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Archive for the ‘probation’

May21

a tomorrow problem

im in a stressful place right now – im on academic probation, but im already enrolled in summer school with osap already given. the 2 0.5 courses im taking interest me a lot and im sure i can do well in them, but there’s still a voice in the back of my head that gets me really nervous about my academic standing come the end of my term. do u think its possible to pass and secure at least a 1.7 gpa in the 1st summer term, given my terrible academic standing last year? ????

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hey friend,

it’s hard to know too much about your situation. but from what i can guess from the numbers, you’re trying to dodge suspension, yeah? or at least that’s usually what it is when someone on probation is concerned with making a summer GPA of 1.7.

if the courses interest you and you’re optimistic about doing well, then by all means i think a 1.7 is possible. it’s hard to really tell because i don’t know what your academic record’s been like, nor do i know if there are non-academic factors you think will heap extra struggle on your studies. but at least it’s just the one summer term you’ve got to worry about for now. since the school’s not requiring you to pull your entire CGPA up to stay registered at the school (which would be much harder), it may be healthier to shelve your past grades for the moment.

i don’t blame you for being nervous. it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed when you’re contending with a whole academic record looming over you. but ultimately, all you have control over right now is how well you do in these two classes. i’d encourage you to focus on just that, then. you don’t have control over your gpa so much as you have control over how smart/hard you study, and how well you keep up. you feel? remember that it’s also okay to ask for help– in fact, you should. clarification from profs/TAs on assignments can actually make quite a big difference with how well you do.

i know the summer term’s been on for a few weeks now, but if you think it might help, i’d recommend that you contact your registrar or student life and see if you can get an appointment with a learning strategist. especially if you’ve been struggling for academic and not personal reasons, this might help you out. they’ll be able to walk you through smarter study strategies, give you exam prep tips, and sling you pointers on writing and presenting. they also help you address issues like procrastination, which tbh we all need at least bit of help with.

as much as i’d love to (and totally could, if you want) write up a post chock-full of study tips, i always feel better knowing yall are talking to someone in person, who’s better able to familiarize themselves with your specific situation. i love the anonymous aska format, but it can make it a bit difficult to give super personalized advice, which you certainly deserve.

thanks for waiting on this answer, and sorry for the delay in getting it up. wishing you loads and loads of good luck and strong work ethic to get you through the summer sem. i believe in you and your ability to push through and pass those courses, even if it doesn’t end up being easy. i’m here cheering for you and hoping for your success!

over n out,

aska

Apr10

PROBing the limits

Hi, I was just wondering what the max course load of someone on probation is supposed to be (Annual and Summer session)? Is the max a suggestion or university policy? Thanks

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hello!

according to my best friend the artsci rules and regs, if you’re on academic probation you can take up to five courses per semester in fall/winter, and during the summer your limit is two. these limitations (fortunately or unfortunately?) are not suggestions– the faculty you’re with will remove you from courses you take beyond those, and i don’t think you get to choose which ones you’re removed from. so it’s best not to risk it, in case they boot you from a class you need. 

hope this helped! here’s a gif of some smol pups to brighten your day, because lord knows we all need that now that exams are on.

 

cheers,

aska

Jan10

post holiday slump

Hello,

I’m a firsts year engineering student and I’m currently having a pretty bad first semester in terms of grades. I’ve already dropped 2 courses and I know that I most definitely failed one of the remaining 3. I’m guessing my overall sessional average will fall between 40 to 45 percent which I know is really bad. Although I’ve learned some useful lessons in that i need to work on my time management skills and not falling behind, I’m unclear as to whether I’m going to be able to move on to the next session. I was wondering if they’ll put me on probation or if I have to restart all together or if I’ll be kicked out entirely.

Thanks for your response.

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hi!

first of all, apologies for the super late response. it was exams and then the holiday and then the requisite two days of getting over the holidays etc etc etc. you know how it be. i’m not sure how relevant this response will be for you now that the semester is over, but hopefully this will help another student in the future or provide some clarity for you.

according to the faculty calendar, if you are a first year student with a session average of 45%, you will be put on probation and you must withdraw for 8 months. then, you will have to retake the fall session. because of my late response, you should know your session average at this point. take a look at the calendar and see which average you fall under and what your situation is.

i highly suggest that you get in contact with your registrar’s office or the engineering first year office to discuss your case. especially since this is a late response and your situation could’ve changed, i think it would be for the best if you talked with someone who can pull up your file and give you the most accurate info possible (even more accurate than me, your dear aska!).

shocked gina rodriguez GIF

i hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

Aug08

where do i stand, y’know, academically?

