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Archive for the ‘bad times’


just keep swimming

Hi Aska,
How are you?
I have recently been suspended from UTM (I have a CGPA of 1.41) and I tried summer school and ultimately disappointed myself and my parents (they work very hard for me yet I could not do such a simple task) SO now I have a year off and I have this unruly fear that if I stay out of UTM for too long I am gonna lose whatever drive I have to study (and based off my gpa, not
so much). I just do not want to come back to UTM after a year and make the same mistakes. I am totally aware of my mistakes and I demand redemption next year.

tl;dr Im suspended for a year and I dont want to lose my drive to study. How do I maintain an academic mindset?

Thank you so much and you are forever appreciated in my heart!



i’m doing pretty good, thanks for asking!

firstly, school is hard. don’t feel discouraged if you’re struggling. so you had a minor setback – it’s okay. you are not alone and you have a lot of support at UTM.

the number one piece of advice we have for you is to keep in contact with your registrars because they are there to advise you in all your academic endeavours. sit down with your registrar to formulate a good plan for your undergrad. ask yourself if you truly enjoy what you are studying. if not, consider switching programs. since you seem to have trouble staying motivated, regular check-ins with the registrar will be extremely valuable for you so you can be held accountable and be less likely to slack off.

furthermore, there are a number of academic resources available at UTM including workshops and skills development sessions. they are designed to help students develop better study habits and i’m sure they’ll be very helpful.

some other pieces of general advice i would offer are:

  1. don’t be too hard on yourself because you can’t win them all. in the grand scheme of your life, this will only seem like a minor setback. don’t let this discourage you and bring you down.
  2. acknowledge small victories. if you finish a chapter of reading or get through a day of class, reward yourself with a treat. little progress is still better than none at all.
  3. set goals. lists are very useful when setting goals because there is a certain kind of satisfaction that comes from checking something off your list. set realistic goals like, “today i will put on pants” or ” i will attend all classes this week.”

and there are obviously other things like exercising regularly that you could try. some people claim that you ACTUALLY feel better after exercising and you don’t actually feel like you’ve been run over by a train, but that’s just my opinion.

during your year off, i would encourage you to try reviewing some of the course material from your first year to practice good study habits. it might seem pointless since you’ve already gotten your grades back, but at the end of the day, you’ll feel a lot more confident and prepared to tackle your second year if you feel like you know your first year material very well. use the time that you have to better your habits, and you’ll see results in the new year.

random inspirational tidbits:

alfred pennyworth: why do we fall sir? so that we can learn to pick ourselves up. – the dark knight rises

THIS VIDEO is probably one of the most inspirational videos i’ve ever seen in my life. i think it’s a lot more inspirational than dj khaled.

but nonetheless, i appreciate you too.

good luck on getting back into the groove, we here at askastudent believe in you! may the force be with you.




everyday is a winding road (academically speaking)

I feel like I try so f***ing hard to do well in my courses and I always come up flat on my face. The highest mark I’ve gotten on an essay is 71. My average in highschool was 89. I knew I was going to get lower marks then that in first year, but it just seems so much. Every time I get an essay back I dread looking at the mark and then when I do, I feel like crying. Maybe I’m being overdramatic but when I don’t do well at something I want to give up and quit. So, I guess I should get to the question. Does it get better? Will my (apparent) ‘bad’ writing improve? Thanks anyway.


Hey there. We have all been there. I remember having a 91 average in high school and getting my first mark and being like, “what 65???” University is hard and it sometimes is frustrating and it always makes you want to give up. But you’re commited to it, right? And it will get better.

As you progress into further years, your classes will get smaller which will be a big help. Seek out independent studies and seminars – which will allow you to direct your research into your personal favourite topics of study and allow you to work more intensely with a professor. Get involved with your student union. And use your college writing centre, which will completely guarantee a boost in your essay grades. They hire trained editors to go over student essays and help you write a more formidable argument. The women at the Innis Writing Centre are complete geniuses and have saved me time and time again! Best of all, it’s free!

The secret to doing well in university is going to class, reading all the material, and using the library (and your research materials) effectively. Academic writing and discourse is an entirely different way of writing, but once you master it and understand it – you will go far. Maybe talking to your prof or one of your registrar’s will make you feel a little more assured, so you can improve your grades next year?

