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Mar19

you are loved (cw: suicide)

How does U of T inform students of suicides? I only hear about them from friends or I suspect that something occurs after clubs/groups post about mental health on social media.

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hello friend,

i’m glad you sent this in because i was meaning to put something up on this subject. i spent a good chunk of yesterday at the protest, and my heart is with those who lost a loved one this weekend as well as everyone who’s even been marginally affected. i know it was triggering for a lot of people; i myself had to skip a few classes because i just… couldn’t. and this time, i didn’t even lose someone– for those who did, i can’t even imagine what things are like right now.

from what i’ve heard and could find, u of t’s practice every time a suicide happens is to keep things quiet. with the most recent one, the health and wellness director janine robb either would not or could not confirm anything beyond a “tragic incident.” if there is an official policy enforcing this (there probably is lol bureaucracy), it’s not one that was transparent enough for me to find. apparently the family did ask for privacy at this time, which i respect.

as far as i know, the policy for on-campus student organizations and publications like the varsity is only to report the facts they have available at the time. as i’m sure you know, every time there’s an ‘incident’ (in robb’s words) a lot of speculation starts to swirl around, and so they’re careful to only publish information that’s been confirmed several times over. especially because this is such a fraught and painful situation, the students running papers and the like are being particularly cautious.

i do understand, though, the craving for more humanity from the institution that is u of t. it definitely makes me angry, that it feels like these deaths are just being swept under the rug as if they really were just numbers and not beloved members of our community. we have nothing to remember the people we’ve lost by– no names, not even the vaguest trace of an identity. to me and some of the others i’ve been talking to, it feels like remembering their names matters because under different circumstances, those names could have been ours. but good lord, the family has every right to their privacy. and i’m not sure of any happy medium between the two.

if there is an underlying anxiety to your question, it’s definitely one i understand. i called one of my close friends from home last night to work through what i was feeling, and when they asked if i knew the person who died, i realized– i can’t be sure. i guess if they were someone i was close to i would already have heard, but there are so many people at this school we know in passing, chat with outside lectures but otherwise don’t keep up with. u of t is a big school, but in some ways it’s also very small– there’s only a few degrees of separation between any two students. so when the school loses someone, we feel it. and we wonder.

i know you didn’t ask, but if you or anyone reading this wants to get involved with improving the system, you can check out this facebook page where a movement seems to be gaining ground. as well, the how many lives project is an up-and-coming attempt to create a student space for dialogue around mental health at the university, in an effort towards greater transparency. there’s a very clear systemic failure here, but with the breakthrough to admin last night at the protest, we have a real opportunity to begin collaborating with the university on some change. let’s not waste it.

three in one year is too many. one would have been too many. i had to rewrite this post from scratch since i lost the original version, so i’m pretty drained now and all out of words. but my ask box is always open for these heavier things, in addition to academic advice and fun stuff. i’m not a specialist and don’t even feel like an adult, so i want to be careful about the responsibility i take on here and want to be clear i’m not offering therapy. but i feel like it’s only honest to, on this platform, acknowledge what students at this school struggle with. even if i’m anonymous, i want this to be a place you can come to ask a question and get a lil humanity back, yknow?

wanna leave everyone lurking on this blog with a few words of encouragement: you are loved. your presence in the lives of those around you is valuable. and if there’s anything you’re struggling through right now, don’t be afraid to ask for help. i know wait times with health & wellness are long, and no one wants to be a burden to their friends. but please. this world is better with you in it.

all my best,

aska

Feb12

let me in already

Hi oki so im in grade 12 and i applied for the art and art history course around a month ago, but all of my friends who applied to different colleges and universities are now getting acceptances, so like I guess my question is is how long does it take for the applications to be reviewed and to get a response? Cause all I have so far is a letter saying “thanks for applying” and a “pending review” so I’m kind of worried.