Hi, I’ve recently been put on academic probation at the end of my fall/winter session, and I took summer school but then dropped it. That means I can go to school in the fall right?, to try and increase my GPA or does that mean I am now on suspension?

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hi!

academic standing is assessed twice a year: once at the end of the summer session and once at the end of the fall/winter session. so, if at the end of the summer session your cgpa is less than 1.50 and your sgpa is less than 1.70, then you’d be suspended. however, because you dropped your summer courses, that means that you wouldn’t have received a mark in those classes. because you did not achieve any mark or standing in those courses, your gpa wouldn’t have changed. this means that your academic standing would stay the same, so you’re still on probation. you can check out this flow chart for a more visual representation of how academic standing is calculated.

if you ever have any questions about your academic standing, you should hit up your registrar’s office. they can explain what your academic standing means for you and give you advice on how to navigate it. they’re awesome. 10/10. do it.

i hope this helps!

cat hello GIF

xoxo,

aska

PS- this cat is standing. because academic standing. haha, get it? haha.

Jul25

0 to 100 real quick

last year, as a first year, I took three courses a semester. I failed all of them. current gpa is 0.00 and cpga each sem is obviously 0.00. I’m now on academic probation. My question is do i just redo first year then? take all those courses again? or am I screwed beyond help?

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hi!

from what i understand, you currently have less than 4.0 FCE completed, meaning that you are still considered a first year student. in that case, you’ll need to take the first year courses that’re required for your intended POSts. so, you are sorta kinda “redoing” first year.

being on academic probation, you do have to get your cgpa up to 1.50 and sgpa up to 1.70 by the end of the year in order to be back in good standing. hopefully someone will have already explained to you what being on academic probation entails, but in case they didn’t (and also just as a brief refresher!) being on probation basically means that you are restricted to 5.0 FCE in the fall/winter term and 2.0 FCE in the summer term. it also means that if you don’t get your sgpa up to 1.70 at the end of the next school year, you will be suspended.

i highly suggest going to see an academic adviser at your registrar’s office if you haven’t done so already. they’ll be able to tell you more about being on probation, give you some great advice to help you do better in the future, and direct you to other on campus resources that’ll help you out. i also suggest making an appointment with a learning strategist at the academic success centre who can help you learn better, which should (hopefully) help you do better in school. you can also attend workshops and access peer support through the academic success centre. all really good stuff.

i hope this helps. school is really hard, and paired with the other stuff that happens in life (family, friends, jobs, mental health, etc etc etc) it can feel impossible at times. but with a little bit of support, i’m sure you’ll be ok. as the patron god of toronto would say, go from 0 to 100 real quick. i’m rooting for you!

started from the bottom drake GIF

xoxo,

aska

Oct06

academic standing: it’s complicated

Hi, so if you’re off probation do they send you an email telling you that? I was recently placed on probation at the end of April. I took summer school and raised my CGPA to 1.58 (I go to UTM). I haven’t received any email telling me I’m in good standing now. Also, I CR/NCR a course during the summer that I got a NCR for. But my other two marks that were assessed made my CGPA a 1.58. Am I considered to be in good standing now? Also note, my CGPA in April was 1.47, and my SGPA for summer is 2.15.

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hi!

they will contact your college/ faculty if there is a change in your academic standing, who should then inform you of that change. if you haven’t been informed of a change to your academic standing (ie. you haven’t heard from your registrar that you are no longer on probation), then that means there hasn’t been a change to your standing (ie. you are still on probation).

if there’s any confusion at all, talk to your registrar! though i, as askastudent dot utoronto dot ca, know quite a lot, i am (unfortunately) not all-seeing. your registrar’s office, however, are able to see much further than i can. i’m a baller but it doesn’t mean i’m not humble.

