots of volunteer opportunities and ways to get involved. We usually run with about 60 active members, so it’s also a great way to meet people on campus!

Happy Rushing!!

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For those of you who don’t know this already, I love social media. So #lethnso (like #jtl11) was the hashtag used on Twitter by students, parents, spouses, volunteers, and ULeth staff alike to link all the tweets about this year’s New Student Orientation!!

I was lucky enough to volunteer this year, mostly with registration – though I did get to videotape the last little bit of the speeches on Thursday. I got to see so many smiling faces, and the excitement was contagious. I couldn’t help but soak up the energy of all the incredible first years who came out to NSO this year – all 800 of them! I got to meet some incredible people, answer some questions, steal some awesome bandannas and generally bum around in my (awesome) bright yellow ULeth “Volunteer” shirt.

I’m not sure how NSO has worked in the past (this being my very first NSO), but I thought it was phenomenally well done. Students coming in chose one of six registration lines, mostly for speed. But depending on the line chosen, they were assigned a different colour bandanna and two unique NSO mentors, veteran students with a passion for the U who cracked me up throughout the whole day. Once the students were in smaller groups of about 100-130, it was easier to meet people and get to know your mentor. I thought this was just a great idea, because all 12 of the mentors were unreal amounts of fun. They led the students through nightly activities, to dinner and through the next day’s events. The whole thing was so well planned and so much fun.

So whether you’re new or not, I recommend getting out to any of these events in the future, whether as a participant or a volunteer. NSO my first year (about a hundred years ago, it feels like) was very different from the way it’s set up now. I didn’t go, and though I don’t regret it, I very much wish it had been as epic as it was this year! So don’t miss out! I promise you, whether you’re a fresh-faced newbie or an old, jaded fifth year, you will have an absolute ball. You’ll get excited, you’ll learn new things, meet new people and get ready for what the next however-many years will bring you!!


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Getting around campus!

Alright, you’re all ready for your first day and your first week… or are you?! I’m really old and jaded now, so I have a hard time remembering what freaked me out my first day, though I’m sure the answer is everything. So for the next couple posts, I’m going to try to offer some tips and tricks about some common question and concerns!


So, finding classes. That’s the part I remember being the most nervous for. What if I got lost? Where are all the buildings? What are the letters for? The easiest way to do this is to find your classes a couple days before. The U is pretty straightforward, but there are some bizarre classrooms that seem to be hidden (especially in UHall or the Fine Arts Building). It’s not always possible to find them in advance, so just do your best. Profs know you’re new, especially in the 1000 level courses. But here’s how the University works, as far as classrooms. Each classroom starts with a letter, denoting the building it is located in. The next number (or numbers, though this only happens in the library) tells you the floor, and the next two numbers are the class itself. For example, L1170 means it’s in the Library, on floor 11.

A, B, C, D and E are all located in UHall. These can be on any floor from 4 to 8, though the main hallway is floor 6. Each letter has its own stairwell, but all the letters are connected, so you can move freely between sections once you’re on the appropriate floor. Floor 8 houses offices and research labs for professors, and it has lots of hanging signs so you can easily navigate the different departments. E690 is the biggest classroom in UHall, and it’s located on the main floor at the veeeeeery end of the hallway. This makes for a mad dash if you have class in E690 then up in PE (First Choice building – think Phys Ed) afterward.

W is the Fine Arts Building. It connects the library to UHall. When you go down the “airport hallway” (after Mr. Sub), all those stairs that take you to the Atrium and even lower are in the Fine Arts Building. This also houses the Main Theatre, located on floor 5. I haven’t had a ridiculous amount of classes down there, but W5 is quite popular.

L is the library. There aren’t too many classrooms here, but the ones in the Study Hall (L1060 and L1070) are sometimes used for general classes. The 11th floor classrooms are generally reserved solely for Education classes in third year and above.

PE is the Phys Ed Building. There are only a handful of classes in the PE Building and they are quite large. The biggest of all is PE250 which has 2 entrances and can hold about 300 students. It is pretty much a guarantee that you will have at least one class in there, but don’t worry, it’s ridiculously easy to find.

TH is Turcotte Hall. Turcotte is a tricky building, because there’s new-Turcotte and old-Turcotte and they are connected, but you have to go out a door marked “Exit” to actually connect them. I definitely got lost trying to find a prof’s office because I was wondering around in old-Turcotte and she was located in new-Turcotte. New-Turcotte connects to the side of the PE Building and E parking lot. It’s beautiful. Old-Turcotte has an entrance by the SU door behind the food court. There aren’t many intro courses taught in Turcotte, so you shouldn’t have any issues.

