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Carleton Confessionals: A Tunnel Rat Guide

Whether you’re climbing what may as well be Mount Everest, aka the hill up to to Azrieli Theatre or trying to get to the Res Caf undetected, the tunnels at Carleton can be a complicated place. Here are stories and tips from Ravens to help you survive the Tunnels.


Crying in the Tunnels

“It’s literally like 2pm, I’m crying my eyes out walking through the tunnel and I pass a guy I ghosted two months earlier and all his friends. my dumb a** made full on eye contact. Awkward.”

~Class of 2023

If you’re on the verge of tears make a beeline to the closest bathroom. It’s honestly not worth the attention or awkward texts you may receive later. 



“It was 4 am, and I was drunk trying to get home from a frat party. I had accidentally booked the uber to my best friend’s res instead of my own house… I was wearing RED LINGERIE for the party and she had to walk me from her res, through the tunnels (which for some reason were packed at that hour) to res com to get to my new uber home while I am half-naked. YIKES.”

~Class of 2021

One of the best parts of the Tunnels is that it’s a Judgement Free Zone, everyone is literally on their own wavelength so a weird look is the worst thing that can happen. But also triple-check your Uber too.


It’s A Small World Afterall

“When I first attempted to walk the tunnels, I was completely lost all the time and would be so embarrassed that people could probably tell. But no matter how lost I was I would always see the ONE person in all of Carleton I didn’t want to see?‍♀️”

~Class of 2023

Carleton is notorious for having “what are the freaking chances” moments because it’s a small school. The best thing to do is just act like you know where you’re going OR ask someone who looks like they know where they are going for help. And you can always pretend you didn’t see the person.



“Tunnels near Lanark flood sometimes, be alert or you’ll have wet ankles.”

    ~Class of 2021

Especially in winter, many floods happen in the Residence area… I couldn’t even tell you why this a problem BUT when you know it’s going to be snowing a lot, check with people on your floor or bring a jacket just in case you end up going outside. Also, watch where you’re walking- Especially if you’re wearing slides.



“One time I had to take the tunnels to get across campus. Sororities and CUSA ppl were swarming every ounce of the place. As I was making my way to class, this dude with a brochure asked if I had a minute. I was already late to class so I said, “sorry no” and kept walking. He proceeded to FOLLOW ME ACROSS THE ENTIRE CAMPUS to talk about his stupid brochure. It was a solid 10–15-minute walk. I’ve debated walking outside in storms ever since. Tip: wear headphones and speed walk with an RBF so people leave you alone.” 

~Class of 2022

Some people who are campaigning in the tunnels are crazy persistent. So, don’t feel too bad if you have to shut them down, you’re there because you have places to be and people to see.


Ramp Life Hack

“Don’t go up the massive ramp at UC!!! Either go into UC and take the service elevator to the 4th floor or, if it works go around and take the tunnels by Health Sci Building. The ramp to Loeb and Southam is a lot less steep and a lot less busy, so great all around.” 

    ~ Class of June 2022

And if you end up taking the ramp, take deep breaths and pace yourself- especially for 8:30 am classes.


Gat Problems

“When you realize the tunnels have a perfect echo, don’t whistle creepy tunes at night! Someone coming back from Gatineau *will* have a panic attack…”

~ Class of Let’s Be Honest, I Won’t

All in all, the Tunnels can get pretty creepy at night. Usually, there are carts still zooming past and security guards doing their rounds so don’t fret.


100m Dash

“Stay to the right if you’re not walking fast! I speed run to class and the people who would walk at a normal pace right up the middle are infuriating!!”

~Class of 2023

And another one…


50m Sprint

“People walk too slow and I walk fast, so waiting for people to get out of the way or to walk faster makes me want to cry! So here’s my tip: literally, just run.”

~Class of December 2021

As a self-declared normally paced tunnel walker, you can just respectfully lap people if you need to get to class, unless it’s rush hour. Then, it’s every man for themselves.


Tunnel Map

“In my first year at Carleton, I had extra time between classes so I looked at a map of the tunnels on a wall to learn the tunnels. After staring at the map for 30 seconds someone asked me if I was lost and wanted any help for the second time that week. I awkwardly said no and was too nervous to let it happen again so I just kept going in circles in the tunnel and staring at the maps only as I walked past to learn my way.”

~Class of 2023

Download the Carleton App and look at the map on there… NEVER stop to read the map it’s honestly just there for show. Also, it’s okay to not understand the Tunnels at first, once you get lost a few thousand times by the time second year comes around it all makes sense, for most people LOL.


Morals of these stories: Watch where you’re walking for puddles, stay on the right if you walk at a normal pace, look confident even if you are completely lost, if walking alone- wear headphones or keep your head down to avoid interaction and last but not least, all of these problems can be avoided if you just walk outside!!!


Thank you to everyone who shared, hopefully, this can help some new Ravens in the coming years or can work as reminders for some of us who haven’t seen the tunnels in what feels like forever. 

The next Confessional is for Ollie’s Enthusiasts. Click here to share your best- or worst memories from Ollie’s. 



Nairah Ahmed

Carleton '22

Nairah Ahmed is a down-to-earth, girl next door who found her way into studying Journalism and Law at Carleton. Originally from Mississauga, Nairah is a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms enthusiast and enjoys talking about anything Disney Channel related. Hopeful to become a South Asian Elle Woods, she strives to build community through her storytelling and journalism.
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