Kendrick Lamar kendrick lamar humble GIF

i suggest that you make an appointment with your registrar’s office who’ll be able to look into your academic standing and provide you with more information. you can also look at this link that details what being “on probation” really means.

hope this helps!

xoxo,

aska

Sep22

keep holding on

Hey

As I 3rd year international student and heading to the last year of my uni life, I just found out I failed a course during the summer. It was a course for my program but it’s not a required course. This is really breaking me down because it drags my CGPA down and below 1.5. I used to be on probation before but I studied hard and pull my CGPA back to normal and safe line, now I have to face a fact that I would be on probation again when I am in the fourth year, is it going to suspend me directly? Is there any possibilities that I could make up this test to let it pass (the pass grade is 50 and I am 48), can I talk to the professor and see if he can curve? Or can I talk with the registrar office and see I could late withdraw this course? I knew the possibilities of these might be very very small but if there is anything I could to let it pass or erase this course history, I would sacrifice my life for it.

Thanks

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hi!

first, let me apologize for my extremely late response. i’ve been super swamped lately with the start of classes. i know that isn’t a good excuse and it’s pretty sh*tty of me to have put this off for so long, so i hope that you will forgive me and that this response isn’t TOO too late.

so, you shouldn’t be put on suspension; you’ll just be put on probation again. which sucks, i know, but you got out of it once, you can do it again! you should look at this link that gives has a lot of information on probation and advice. i also highly recommend visiting the academic success centre. they’re a criminally underused service here at u of t. you can make appointments with mentors, learning strategists, people who work at writing centres, and a whole bunch of other folks who are there to help out. it’s a really great way to learn about how you learn which should, in turn, help you learn better and get better marks. they have walk-in times as well as appointments that you can make. it’s pretty dope.

as for your mark– unfortunately, if that mark has already gone through and you have the final mark for the course, it’s too late to get rid of it. the LWD date has also passed. i’m really sorry about that.

if you need anymore advice at all, especially concerning probation, i also suggest making an appointment with your registrar’s office. 

i hope this helps. again, i’m so sorry for my late response. i know that you’ll be able to get yourself out of this pickle. i’m rooting for you.

GIPHY Studios Originals yay cheers rooting go team GIF

peace and love,

aska

Jul28

probation pro

Hi,

I recently received a letter placing me into academic probation from the office of registrar. I have a 3.7 GPA but I took a course in the winter sem that I put to credit/no credit and ended up not receiving the credits for it.

The letter said that I had failed a course and that’s why I was being admitted into probation. It also says that I am not maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Does that make any sense? Also, I was wondering if it’s possible to appeal against the probation?

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hi!

to be honest, your situation sounds a little fishy. unless you aren’t telling me something, you shouldn’t be on probation (you can only be put on probation if your CGPA is less than 1.50). i would get in touch with your college registrar to sort it out or to find out why you’re actually on probation.

unfortunately, you can’t petition a probation. 

i’m really sorry that you’re in this situation. i’m sure you did your best despite any circumstances or bullsh*t that may have been thrown your way. check out this link on advice for students who are put on probation and next steps.

you could also check out the academic success centre, where they can set you up with a learning strategist who’ll help you develop individual learning skills. they also have drop- in hours if you want to see someone more casually. it’s like dating, but you get better marks and a sense of confidence in your academic life.

i hope this helps! know that being on probation is not the end of the world and you will be able to recover and continue your education.

i’m rooting for you!

America's Got Talent agt americas got talent mel b rooting GIF

xoxo,

aska

 

Jun05

it’s not you, it’s me

This might seem like a weird question, but I just spent an additional year
trying to get into a type 3 specialist POSt. I’m sitting at a healthy 3.15
CGPA right now, but economics scares me and it will probably drop. At what
gpa/cgpa does the university kick me out of a program? Don’t get me wrong,
I’m still going to work my ass off, haha, but I really would appreciate the
piece of mind of knowing the very edge of my acceptable limit.