AH is Anderson Hall. There is only one floor, so classrooms are pretty easy to find. They don’t have any windows, though, which I find a little depressing. Anderson is one of only two buildings that aren’t connected – you have to go outside to get there.

M is Markin Hall, the newest addition. Markin is mostly reserved for Nursing and Management students and it is beautiful. It’s also the second building that isn’t connected to the main part of campus, so you have to go outside. Markin has some brand new group study rooms and some really comfy chairs by the windows, a great place to relax.

It’s pretty easy, once you get the hang of it. Also important to know is that there is a tunnel that connects the Library to the SU. This is really nice in the winter! It’s attached to floor 1 of the SU, floor 1 of the PE Building and floor 9 of the library. It’s located to the left of Mr. Sub, if you’re facing it. I didn’t know about the tunnel for months, which made my days extra windy and cold!

So there you have it, Getting Around U of L 101. You’ll do great.

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Home again!

Woooo, I’m home again! Costa Rica was absolutely unreal, we did too many amazing activities to count and capped it off with a one-day, whirlwind tour of Disneyland. Unfortunately, I have no pictures yet and I feel that it would be unfair to tell my incredible story without the incredible pictures to go along with it. No big deal anyway, it’s not like we have anything to look forward to…

OH WAIT! School starts soon! I should warn you that all my friends tease me about how much I love school, how excited I get to pick classes, how I’ve already been in school (full-time) for four year and have another two to go… I’m a nerd, but I really, truly, honestly love school. And you might, too. University is nothing like high school – it’s all about YOU and how YOU will get yourself on track. This can be unnerving at first. I know in my first semester, I ate Pop-Tarts and Fruit Roll-Ups for three meals a day (my mom never let them in the house) and stayed out until 5am whenever I wanted and did not get the grades I should have. I got the grades I deserved, definitely. But not the ones I wanted.

Anyway, back to what I was saying, about how University is all about you. You choose your classes, your activities, your program, your major/minor/specialization, everything. On top of that, if you move here from out of town, as I did, you have tons of freedom. You can go to class or not. You can exercise or not. You can eat right or not. You can go out every night or not. You are in charge here, and that’s a beautiful and scary thing.

But of course, there are people who want to give you a hand and ensure that your next year (or more!) at the U is great. Keep these excellent resources in mind, I promise you’ll need at least some of them, if not all of them.

– The Registrar’s Office & Student Services. This is a huge office on floor 1 of the SU Building. They do requests; requests to add/drop classes, withdraw, change your major, grade appeals, etc. You can also view calendars (current and past years) and pick up course booklets for current and future term offerings. They are also able to answer almost any question you might have about anything administrative related. Be nice to them – they know everything.

– Health Services. This is on the bottom floor of the SU Building. Did you know we have doctors at the U? And they are wonderful. The wait is usually quite short and they have some major connections. When I went to see them in February of this year, they were able to get me a CT scan on the same day and an MRI two days later. Those have craaazy wait lines, but the awesome ladies downstairs were there for me. There is also a dietitian, which I have never used, but I think I should. University isn’t always conducive to the healthiest eating habits!

ULSU. Our elected student government also resides on the bottom floor of the SU. You can drop in to chat with any of them about concerns or questions you may have, and they’ll be more than happy to meet with you when they are available. If you are interested in getting involved, this is the place to go for more information – this, and the table during Rush Week, of course. As well, here’s a helpful tip for first-timers: THE ULSU GIVES OUT FREE AGENDAS. WITH COUPONS. LOTS AND LOTS OF USEFUL COUPONS. So drop by sometime in the first couple of weeks. Totally worth it.

– Arts & Science Advising. Another great service, also on the bottom of the SU, these advisers will quickly tell you what you need to do to complete your program, which classes to pick and whether you’re on track to graduate. Even if you think you’re totally savvy on your requirements, I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to stop in here, even if it’s just for them to tell you that you’re A-OK and sign off on it. When my dad was in University a million years ago, he stopped in every semester to get his courses signed off on, and in his last year, he was told he didn’t have the right courses to graduate and he would have to take an extra semester, but he was able to produce all the signatures from all his trips to advising and so the school agreed that he could graduate, as he’d been told all along that he had everything in order. I’ve never heard of this happening at U of L, but I don’t take my chances. It’s always nice to hear that yes, I’m doing this whole University thing right and someday I might even graduate. Note of caution – they do not take appointments. During peak times of the year, there will be a line-up an hour before the office opens and the wait during the day can be over two hours.

