your student life specialists

Nov 12

it’s okay to cry

What are your top 10 places to go on campus to cry? I’m fed up of getting weird looks when I sit in the middle of a cafeteria sobbing



not sure if i have a top 10. though personally, i like a good washroom cry. a nice, deep, soothing robarts stacks washroom cry. i also kinda love crying in the lester b pearson garden for peace and understanding, which is located by ej pratt library, but that’s more of a scenic seasonal cry.

cry crying GIF

on a more serious note, mental health is something that sometimes gets thrown out the window once the semester gets too busy. and while everyone cries and it’s okay to cry, just know that if there’s other stuff at play here, there are on-campus resources that you can access. there’s health and wellness’ mental health services. some services that they offer include: individual therapy, group therapy, and on location counselling.

hope this helps!



Nov 02

not so all-knowing now, are we?

I’m currently in my second year in Accounting Specialist, but I’ve been thinking about switching to the Finance Specialist at the end of the year instead. If I want to switch during the appropriate Subject Post Request Period, do they recalculate your GPA and see if you meet the cutoff for that specialist program? I’m scared after this year my GPA will drop and I will not be able switch and get in.



oh god, a rotman question.

i’m not really familiar with the rotman requirements, but i’ll do my best. that being said, it might be a good idea to get in touch with your college registrar or one of the academic advisers at rotman just to get some more definitive answers.

as to whether or not they’d recalculate your gpa… i’m unsure. this link only lists specific marks that you need in specific courses, not any GPA cut-off. so, i assume that they would only be looking at those specific marks. in that case, then only the marks you got when you took those courses will be looked at. however, the part that i’m looking at only applies to people applying to rotman who aren’t already in rotman. so…. yeah, probably not the most relevant info.

that’s just my ignorant assumption, though. i really think that you should get in touch with someone more knowledgeable than me just because rotman is so confusing and insular. also, the information doesn’t seem as accessible as some of the other departments or faculties.

crazy eyes GIF

(live footage of me looking for answers)

hope this helped (somewhat).



Oct 29

does anything make sense anymore

I recently got my midterm mark back from CHM135 and as expected I did horrible. I got a 39.22% (it’s my fault for slacking off full-time). Apparently the labs are “easy marks” but I’ve gotten a 79% on my first one and my friend told me that it’s pretty bad. I’ve never really been good at labs, but I’m willing to improve.

I’m extremely anxious about the next midterm and the exam. Is it still possible to pass the course with a 60-65%? (How do I calculate how much I should get for next assessments to get this mark?).

Thank you.



oh man, we’ve all been there. it’s tough, but you’ll get through it.

a great tool that i’ve used in the past to figure my sh*t out is this grade calculator. basically, you just enter the marks that you currently have and  how much the assignments are worth, and it’ll calculate that you currently have in the course. there is also an option to see what you’d need to get on the rest of the assignments in order to achieve a certain mark and an option to see what your final course mark would be if you got a certain average on the rest of the assignments. i hope that makes sense. it’s hard to explain. just check out the link above.

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i highly suggest going to your prof/ TA’s office hours to discuss strategies for success. i know that that’s super intimidating and scary, but trust me, it’s worth it. it’s always a good idea to talk to the people who’re actually grading you to get a sense of how you could get better grades. profs/ TAs are always happy to see students and to help them out.

you should also check out the academic success centre. they’re a great on-campus resource that is sadly and criminally underused. you can make appointments with learning strategists, attend workshops, and meet up with peer mentors– all of which can help you improve your grades and help you become more…. academically successful.

i hope this helps you out! good luck!



PS- don’t forget that the last day to drop or CR/NCR any F courses without academic penalty is november 5th!!

Oct 24

seminars, first year, exams, oh my!


I am currently enrolled in VIC108H1 it is a VIC first-year course. I am enrolled in VIC110H1 in the winter term, I am also enrolled in a first-year seminar course (CCR199H1) in the winter term. I just wanted to make sure I am allowed to take these courses. I read somewhere that said you have a limit. Hopefully, you guys answer before the winter term! also, when is the December exam schedule coming out? Will it be emailed to everyone?