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hello,

holy crap. a 3.15 CGPA is so healthy yo.

in regards to your question, you’re in luck. once you’re in a program, you’re in it for good.

the program can’t break up with you, but you can break up with the program.

even if you go on academic probation, get suspended, or take 10 years off, your program will stay the same unless you change it or remove it yourself.

even though you aren’t going to get removed from your program, you should still set an “acceptable limit”. i would recommend that you try to stay above a 1.50 CGPA in order to remain in good academic standing. once you go below a 1.50 CGPA, you will be on academic probation which has a lot of not-so-fun consequences attached to it. if you want a good scare, look here.

you should definitely continue working your ass off! (oh no, i said ass!!! but you said it first!)

you’re doing great so far, so keep it up!

peace and love,

aska

 

 

 

 

Jun04

feeling terrible is terrible

Hey ???????? Summer has begun and it sucks. I’m on my first year of suspension and what should I even do on suspension? I feel like I failed my parents, wasted my tuition and I just feel terrible. What are my options now that I’m on suspension and when is the earliest that can I begin enrolling in courses again? Would I be able to enroll for summer school 2018? And what gpa do I need once I get back to school to get off suspension/probation? Suggestions? Thank you for your help. ~ the distressed kid

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hey ?????????

being on suspension may seem like the worst thing ever but it’s really a time for ~*personal growth*~

reflect, re-evaluate, regrow, like groot! (he’s so cute, i had to include this gif)

give yourself lots of ‘you’ time. try and think about what went wrong last semester and how to prevent it from happening again. make a game plan to follow for when you get back to school and set some good goals. you’ll be even more excited and motivated to return if you set goals because you’ll be like “hey, i can do this and i can’t wait to achieve these goals!”

and when i say set goals, i mean realistic goals. stuff like “GET A 4.0 GPA” are too vague and frankly, super daunting. stuff like: ‘sleep at least 7 hours every night’, or ‘take half an hour to review notes from the day’s classes everyday’ are examples of more realistic goals that won’t seem as intimidating as: “GET AT LEAST AN 80% ON EVERY TEST.” if you are someone who tends to skip classes both unintentionally and intentionally, (lol, me) set a hard limit for yourself. “i can only skip 4 classes this semester.” set some ground rules for your ‘next semester game plan’, but be realistic and thoughtful about them.

(*i know that admin/ faculty people are reading the part about skipping classes and shaking their heads but hey, it’s actually super difficult for some of us to be in the right mindset to get to class. sometimes it’s an anxiety thing and sometimes it’s just a general lack of energy/ motivation. showing up to class is actually a lot harder than it seems, so no judging or angry emails pls.)

if you are looking for practicality, both financially and career wise, i would suggest that you try working full time to save up some money for school! who knows, you might find a job that you love and realize that you don’t need to finish school to excel in your field!

if work sounds like too much pressure for you, i’m a big believer in volunteer work. giving back to the community is always a great way to learn a lot about yourself and your role in society. sometimes we can get really caught up with our own lives and the seemingly terrible things that happen to us, but it’s also important to think about other people and do all we can to help people who are less fortunate.

hey, if making money or giving back to the community aren’t a priority right now, you could do an eat, pray, love kind of thing and travel! you might even FIND YOURSELF! go explore the world and experience new and wonderful things!

if you ever feel a longing for academia during your suspension, you can try getting a head start on classes you plan to take in the future. feed and enrich that brain of yours and don’t let it go dormant. if you spend your whole suspension without challenging your brain, it might be hard to get back into the groove of things when you return to school. (this isn’t a proven fact, but from personal experience, i have a hard time getting back into school mode after summer vacation because i don’t use my brain all summer)

in regards to the parental units, don’t feel like you failed them. they might make it seem like they used to be golden children, but i’m sure they’ve made mistakes too in their lives. you’re still figuring things out and they should try to understand that it takes time. they were once your age too! as for the money thing, yes, some mistakes have financial consequences, but think of it as paying for a valuable life lesson! life lessons are priceless, yo.

if this is your first 1 year suspension, you will be be able to return to school after one calendar year, so yes, summer 2018, after which you will be on academic probation. once you are on academic probation, you will need to maintain a CGPA of 1.50 or more to have your status changed to “in good standing”. read more about academic standing here!

i hope i’ve given you some stuff to think about and some ideas as to what to do with your one year off! let us know if anything else is stressing you out! we’re here for you!

oh. and go see your registrar. they’re awesome.

peace, love, and an encouraging pat on the back,

aska

Jun04

OSnAP

Hello again! It’s me the 5th to 6th student (you replied to me using a Gosling Gif!)

So I’m a little worried about OSAP now. Thanks for clarifying that I can do a 6th year. I was put on OSAP probation bc of my performance in 4th yr and it seems I’m getting to my goal of getting off the probation this year.