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hey hey!

i’m assuming you applied to UTM, yeah? or at least i can only find one art & art history program, which is a joint one with sheridan. two schools for the same buck. and they’re both sane campuses that close when the godforsaken floodgates of heaven decide to open and turn toronto into the depths of siberia.

chelsea peretti wtf GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine

mmmm, utsg can’t relate. i want a snow day that doesn’t begin in the late afternoon. but i digress.

when you’ll hear back from u of t depends on where you’re attending school right now! if you’re from ontario, the UTM website indicates that there are three rounds of offers in february, march, and may.

however, if you attend school elsewhere– whether that’s in canada or otherwise– admission looks a little different. officially the rounds are the same, but some decisions are released as early as january, which is before the february document deadline.  so for some reason if you wait til the deadline to send your documents in, they probably won’t consider you til the last round in may.

if it’s not the UTM program you went for and you mean the st. george art history program, that falls under the faculty of arts and science so the timeline should be about the same.

nothing to worry about, is the bottom line. it’s only halfway through february, so really the first round of admissions have only just begun. obviously i have no idea how long it’ll take the school to review your specific application. they’re sorting through piles of stuff right now, and i bet they wish they could get through it faster, too.

man, i remember how long it could feel, waiting to hear back when it seemed everyone else was already getting news from their schools. hang in there. your time will come.

over n out,

aska

Dec17

404- answer not found

I’ve been slacking in one of my courses, and because I’m on academic probation, I don’t want to risk potentially failing. However, I am taking the minimum amount of courses a full time student can take, so what happens if I drop the course? what will OSAP do since I’ll technically be part time, but I already paid this semester’s full time tuition.

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hi!

unfortunately, this is outside of my scope, so i’m not really sure what’ll happen with your OSAP or tuition. i suggest that you get in touch with someone from your faculty/ college registrar’s office or enrollment services, who’re the OSAP specialists on campus.

sorry i couldn’t provide you with some As to your Q, but i just really don’t want to give you false information or lead you astray.

sorry mean girls GIF

hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

Aug29

~*~online learning~*~

hello! are online lectures live or can i watch the videos any time? I’m enrolled in ggr107 and the online lecture starts right after my new job shift ends. i’m hoping the online lectures can be watched at any time so i don’t have to change my shift at work!

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hi!

in my own personal experience, online courses that i’ve taken have been recorded and uploaded online. that’s just in my experience, though, and the way that courses are run may differ between faculties, departments, or even individual profs. i suggest that you get in contact with the prof that’s teaching the course. that’s probably the safest bet!

YAY! learning! yay! back to school! YAY!

brain studying GIF

hope this helps, good luck!

xoxo,

aska

Sep11

lemme into that sweet 200!

Hey! How are you doing?

tbh I’m kinda stressing about choosing classes even though it’s supposed to
be done by now lmao

so I’m starting first year and I’m taking PSY100 in the fall semester but
I’m trying to change a class for the winter semester and I’m looking at
second year psych courses, some of which are still open.. so my question is
can I enrol in one of them for the winter semester even though I
haven’t technically passed/gotten the credit for PSY100 which is a preq, or
do I need to/should I wait until I actually pass the class??

I really want to get into psychology for my second year and hope that
taking a second year course in psych would help? But I’m also taking calc,
bio and chem too, so idk if taking the second year course would be worth
it/too stressful

Thanks!!

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hi!

firstly, let me take this chance to say that i am so so sorry that this answer is so late. we’ve been pretty busy at aska HQ lately, what with classes and orientation week and losing a beloved member of the aska team. but we’re back, baby!

unfortunately, ACORN will kick you out of a course if you don’t have the prereqs for it. it might take a few days, but they do catch up and kick people out. trust me, i got kicked out of a dope class in second year, too.

i really hope this helps and i’m sorry that it took so long. i promise that we are back on track!

 music video rap 2015 trap again GIF

xoxo,

aska

 

Aug18

welcome!!

I’ll be a first year soon and I don’t know what textbooks I need? Where I should buy them? When I should buy them? Also when do you think is too late to hand in my OSAP forms it’s almost mid august and I haven’t done it yet yikes

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hi!

first of all, let me say, welcome to u of t!

second of all, don’t worry! i know that that’s the absolute worst advice you could give someone who is worrying big time, but trust me.

you won’t know what textbooks you need until you get the syllabus from the prof. this might be when they put their course up on portal or not until the first day of class. i would highly suggest going to the first week of class before going to buy your textbook, as some profs will tell you how much you’ll need the book. and there really is no need to get a book that isn’t mandatory.

profs will also tell you either on the syllabus or in class where their books are available. some will be at the u of t bookstore, others might be at the bob miller book room, and some might be available at a printing centre, not a bookstore. this is also another great reason to wait until the class has started before going to get books. slow down, my wayward child!

as for OSAP, you should finish your application ASAP to ensure that you’ll be able to get the money before classes start. basically, the faster you finish your O$AP, the faster you’ll get your $$$.

hope this helps! good luck and i look forward to seeing you on campus in september.

 tv reaction reactions win winning GIF

xoxo,

aska

Aug15

google maps

Hi! I was just wondering: what is the closest library to Convocation Hall?