Another amazing resource is the Academic Success Centre, which offers drop-in consultations with a professional about how to write and study more effectively and workshops on writing and rhetoric. I’d definitely look into that.

I guess what I’m saying here is that everyone struggles with the transition from high school to university, and first year, with its giant introductory classes and huge tutorials is bound to be intimidating. But there are resources for you, and I know that you can do it.

xoxo, Askastudent




Could SOMEONE PLEASEEEEE help me sign up for tutorials on Blackboard?!?!? All of my profs have said that I need to sign up for tutorials via the course website on Blackboard. I HAVE CLICKED EVERY SINGLE BUTTON & LINK ON MY FRIGGIN BLACKBOARD PAGE AND NO WHERE DOES IT SAY “SIGN UP FOR TUTORIALS.” Yes, I have also been to the course websites!! Please excuse my extreme frustration its just that (as im sure you know) it is imperative for me to find and sign up for tutorials (and study groups for that matter) so that I dont fall behind!! I feel like I cant find ANYONE to help me! Only one of my courses is listed on ROSI as even having a tutorial and I signed up for that even though it is extremely inconvenient. If I had known how to sign up for tutorials, I would have done so a lot EARLIER!!

My courses are:

If you are unable to help me, please direct me to someone who can!
This is REALLY stressing me out and im in my FIRST WEEK of classes in my first year! PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!
Thank you!


Oh boy, it sounds like you are in a dilly of pickle, girlfriend! Judging by your DRAMATIC USE OF ALL CAPS, I can identify a stressed and overwhelmed anxiety stemming from your tone of writing. But DON’T WORRY. This situation will eventually get solved – the first week of classes is after all, just the first week of the rest of your life.

All I have to go on is this pretty lame FAQ from the Portal website:

I have logged into the Portal ? why is my course not listed?
A: You may not be registered for the course in the ROSI system ? check ROSI or with your registrar.

A: You may have just recently registered for the course on ROSI. Blackboard data is updated from ROSI on a nightly basis.

A: Your instructor may not have made the course available yet. Confirm with your instructor that the course has been made available to students.

A: The course may not be offered on Blackboard this session.

If none of these answers seem accurate to you, then you may be experiencing a common ROSI glitch, a lazy prof or an ill fated day. The only thing I can suggest is EMAILING your professor or TA to see what the status is of your course being registered on portal. It’s totally possible that they just haven’t gotten around to it yet, or that you may not be registered in the course online. Email them politely (do not use the crazy all caps) and ask what the deal is. If you can’t register on portal yet yourself, they may have to manually register you for tutorial that works with your schedule.

Hope that helps!

xoxo, Askastudent


askastudent helps a smart but troubled student

Hi there,

I am in probably the most stressing situation I have ever faced. I was accepted to UofT St. George and everything was going great. Then in my final semester I thought it would be interesting to attempt a grade 12 math course, since i am a social sciences student. my mid-term in advanced?functions was rather okay (76%), and then due to circumstances in my personal life I failed the class. This put my post-secondary career at risk as this was? my final credit 6th 4U credit, as six 4U/M courses are needed to be accepted to any program. I continued the course in summer school and still the situation deterred me from completing the course. UofT has asked me to supply my mark but I don’t know what to do.

Would it be possible to hold my seat while i completed a 4U/M course in a quick private school, It would be done no later than August 25th? what steps should i take to do this? what can i do? if i don’t go to this university starting september i lose my RESP and that all i have to study. Please Help!.

My other five 4U marks are:



Hello there, smart but troubled student. You are like Seth Cohen and Ryan Atwood all rolled into one? That reference makes me sound old, doesn’t it.

Seriously though, I feel for your situation, especially with such impressive marks. I contacted a registrar at Innis College, who told me that the best and most effective thing to do, would be to write a letter to Admissions and Awards, explaining your situation and asking that they grant you admission based on your otherwise supremely excellent marks. Considering that you are planning to finish the course on August 25th, they may grant you (extremely late and extremely special) admission. Do this ASAP. Admissions and Awards are like crazy busy right now, and are very hard to get ahold of.