I’m just wondering if i would be put on OSAP probation again because of the line in the new OSAP Academic Progress Form:

“You can be placed on OSAP probation if you drop below the required course load, or if you do not pass a  sufficient number of credits. Multiple program switches, course drops, withdrawals, multiple repeats of
a program and/or taking multiple programs may also be considered as unsatisfactory academic progress”

I’m confused because if I did a 6th year (Undergrad) would that be considered “multiple repeats of a program”?  I thought by fulling the full course load this year would take me off probation but now I’m just confused and scared I’ll lose OSAP eligibility for that 6th yr. It feels like taking a step forward and 3 steps back.

thanks.

PS. Wow I’m jealous they made the new forms for this year so much easier. When I had to send my letter in I had to get a counselor to sign it and everything.

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hello,

yes! i remember you! thanks for writing again!

your question was a little loaded so we had to reach out to someone from enrolment services!

this is what they said: (i’m going to copy and paste it word for word so i don’t mess up the meaning)

“OSAP generally allows one extra year of funding to complete your degree.  For Undergraduate students that means 5 years in total.  As long as the student hasn’t used up the maximum number of weeks of funding or interest free status: 340 weeks.  This rule doesn’t apply to students with a documented permanent disability.”

more importantly, we encourage you to talk to a financial counsellor at your college or go to enrolment services to get more information on your unique situation.

in terms of getting off of probation: your academic progress will be monitored carefully so make sure you pass your courses and meet the academic requirements of your program. again, all the information available on OSAP academic probation is attached with the note: talk to enrolment services! everyone’s situation is unique, so it’s really best if they sit down with you so they have access to your information.

hope this helped!

peace and love,

aska

 

May24

you need some good ‘ol r and r

hello aska,

i read through a lot of your answers that were tagged with relevant terms, but I still hope I am not repeating someone’s question

im a utm student about to be put on suspension… last school year i was negligent with my studies and so getting on probation was my fault entirely. this fall semester my marks have been abyssmal (i failed 3 courses) and I know it is my fault too, but there was also a  situation that happened during november (2016) that I could argue affected my marks.

im not used to persisting to get exemptions or extensions (since ive never had problems that werent at least partially my fault) so I did not do anything about it at the time. now I am wondering if it is worth/possible pursuing or if it is too late. it was stressful and time consuming situation and unfortunately I do not have any official documents regarding the situation, maybe a few witnesses or pictures and onesided attempts to a file report…

i am just grasping for any straws right now if you cant tell, just looking for a way to return to uni this september. ive read that students improved after a year off but i do not see how I will be able to cope with suspension and the burden of crushed expectations during the forced year off. needing to repay my school loans once im not full time also scares me.

if my winter semester gpa is a great deal higher than my fall gpa this year is there a chance i could file a petition to return to school in september since I showed improvement?

im probably hoping you could gauge my chances of returning in september and relay to me some good news ;; although I didnt mention it a lot, I do know how much of the blame for this situation is on me.

im scared to reflect on it too much so i am trying to keep moving by looking at my options. the only hope I have right now is to ace every single one of my upcoming exams 100%..

thank you for your time with these answers

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hello,

first of all, i’m really friggin’ sorry that i didn’t get to this question in time. sometimes it’s hard to get through everyone’s questions in time for the end of the semester, but we (yes we, i’m not alone in my efforts anymore!) are working our way through them as fast as we can.

also, thank you for taking the time to see if this question has already been answered. we really appreciate it.

when you emailed us, you mentioned that you were about to be suspended. i’m assuming that the suspension has now taken effect. again, i wish i could’ve offered you some advice earlier but it really wouldn’t have had much of an effect on your situation.

so, how do we move forward from this? it sounds like you’ve had a tough year.

first: i cannot stress this enough. go to your registrar’s office as soon as possible. even though it might seem too late, they may be able to help you file a petition to lift your suspension. please keep in mind that these kinds of petitions are reserved for very special circumstances will only be approved if the committee on standing believes that there were extenuating circumstances affecting your ability to meet the demands of school. your chances of continuing school in september will depend on whether or not your registrar believes there are sufficient grounds to file a petition. don’t lose faith, there is still hope!

i’m not 100% sure about the timeline/deadlines on these types of petitions since they are very rare, but i would go the registrar’s office as soon as you can.