Counselling Services. These are totally free, confidential and located in Turcotte Hall. If you want to talk about anything, from serious issues like depression or family concerns or something you may consider more trivial (in my second year I saw a counsellor because I had broken up with my boyfriend and I sure felt silly, but she assured me that it wasn’t at all), the counsellors will work with you through any issues you might have. And, did I mention free?

There are definitely more and more and more services available, but these will be most critical during the first couple of days and week at U of L. Make use of any and all of these – remember, you’re paying for them!

Well, on that (long-winded) note, I will see you guys around the halls during our first week back… I can’t wait!

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summer = crazy

Man, if I don’t have time to blog during my summer “vacation,” when will I find the time with six classes this fall?! Haha, this summer has totally gotten away from me somehow! I’ve been busy with work and packing for Costa Rica and working out (the WORST idea ever – Insanity with Shaun T.), and everything else! But I swear I can do better, as I usually do. Then, like all my resolutions, it gets tossed aside. 🙂

But I have a good excuse for the next week and a half! Costa Rica time is finally here! I leave Lethbridge tomorrow for High River, where my wonderful boyfriend’s incredible family will host me and feed me delicious meals until Saturday night, when he’ll drop me off the airport to meet up with my family and off we go! Can’t wait to tell you all about it! AND I was promised a trip to Ikea and the zoo on Friday before I leave. That boy knows me so well!

So in addition to just finishing up my last class and work and everything, I went to Regina this past weekend! The boyfriend and I drove the six or so hours to Regina on Saturday morning, did a little shopping at Cornwall Centre, had yummy Thai food (my favourite!) and then went to the Rider game! He bought our seats and since he’s never been to a football game in his life, I was a little worried. I shouldn’t have been; I mean, I’m the girl who buys the cheap-o $30 nosebleed tickets because I just love being there (they have a jumbotron for a reason!), but he surprised me with the best tickets I’ve ever had!! We were in the second tier, third row, just past the 40 yard line, behind the Rider bench. I COULD SEE EVERYTHING!! I COULD EVEN SEE THE BALL!! It was unreal!!

The Riders lost to the Stamps, which hurts a lot when you live in a city only two hours away from Calgary, but it didn’t hurt too badly. My favourite player (who I may or may not refer to as my “husband”) scored a highlight reel touchdown, and after being that close to the field, nothing could damper my mood. Minus the outcome, it was definitely the best game I’ve ever been to and I absolutely had an amazing time! I’m grinning again just thinking about how much fun we had!

Anyway, I leave tomorrow and haven’t packed or cleaned a thing! So much to get in order before I head north tomorrow… better work on that! I’ll be back in two weeks, all tanned and relaxed with stories to tell, and hopefully none of them involve spiders!!

Hasta la vista!


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Costa Rrrrrrica!!

I went straight into University out of high school and though I looooove my University career, I do have one regret – I have not traveled. And it’s not like my family and I traveled a lot before. I have been to Quebec, both on a grade nine trip and on an exchange (that my mother was very, very against because she didn’t want me that far away), Chicago (to visit my grandparents when I was six) and Florida (in grade five with the family). I’m not exactly a world traveler – though I want to be! So this is my year of traveling before I convocate and head onto my gap year where I actually will be traveling all the time.

So the year of traveling starts with – you guessed it – Costa Rica!! I don’t speak Spanish and I’ve never been to Central America but I absolutely cannot wait! It’s a family trip, so my parents and me along with my two younger brothers, one who just graduated from high school in Red Deer and one who is just heading into grade eight will be traveling together. We’re staying close to Puerto Jiminez, along the interior strip of protected rain forest. It’s rainy season, but that’s okay with me!

My mom has lots of activities planned for us, from hiking to zip-lining to touring the rain forest, but the part that she is most excited about it the fact that she rented a house for a week through Owner Direct, and we are staying in a TREEHOUSE. That’s right, a tree house. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I do know that it will be a unique experience that I can’t wait to show all my friends!! (Thank you, Facebook!!) Here are some pictures of what it looks like:

And here is some more information about it and a video!

I cannot wait to do some traveling and some suntanning and some relaxing and some quality time with the fam!

Side note: Did anyone else see the Riders beat the Als? Woooooooo!!!

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finding your passion

It’s been forever since I blogged! It didn’t feel like that long, but I guess working night shifts makes time fly by – or at least makes me lose track of time. I haven’t been doing anything besides working, really. I managed to hit up Stampede for an evening and on Monday I started my last summer class, but otherwise my summer is blurring into one gigantic night shift.