Thank you so much!



surprise, a relatively quick response!

according to this link about the first year seminars, you can take both first-year seminars and vic one hundred courses, but you can only take up to one full credit (1 FCE) of either. since each of the courses you’ve listed above is worth 0.5 FCE, you’re currently in a total of 1.5 FCE. this means that you need to drop one of the seminars you’re enrolled in for the winter term so that you are only in 1 FCE total.

the december exam schedule is usually posted online on the faculty of arts and sciences’ website. i’m not totally sure when it’s posted, but it’s usually around sometime soon-ish? don’t quote me on that.

don’t worry about missing it, though. profs will usually highlight in class when and where the exam is, if there is one. if your prof doesn’t bring it up, i’m sure SOMEONE on facebook or whatever will share the link. people always freak the eff out when the exam schedule is posted.

the muppets panic GIF

hope that helps, good luck!



Oct 15

you gotta math no matter what

I am currently a high school student in grade 12 and considering Nursing at UofT. I’ve noticed one of the prerequisites for nursing is life sciences. And to take life sciences, I need to have advanced functions and/or calculus and vectors. The thing is, I was a little late in realizing this and I am taking data management (MDM4U) this year only because I took college math in grade 11 and therefore don’t have the requirements to take advanced fuctions/calculus (MHF4U/MCV4U respectively) in grade 12.
Do you know if UofT makes any exceptions to these situations? Would I be able to take some sort of introductory course or something during first-year? I am open to options!

I’ve searched the internet high and low for answers but it seems like I’m the only one with this problem 🙁



whoa! a grade 12 student thinking about their POST GRAD ambitious? damn, i’m in third year and i barely know what i’m doing with my undergrad. but good on ya.

let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. i’m only going to address the whole getting into life sciences thing in my response.

so, unfortunately, if you don’t have grade 12 calculus and vectors, you will not be admitted into the life sciences stream. you can check out this link to see the specific grade and course requirements for each admission stream.

something that you could possibly, maybe, potentially do is to apply for u of t under a different admission stream, like humanities or social sciences, that only requires grade 12 english. the admission categories (life science, humanities, etc.) are only really important in first year (you actually declare your majors/minors/specialist after first year) and you can take courses outside of your admission stream (ie. a humanities student could take life sci courses).

i don’t know if this is necessarily the best option, though. basically, students who are in a certain admission category get first dibs (or priority) on courses that are associated with that category. so, life science students would get first dibs on life science courses. this means that even if you wanted to take those courses, you might not get into them because you wouldn’t have first dibs as a non-life science student. also, most life science programs require some sort of first year math course and the prerequisite for those first year calculus courses is… high school calculus.

new girl ugh GIF

unfortunately… you’re gonna have to do grade 12 calculus at some point some how if you wanna do life sci here. i’m sorry, i wish i could’ve told you otherwise, but we here at askastudent are committed to the truth.

good luck.



Oct 12

how much time is full time?

I go to the st george campus. Currently I’m only registered in two F courses, two S courses, and two Y courses. Acorn says my course load is 2.0 a semester. I was wonder what the minimum full time student course load is? I can only seem to find the maximum limit. If I drop one of my year long courses, will i still be a full time student?



the maximum course for the F or S sessions is 3.0 each (which means you’d be in a total of 6 FCEs the whole year).

there isn’t really, technically a minimal amount of courses. you could take just 0.5 FCE and still be a student. the minimum course load to still be a full time student, however, is 3.0 FCE. it’s a little tricky to find (information at u of t isn’t super accessible, unfortunately). you can take a look at this fees schedule (scroll down to the third page) and you can see that part time status begins at 2.5FCE and full time status begins at 3.0FCE during the fall/winter session.

so, if you dropped a Y course, you would still be considered a full time student because you’d have (if i’m doing the math correctly) 3.0FCE left.

something that you should be aware of though, and you can see it from that fees chart, is that if you’re enrolled in 3.5 FCE or less, you are eligible to be charged per course.

keanu reeves woah face GIF

what does that mean?

basically, everyone is charged a flat program fee at the beginning of the year. but if you’re taking less courses, you can be charged for every individual course you take separately. basically… cheaper tuition yay!

to switch from program fees to per course fees, go to this link, sign in with your utorid, and follow the instructions. if, for whatever reason, you can’t do it online, get in touch with your registrar’s office and they should be able to do it for you.

good luck!