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hi!

i’m pretty sure that would be gerstein.

there’s also this really nifty thing called google maps. it’s pretty cool. you can type in where you are and what you’re looking for. it’s AMAZING and totally beats having to wait a long time for a certain student blogger to catch up on questions!

hope this was informative.

 me idea volunteer raise hand raises hand GIF

xoxo,

aska

Aug11

more juggling than the circus

any tips on how to juggle work, studying, and socializing?

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hi!

the best advice i can give you is to figure out what’s important to you and what should be prioritized. i know that that sounds kinda cheesy and is probably something that you hear much too often, but i’ve found that sitting down at the beginning of every semester (or even month, life changes quickly) and figuring out what i want to dedicate most of my energy towards is very productive. then, you can designate the amount of the time you want to spend on each thing proportional to how important it is to you.

i would also highly suggest meeting with a learning strategist from the academic success centre. they can help you develop learning skills to combat procrastination, manage stress, and a whole host of other things. they’re really great and not a lot of people know about them, but they’re definitely an on-campus resource you should check out.

i hope this helps. good luck!

xoxo,

aska

Landline Movie movies dancing 90s 1990s GIF

Jul21

what’s ma tuition?!

Hi. what is the masters tuition for international students? (MA in political sciences)

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hi!

unfortunately, there isn’t a specific number posted anywhere online. if i were you, i’d get in contact with the school of graduate studies, who would have the most information about graduate programs at u of t.

i’d also get in contact with the department of political sciences to see what their policies and application process is for international students. they also have a MA supervisor that could help you out. they’d also have information for you about scholarships, grants, and bursaries to help you finance your masters.

i hope this is helpful! good luck!

 channing tatum salute sailor hail caesar aye aye GIF

xoxo,

aska

Jul12

waiving goodbye to requirements

how can you get your program requirements waived?

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hi!

if you want to get a program requirement waived, you’d have to get in contact with the specific department that hosts your program. here is a list of every department and section at the university. it’ll redirect you to the department’s website and you can find their contact info there. i’m not gonna search that ish up for you, bro.

hope this was helpful. good luck!

DNCE dog hello nicki minaj puppy GIF

xoxo,

aska

Jun20

distinctly distinction-ed

Hey, I wanted to know if it is announced during the u of t grad ceremony that you’ve received distinction. Or is that just put on your diploma?? Thanks!

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hi,

it’s announced at convocation that you’ve received distinction. it’s also put on your degree! yay double recognition!

congrats on finishing your degree and good luck in all your future endeavours!

xoxo,

aska

Jun12

no, thank YOU

Hello,

I’m writing to express my gratitude for the post about my 2010 UTM school situation. Long story short, I got suspended for 1 whole calendar year + 3.5 years for a plagiarism allegation since 2014. From the 2014-2016, I experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression, generalized anxiety & later on had lymphoma cancer. LOL. Long story short, I crawled out of the shit hole, alive and well.

I’m just thankful that I can still return to UTM and hopefully, finish my useless Bachelor of Arts before I turn 30. xD! I am very happy, knowing that both Tesla and Martha Stewart succeeded much later on in life, and knowing that I actually pulled through cancer treatments.

<3 from western Canada where I am from.

U of T does have a lot of sympathy and empathy – that I completely agree with.

Kids, just look at the bigger picture, okay?

AH

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hey AH!

wow. i’ll be honest with you, your message melted my cold, steely, unfeeling heart.

as much as i and the other askas (past and present) would like to be able to claim responsibility for your successes, you’re the one who did all the work! as you said, you crawled out of that sh*thole alive and well, and i’m so glad you did.

congrats on everything you’ve accomplished so far, even if it seems small or insignificant or “useless”. i am so so proud. and even though you sent this email to thank us, i want to thank you for sharing your story and reminding us that it does #getbetter (even if it sounds sappy af).

good luck on all your future endeavours. you’re gonna absolutely slay.

xoxo,

aska

Jun05

learning american sign language

Hi! Does st George have asl courses?

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hi!

unfortunately, st. george does not offer any american sign language courses. there is, however, an american sign language club that is recognized by ulife and allows participants to “learn and improve ASL skills”. i’d check that out!

hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

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