My time as a student in Ottawa

Nicole Beswitherick

By Nicole Beswitherick

Living in Ottawa for the past four years of my university career, I have discovered many loves for the city – particularly in the Glebe.

In August 2019, my parents drove me up to Ottawa in our minivan from our small town of Palmerston in southern Ontario. I was going to be attending Carleton University for my double major in journalism and humanities – which later turned into me switching to just a major in journalism, with a minor in history the following year.

After moving into my dorm room with several residence fellows (RF’s) chanting “pop that trunk” repeatedly to every person moving in, my parents took me out for lunch in the Glebe. This was my first experience in the Glebe. Before getting to our destination of Boston Pizza, which was located across from Banditos, I took notice of the Glebe sign.
This sign signalled to me that I was no longer living in the rural parts of Ontario but was now starting a new chapter in a new place I would call home. A city with several different communities that were welcoming and warm.

I did not experience much of Ottawa in my first year as everything I needed was on campus, and my new job was at CF Rideau Centre in a cute little boutique named Zulu & Wolfe.
The unexpected pandemic had made my university career come to a halt in the last semester of my first year. We were all encouraged to move back home, which I did mid-March – and classes quickly began over Zoom.

Being home and seeing my dog Frankie every day was fun and all, but I was missing Ottawa. I had made new friends and a new romance was blooming there waiting for my arrival back. Luckily, I was able to move back in June of that year. I was able to live in my new house with my friends, work at my job as things had opened up again for a while, and began adventures into a new relationship.

Fast forwarding to March 2021, three friends and I decided we wanted a new place to live that was closer to campus. We ended up moving to a cute little house in Old Ottawa South. This location was perfect because it was close to the Glebe, where I would spend a lot of my free time.

That entire summer I had spent a lot of time in the Glebe. It became my favourite place to go on walks, get food, go for coffee and to meet up with friends. Some of my favourite memories while being here took place in the Glebe.

I think my favourite spots to go were Lansdowne to watch movies, Eddy’s Diner and the Starbucks on Bank at Third.

I have had nothing but great experiences while walking around in the Glebe. It has always been a highlight seeing people walking with their dogs, who always want to come and say hello. There is something about seeing a dog that makes the day a million times better. Especially one that wants to come up and see you.
While not having many unpleasant experiences in the Glebe, or in Ottawa in general, having to spend most of my time while studying here communicating with others over Zoom is something that I wish could have been different.

Then February 2022 approached, and I had encountered the Freedom Convoy first-hand the first weekend they came to “visit”. Although, I was lucky enough not to be living in Centretown where the action was happening. That is not to say that the Glebe and Old Ottawa South community did not suffer the consequences of loud honking through the night as well.

Another memory that will stick with me is being able to write for this publication – the Glebe Report. I had written a story about a dog grooming business in the Glebe area in November 2021. Not only did this help give me a jump start on my journalism career and something to add to my portfolio, but going to this business and getting to know the owner was also something that added to my love for the Glebe community.

Not to mention, I got to see some very friendly pups once again!

My university career at Carleton is slowly coming to an end this spring, and I plan on leaving Ottawa and moving back home. It is a bittersweet goodbye. I have missed my family and am ready to begin my leap into the “real world” with all my newfound love and passion for journalism. However, I will miss Ottawa and the memories it gave me.

Nicole Beswitherick is graduating in journalism this year at Carleton University.

Nicole Beswitherick at the Panda Game at TD Place in October 2019
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