REMINDER (for myself included!) – if you are applying for student loans, do it now, do it now, DO IT NOW!!!!

Anyway. Today I want to talk about something that I never got told when I was just a wee gaffer, starting out in the unknown world of University. When I came to University, I was told that the average student switched majors at least twice. (I don’t know if this stat is accurate, but that’s what I was told.) But I told myself that those people were obviously fools. I mean, I knew what I wanted to do. I wouldn’t change majors and waste time and money. I had it all together.

This is pretty high and mighty coming from someone who had applied into Math and switched to Anthropology at the last minute. So I was an Anthropology major, pre-Ed. And I took my very first Anthro class on the first ever day of classes and I sat with a girl I barely recognized from high school and I excitedly opened my notebook to take notes and I could hardly wait to learn – and I hated it. I hated every second of Anthro. I scraped by, barely passing. I hardly went to class (don’t do this!) and when I did, I watched the clock.

But I was too stubborn to quit, so I took two more Anthro classes in the Spring. One I loved – Language, Culture and Communication, which I highly recommend – and the other I didn’t love as much. But I found what I did love – Sociology. I had the most incredible Soc prof and I aced the exams. I read the textbook voraciously, I couldn’t get enough. I couldn’t believe this was a discipline, a way to look at the world, and I was hooked. So I marched on down to Student Services and changed my major to Sociology.

But time went on, and I realized I also loved History. I loved History 1000 and I was fascinated by the sheer amount of History classes and things I could learn about! History of the Crusades, History of Homicide, Canada: War and Peace… I couldn’t pigeonhole myself into Sociology! There was so much to learn! I wanted to take every single fascinating class on the list! I pored through my calendar, circling classes I wanted desperately to take if they were offered during my time at the U. I had to change my major again. I couldn’t limit myself. So back to Student Services I went, and they suggested a General Major in the Social Sciences, which meant I picked three “streams” and took a required amount of classes from each. Perfect.

And then in Spring of my second year, I took a Women’s Studies class. Let me be very clear – I selected this class being positive that I would hate it, that the prof would be a man-hating crazy and that it would be rather miserable. But it fit easily into my schedule and I was convinced that it would be an easy A. The last thing I expected was that I had found my passion. Have you ever met someone who loves something so much that it shines through them? They light up when they talk about it, they can’t contain their fervour and excitement? That’s Women’s Studies. I walked in the first day, and the prof invited us to sit down as she explained what the course would be about. Man-hating, I thought. Women whining about nothing, I thought. But no. Women’s Studies is about looking at the structure of our world, both at home and in other places, and making sense of the way gender plays a role. Both genders. It incorporates Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Philosophy, History, Political Science and anything else you could dream of using. Gender has always existed, and therefore anything can be studied through a lens of gender.

I was in heaven. Now, the Faculty of Education does not recognize Women’s Studies as a valid major, so it’s only one of my streams. But I have a wealth of classes related to Women’s Studies. I volunteer at the Women’s Centre. I read feminist blogs and discussions as often as I can. And I know that I found what I love. I am passionate about Women’s and Gender Studies, to a point where the snide remarks and misogynistic comments I often encounter just bounce off me. I love my Faculty. I love the profs, I love how personal it is, I love when people tell me my major doesn’t matter or isn’t worth it. I love it. And that prof, from my intro? She has been a mentor to me, someone I can always stop in to see and someone who supports me in my journey to understand more and more about feminism or the lack thereof.

So that was a bit drawn out, but you’ll notice I changed majors three times, and would have changed yet again. I’m a total stereotype, but I’m elated that I found what I was looking for. Isn’t that what University is about? Yeah, and getting a job, you’re thinking. But it’s important to note that changing majors is okay and that, best of all, it doesn’t have to cost you time or money. There is so much room built into the programs for electives and for finding yourself that even though I waited until I was half done a four-year program, I could still easily get all my requirements in and not be forced to take extra classes.

Take classes you wouldn’t expect. Maybe you’ll hate them. We’ve all had classes we hated. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll find something you can’t stop learning about. Maybe you’ll form a personal connection with a prof. Maybe you’ll switch majors a dozen times. Maybe you knew all along that what you chose was right for you. But just know that there is no right way or wrong way to find what you’re supposed to be doing. And my five-year program turned into six years. And six years turned into (hopefully) two more years of Grad school. And if you had told me in grade 12 that this is what I’d be doing, this is what I’d be in love with doing, I would never have believed it.


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Touristy Things!