Sep 24

no guarantees

Odds of prof letting me skip assignments and tests for an out of country wedding? How would I ask the prof lol
that’s something that you’d have to talk to the prof directly about. it’s totally at the discretion of the prof, so i can’t really say whether or not they’d let you “skip.”
i suggest that you bring it up to your prof as early as possible (IN PERSON) and see if you can work out an agreement. there are no guarantees, especially if you want to fully skip assignments, but they may be able to work out some sort of accommodation for you, like extensions for assignments. i just wanna stress again, that it’s totally up to the prof and that there are no guarantees either way. hopefully, your prof(s) will be nice and accommodating.
i hope this helps! good luck with your prof.
david tennant good luck GIF

Sep 24

we’re all confused together

if I pay my minimum fee myself because osap hasn’t processed yet, will they reimburse me? hasn’t osap policy changed so it goes directly to the school? I can manage to scrounge up enough to pay the minimum fee but I’m scared they wont reimburse me



first, let me apologize for how late this response is. i’m not sure if this will still be relevant to you since the minimum fee deadline has passed, but i’ll answer anyways for future reference.

you’re right; OSAP will now go to u of t directly and be applied to whatever outstanding fees that you have for that specific term. whatever is left over after it’s paid u of t will be sent to the bank account that OSAP has on file. so, you should be reimbursed if you paid your fall fees out of pocket.

according to enrollment services’ OSAP FAQ page, they will only “use the account balance for fall 2018 to calculate the amount of OSAP to send to u of t in september.” if you’ve “already paid your fall tuition and fees before your OSAP is received, your OSAP would not be redirected” to u of t. the info is pretty hard to find and their wording is really really confusing, so i don’t blame any confusion you may have. to be honest, it took me multiple read-throughs to get what they were saying. (to the tune of that high school musical song: we’re all confused together!)

high school musical sixteen sixteen sixteen days of hig GIF

if you have any other OSAP related questions or if you’re still confused about what i laid out above, you should get in contact with enrollment services. 

i hope this helps, and sorry again for the delay!



Sep 21


why does uoft call canvas quercus?



good question. aside from being super difficult to pronounce (so far this semester, i’ve heard profs say “quirk-us”, “quick-us”, “queue-kiss”, and MORE!), the name means seemingly nothing. unlike good ol’ easy to pronounce and meaningful blackboard/ portal (RIP).

anyways, according to this nifty video from the academic toolbox renewal website, quercus is pronounced “kwhere-kus” and it is the latin word for the oak tree. and as we know, u of t is really into oak tress; it’s on our crest and our student web services is named after a crucial part of the oak tree (ACORN). i guess renaming the academic toolbox something that is oak tree is just the natural progression of the brand?

Image result for u of t logoImage result for acorn u of tImage result for quercus u of t

hope this enlightens you!



Sep 19

POSt to play

Do you have to choose a program second year or can I still be undeclared



once you complete 4.0FCE, you must choose a program of study. in general, this happens at the end of your first year. if you don’t enrol in a valid POSt combo (ie. a specialist, two majors, or a major and two minors) after finishing 4.0FCE, ACORN won’t let you add courses. which is a big time uh-oh.

if you finish 4.0 credits, but you haven’t completed the requirements for your desired POSt, you can add yourself into a placeholder type 1 (the kind with no application or specific course requirements) program. as i mentioned before, if you’re not in a valid POSt combo you won’t be able to add courses. by adding yourself into the placeholder POSt, you’ll be able to add courses on ACORN, avoiding the big uh-oh.

now you may be thinking “but aska, now that i’m in this fake POSt, do i have to take courses in that POSt?” no you don’t! adding the fake POSt just ensures that you can add courses. basically, you can take the courses you ACTUALLY want, finish the requirements for the POSt you ACTUALLY want, then drop the fake POSt after. no harm, no foul.

i hope this all makes sense, it can be a little hard to follow.

confused GIF



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