regarding asking for extensions from profs: this is definitely hard. it took me a long time to get used to doing it, but you really need to think about it like this: you’ll never know until you ask. at least do the bare minimum and ask. if you don’t feel comfortable with asking for extensions from your profs, registrars are also capable of sending emails on your behalf.

on the other hand, taking a year off might seem like the worst thing right now, but maybe it’s just what you need. you can get a job doing something you like and work towards paying off your student loans. the time off could be valuable for you in terms of re-evaluating your goals. a year without school might be good for your soul. think about it. a year of no readings, no essays, and no assignments sounds pretty nice tbh. relax and recuperate. it seems like what you went through was a little traumatic to say the least. don’t beat yourself up if you need some time to get back in the groove of things.

wishing you all the best,

aska

*we are always here for you if you need us for (somewhat delayed) support* <3

May04

solidarity sister

Hi Aska,

I’ve come to you in the past to ask an important question that you answered spectacularly, and I’m returning to ask yet another question in hopes your answer for this will exceed how great the previous one was. Whereas my last question sent nearly a year ago was excitement and anxiety meshed into one about trying to figure out my second year courses, this one is about giving up those second year courses. Or just giving up period. Idk, basically, I’m in a deep and dark hole that I can’t seem to climb out of.

I’m a second year student at UTSG, I am in “good academic standing”–not necessarily meaning I’m doing “good,” but the school hasn’t sent me a threatening email about putting me on academic probation, so in that case I’m golden. I have dropped 2.0 FCEs, and am currently about to fail another full year course which I sadly no longer can drop on ACORN according to the 2017 Calendar. (idk i read about talking to my registrar’s office about dropping it, idek pls confirm).

I’m just in such a rut. I had my life planned out since my first day of senior year in high school, and now I’m barely getting by because I am so unhappy that I’ve been seriously considering professional help to get me through (although I probably won’t because of embarrassment issues). I have no motivation–the path I had planned for myself was a plan I loved, but now I’m so unsure. (I’m an English and History Major btw; was planning on getting my Masters of Teaching from OISE after completing my undergrad and then becoming a teacher. But my marks are too low, let’s face it, so I was planning on getting my Consecutive BEd from YorkU after.)

What I’m saying is, I need advice. I need a break from life. Because I swear, just a few more weeks or days or hours on campus and I will crack.

If I end off this year, I’ll only have 2.0 FCE’s fulfilled for my second year. Almost like it didn’t even happen and I just wasted 7K+ on my tuition. Sigh. Can I take a year off? What will happen when I ask to come back after? Can I even ask to come back after? What should I do, Aska? I’m hopeless.

Sincerely,

A distressed and mentally drained soul that feels like giving up on everything in the world.

(aka probably a lot of students that go to UofT)

Thanks.

———————————————

hello friend,

thank you so much for reaching out. i wish i could’ve gotten back to you sooner! it has also taken me several hours to craft a response to this so i apologize!

since the topic of mental health is super super important to discuss, i’m going to try my best not to sound cliche and just be honest about my own experiences and try to give you advice based on what worked for me. (cliche’s are cliche’s for a reason though, so apologies if many are used)

to preface all of this: i’ve been through exactly what you’re going through, and dude, i feel you. the past four years have not been smooth and i continue to deal with depression and anxiety everyday. it was really awesome of you to reach out about this topic this because it encourages people to talk about it. keeping things bottled up is never a healthy option. i am a firm believer in letting it out. anyways, please know that you’re talking to a kindred spirit and that even though i might not know you personally, i’ve been there.

transitioning from university is a huge jump and you’re definitely going to be under a lot of pressure. deadlines, commitments, terrible profs, and newfound independence are pretty much a recipe for disaster if coupled with sleep deprivation and lack of general nutrition.

let’s try to tackle this step by step.

