HSR Bus: 51 University

30 reasons why I won’t miss McMaster and Hamilton

Goodbye Hamilton, Hello London!

London, England
No, not that one. London, Ontario!

I’ve worked at McMaster since April 2012. I’ve worked 1 Work/Study job (part-time during school, full-time in the summer), 1 Teaching Assistant position (so much marking!), 4 contracts in Human Resources, and 1 contract with the Student Success Centre. That’s 7 different jobs. In 4.5 years! Does it count as continuity because it was with the same company? Of course. I just “moved around” a lot. Throughout my time at McMaster, and in Hamilton, I’ve reached certain milestones. I like to title the “terms” of my life based on these milestones. My Undergrad Years and Post-Grad Years were both spent at McMaster. While I’ll miss some things, there are (of course) more that I won’t miss. I know it’s time to move on.  Here are 30 reasons why I won’t miss McMaster and Hamilton.

Why I Won’t Miss McMaster and Hamilton

  1. THE DRIVE! Oh my, the drive. Shortest time I’ve ever gotten from door to door was 55 minutes. Hit every green light that day.
    road rage
  2. The 15 minute commute from my car to my office.
  3. Smell of the bathrooms, clean or dirty.
  4. The over-salted sidewalks in winter.
  5. Lake McMaster, and all of its tributaries.
    Lake McMaster
  6. Trying to buy anything in La Piazza between quarter-after and half-past the hour.
  7. Last minute requests.
  8. Auto-flush toilets. And the associated “spray.”
  9. The scratchy 1 ply toilet paper that doesn’t even clean properly.
  10. The scratchy brown paper towels.
  11. The smell of raw Hamilton sewage as I walk past Matthews Hall just outside Mary Keyes, or down Main Street West, or through downtown.
  12. The brick wall of pollution that hits my car’s air intake vent as soon as I descend the escarpment.
    Hamilton pollution
  13. Hamilton drivers who drive like Torontonians. Toronto drivers in Hamilton.
  14. One way roads.
  15. Public transit.

    HSR Bus: 51 University
    Source: thesil.ca
  16. Cliques, although you’ll get this anywhere. Adults are children.
  17. People asking me for money.
  18. Paying tuition.
  19. Welcome week cheering.
  20. Awkward eye contact in the hallways with old co-workers or students I’ve taught.
  21. 3 a.m. social media messages or emails that are “urgent.” (Although sometimes they are, so I always check. If my phone wakes me up.)
  22. Using Outlook mail and calendar.
  23. Long meetings that feel irrelevant.
  24. The plastic sausage offered by Hospitality Services with scrambled eggs and brown toast.
  25. Eating lunch at my desk.
  26. Not having somewhere quiet to escape to.
  27. Students complaining about exams, studying, lack of sleep, lack of money, and homework.
  28. People complaining about students.
  29. Having 4 different holiday parties.
  30. Fluctuating office temperatures (hot in the summer, cold in the winter). Almost seems like there’s no heating or A/C?

Who likes a Negative Nelly? (Is that even a thing?) Here are the things that I will really miss at McMaster.

Why I Will Miss McMaster and Hamilton

  1. People I’ve grown to love (co-workers, professors, Terri the Tim Horton’s lady).
  2. Working with SSC Marketing and Events (Welcome Week was especially fun, though the Class of 2019 group was a crazy amount of work)


    Testing out the photo booth before doors open!

    Posted by McMaster Student Success Centre on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

  3. Willy Dog Wednesdays.

  4. Motivation Mondays.
  5. Fireside chats (enjoyed our focus on wellness lately).
  6. The diligence of The Underground.
  7. Workplace shenanigans.
  8. McMaster’s Gothic architecture.
  9. The gardens in the summer.
  10. Wildlife of Cootes Paradise.
  11. Knowing who to call. (Ghostbusters)
  12. Managing a blog (does Ariel Coverage really count?).
  13. Swag bags.
  14. A sense of community.
  15. Free food.
  16. Weekday Mimosa’s in the Registrar’s Office, and poutine carts.
  17. The thriving art’s scene (though I’ve never been to any festivals).
  18. Puddlegrams.
  19. The whistling of the HSR buses when it’s raining.
  20. The view from the escarpment.

    Dundas Escarpment Road
    Photo by Stephane Durocher
  21. The waterfalls.
  22. Autumn at McMaster, with all of its assorted trees and crunchy leaves.
  23. McMaster’s broken clock.

    Bye bye McMaster
    Bye bye McMaster
  24. Campus graffiti.
  25. The history.

    We're celebrating our 85th year in Hamilton this year. Here's how things looked before we moved from Toronto in 1930.

    Posted by McMaster University on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

  26. Making new friends.
  27. Fearless campus squirrels.
  28. Being 10 steps away from a Tim Hortons. And not needing to go outside to get to it.
  29. Having two 16:9, 1920 x 1080 computer monitors, side by side. *drools*
  30. Memories of having lived where I work, and worked where I lived.

Four years ago I couldn’t picture myself where I am today. Who knows how much further I’ll get in the next four.



  1. What did you do for post-grad, our of curiosity? Also, cool to see another MBTI nut (ENTP here).

    1. Ariel Strasser

      Hi Alex! I thought about taking a 1-year college specialization diploma, but decided against it. I can always do one part-time while I’m working. Instead, I’ve been working on contract at McMaster since April 2014. My work with the Student Success Centre is my third position since graduation.

      What are you hoping to do? Also, MBTI helped me understand people so much better! I mean, how would you know how differently people think without something like that? 🙂

  2. Glad to see I made the cut in some of the reasons you’ll miss McMaster. Too bad my rants about the wonderful city of Hamilton didn’t change your mind about it…I’ll get over it, eventually. Life seems to change chapters faster when we’re in our 20s, looking forward to following your upcoming adventures! I’m excited for you.

    1. Ariel Strasser

      👍 (WordPress needs to build in a comment liking button)

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