So I have a house guest staying with me from Montreal, and she got me thinking about what there is to do around here that might be fun. She’s never been to Lethbridge or even anywhere in Alberta, so everything is new and exciting! I was brainstorming things for her to do, and thought you might be interested in what’s new and exciting (and by that I mean old and exciting)!

Within Lethbridge

Nikka Yuko – The Japanese Gardens here in town were built to celebrate the friendship between the Japanese people and the people of Lethbridge, specifically after the internment camps were closed. (Lethbridge was a major site of internment camps for the Japanese during WWII). You can go to the gardens and walk around, visit the zen rock garden and even take part in different weekend events, like tea-sittings. I got the chance to see it this summer and it’s very calm and quite interesting for a nice summer’s day walk.

Galt Museum – The Galt Museum use to be the old hospital, but with some renovations and a brand new addition, it’s actually a curious little museum in downtown Lethbridge. I love the Galt, and I always find reasons to stop in. Their exhibitions change quite frequently (my favourite was the Fakes and Forgeries one), and they also have great programs for kids and teens that are really hands on. And for us University students, the really cool part is that they have a huge archives downstairs, and you can ask to see it!! Neat, right!? (Or is that just nerdy teacher Bri?)

Fort Whoop Up – This is a reconstruction of the original Fort Whoop Up, a notorious whiskey fort. Through this interpretive centre, you can see how people lived during the Robe Era, including the North West Mounted Police and the pioneers themselves. Two highlights of this visit for me were definitely the stuffed/mounted buffalo… those things blew my mind with how huge they are, and the live ponies and goats that you can pet. Yeah, yeah, I’m a sucker for that stuff.

So these are three of the more cultural activities that Lethbridge has to offer. For a less historical activity in town, might I suggest a Bulls game (baseball) at Spitz Stadium, or a ‘Canes game (hockey) at the Enmax Centre, or even a day of water sliding and wave pools at the Holiday Inn on Mayor Magrath Drive South. Of course, you can always take pictures of the High Level Bridge (the train bridge), because this is obviously crucial to Lethbridge Living. You should, of course, check out The Penny coffeehouse downtown on 5th Ave, or some of our other great coffeehouses, like Round Street Cafe, a block down from the penny.

There’s lots of stuff to do within a short distance, too, but we’ll come back to day/weekend trips!!


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I got my first cat four days before my 16th birthday. I had him when I got my driver’s license, when I went through my first break-up, when I moved to Lethbridge, through countless all-nighters writing papers, through everything. His name is Big Cat and he sleeps at the foot of my bed every night.

Here’s the thing: in University, a lot of people are on their own for the first time and decide they want pets. I love animals. I’ve had hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas, geckos, snakes, a bearded dragon, dogs and frogs. And my cat. Pets are wonderful – they love you unconditionally, they’re cute, they’re fun… but there are a lot of things to think about before you rush out to PetLand and come home with an adorable kitten or puppy.

1. They take a lot of work. When pets are young, they need you around ALL THE TIME. Puppies need to be let out in the middle of the day, kittens are tiny and need to be monitored. Do you have time to come home and do that? If you’re out too much with friends or studying too much in the library, this may not be the best time to have a pet.

2. Pet-friendly rentals. If you’re renting, having a pet (even a small pet) can be a huge issue. I never even thought about this until I had to scour the OCH website and Kijiji, only to discover that the majority of nice places in Lethbridge didn’t want my cats. Or they did, for a huge fee. It’s worth it, for sure, but I know there have been times that my roommates have been frustrated when these great places have passed us by because I have cats.

3. Pets are expensive! There is no such thing as a “free kitten” or a “free puppy.” Those adorable things need shots, they need to be spayed/neutered, they need food and toys and brushes and nail clippers and litter boxes… I spend between $60-70 a month on my cats, and getting them fixed was $300-$500 right off the bat. It’s definitely something to keep in mind.

4. You can’t travel, because what will happen to your pets? I’m going to the Netherlands in January (hopefully), and I have to figure our somewhere to leave my cats. That’s a huge favour to ask of someone! “Can you watch my cats? For four months?” That’s a big commitment. If no one could take them, then what? Pets can be like children, in a sense. They tie you down fairly locally, and it’s another life to consider.

So now that I’ve told you all the reasons not to have pets, I hope you take those into consideration. My cat is a wonderful pet. He’s sweet and cuddly and very laid-back, and I don’t regret having him for a second, even though there have been complications. But before you jump into pet ownership, just make sure you know that’s right for you!

Also, it’s the last full week of Summer Session I! (Thank goodness!)

Much love,


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