  1. your academic standing and dropping courses: regarding your academic standing, as long as you are still “in good standing”, you are, in your own words, golden. failing a Y course isn’t the end of the world. just make it up in a different semester! in the future, (again, i wish i had gotten back to you sooner) i would recommend that you consider this wonderful thing called LWD (otherwise known as a late withdrawal). i’ve taken advantage of this many a time when i’ve hit rock bottom, and it’s super helpful for times when you know you’re going to fail but you’ve missed the drop deadline. read more about LWD here.
  2. getting help: admitting that you need help is pretty hard to do but it’s the first step to feeling better. i can tell you from personal experience that reaching out to a professional is definitely hard but once you do, you’ll feel so much better and you’ll feel super accomplished. you don’t need to be embarrassed about your mental health. there are more people out there than you think that are going through the same thing. how i got help: i reached out first to my friends who urged me to see a doctor on campus. i made an appointment (really the hardest part) to discuss my mental health with a physician at health and wellness and she referred me to a psychologist. with my doctor and psychologist, we developed a treatment plan to help me gradually feel better. at around the same time, i was missing deadlines, skipping classes, and staying in bed all day. it was really hard for me to come to terms with getting zeroes on assignments so i went to my registrar’s office to ask for help. i will never stop singing praises for my registrar’s office because they’ve helped me in so many ways. my registrar wrote letters to professors for me when i needed to ask for extensions but was too embarrassed to ask. they are also knowledgeable about the various campus resources that are available for students, whether it’s accessibility services or health and wellness. making my profs aware of my condition also yielded some very comforting responses. i had profs who said to me: “please let me know if you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to come talk to me if you ever need someone to talk to”. i even had profs who went above and beyond their role as a professor to make sure i was still caught up with my work by emailing me what i had missed. profs are humans too and chances are, they’ve probably gone through some dark times themselves, but you’ll never know until you reach out to them. if you only get one thing out of this post, i hope i’ve encouraged you to get help. you are not alone in this battle and there are tons of people and resources out there that can help you lessen the weight on your shoulders. trying to crawl out of the dark whole is hard but it’s easier when you have the support of other people.
  3. a change of plans: your life is constantly shifting. every factor in your life is fluid and sometimes it’s really difficult to have a set plan for the future. just look back on your life 2 years ago: how much has changed? did you think you’d be where you are today? you learn new things, try new things, and meet new people everyday, all of which could drastically change your whole life course. while sure, it’s good to set goals for yourself to work towards, don’t sweat it too hard if your goals may need to change. there really isn’t one way to do anything. going on a completely different path doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t end up at the same destination. you could switch your majors, take a gap year, decide you don’t want to go back to school, get certified for teaching languages abroad and end up teaching english in japan! same end goal, different path. it’s not the end of the world if things don’t work out right now because the possibilities are endless. *askastudentstorytime* things have an odd way of working out. i actually wanted to go into the same teaching program at OISE but found out that my grades were too low. i went to the registrar’s office one day to talk about how my grades sucked and i ended up getting a job there a couple of months later. since i started working here, planning for my career has completely changed. i may not ever become a teacher, but i’ve found something else that i also like doing, and you will too!
  4. gap year: if you feel like you’d feel better taking a year off, by all means, do it! your health is your number one priority because a degree is pretty much worthless to you if you end up destroying your soul to procure it. if you do want to take a gap year, don’t enrol in any courses in the semesters that you want off, and the school will get the hint and financially cancel you. if you are an international student, contact the CIE to double check the consequences of going on a gap year with a study permit. don’t worry, nothing bad will happen while you’re gone and you are always welcome to come back and finish your degree at any time. all you’d have to do is to re-register and pay the $25 re-registration fee at your college. see? not so scary!

you wanted some advice for what to do so here is the tldr version of it all.

dropping/ failing courses won’t sabotage your whole university career. it happens all the time. next time if you know you’re going to fail but you’ve missed the drop deadline, consider using one of your LWD’s.

talk to someone/ anyone about your struggles. someone out there will be able to help you or at least relate to your struggles! take advantage of the registrar’s office and the resources available to you on campus.

goals may change and that’s okay.

take a gap year if you think your health would benefit from it. a break from school and some time to recuperate might be exactly what you need right now!

i’m really sorry that you’re going through this and i hope that the summer is a lot less stressful and more enjoyable. bask in the warm sunlight and drink it all in before things get dark and gloomy again. feel free to write again! while i can’t guarantee that i will get back to you in timely fashion, i guarantee that aska will always respond eventually to any emails we receive. thanks for taking the first step to email us. be proud of your efforts.

i know it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point in your life but i can assure you that it’s there! it’s always easier to walk through a dark tunnel with the help of people who’ve seen the light. idk, i’m trying to come up with a good metaphor but i’m not sure if it’s working.

…k what i’m trying to say is that you’re not just walking towards nothingness.

you’re gonna be okay. hang in there.

peace and lots and lots of love,

aska

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