Another action you should immediately take is to contact the college registrar at U of T that has offered you admission. I trust that you accepted U of T’s conditional offer, but have you already chosen your courses for next year? This late math course will definitely affect whether you will be studying in September.

Please contact these places immediately and let me know what happens. And remember, there’s always Sandy Cohen if you lose your way.

xoxo, Askastudent


acting your get together

I’ve had a rough two years in terms of personal life and only passed 2.5 credits in my first year. Now, in my second year, problems at home have continued to build up and stress me out. I tried taking a lighter course load this year but it was still too much. I dropped my last course of the school year in time for the S-course drop date. Now that I have no credits for this year, will I be able to take courses in the summer and fall?



off with your head!

i really have some trouble. i written one of the computer since assignment by myself. but today, the prof told me, there is someone’s code same as me. i’m wondring, if the prof think i am the one who plagiarized, and give me a record in my transicript. will that be a big problem?what is the biggest problem if i had a bad record. and will that record be canncelled after few years?



“let’s just forget this ever happened…”

I’ve had a lot of family issues going on lately and have fallen behin with a lot of stuff. I’m currently on academic probation for making some mistakes last year and I know that I was wondering:

a) what is the average I need to have this semester to be able to continue on at school in the fall?

b) I am only taking one course right now, if I drop it as well and therefore have no courses done this year can I continue in the summer and fall of 2009?



believe me, you’re in a good place

Hey Askastudent,

How can I be an interesting person? It’s just that in life sci, with all the studying, I feel that I’m programmed to just spit out numbers and facts with no personality. I’ve never felt so generic. Oh, and I’m familiar with the cliche, “Go join a hobby. or sport.” I’ve been there and done that and besides getting an 8-pack* it hasn’t done much for me. The reason I ask you, is a given, You’re interesting and somehow, can somehow make talkng/writing about the most administrative stuff like majors, course selection and rosi seem intriguing/funny . You put a spin on things. How do you do it? Okay, enough flattering.



my dog ate it… repeatedly.

soo… i’m feaking out. this past little while has been stressful enough with a lot of family stuff going on and being the idiot that i am…i decided not to “take it easy” like the people at registrars suggested and instead just kept plowing through anyways…. now i have a fear of being suspended for a semester. so now for my questions
a) if i am suspended for a semester does this tarnish my rep of getting into teacher’s program at u of t?
b) does the u of t teacher’s program look at all 4 years or the final year.. or what?
c) be honest with him… with a screwed up past like this and a possible suspension… what are my chances of even getting into a teacher’s program if i pull my marks up high next year?
d) can an academic suspension be petitioned? and what are the chances of it going through?
ps. i’m in my third year at utsc

? (more…)


aska’s back!!!!!!!

Dear Aska,

I REALLY screwed up last year and failed two courses (1.5 credits) and barely passed the rest. I also failed two summer courses right after. This one year REALLY screwed up my GPA. But I’ve been getting As and Bs since. I have no real reason for failing besides my existential crisis which I don’t think counts as a real reason so I can’t say it was medical. I heard somewhere that it’s possible to drop those failed courses as long as you agree to drop all of the other courses you took in that year from your record too (even if you passed the others). Is that true? And if it is, how would I go about doing that? Is there ANYTHING I can do? PLEEEEASE HELP!!!!!!



askastudent is a delicate flower?

Hi Askastudent,I have to take CHM220H1. And it says that a recommended co-requisite is MAT235Y1. What’s
your opinion on taking MAT235Y1? How is it compared to MAT135Y1. What is the general consensus regarding this course?


Thank you very much.










fastest way to get from there to here: go into montage, or a jump cut!

I have some transportation woes. I’m from St. George but due to options advisable to me at UTSC that ensure that I graduate(long story) I have to take 3 classes at the UTSC campus. Three out of the five days of the week I have classes at St. George and at UTSC on the same day. I made sure this was a doable plan because there are at least 2.5 hours in between the transfers. However, I as wondering if you knew a quick route between the two campuses that have been passed on by others in my situation or if one of those magic yellow school buses I see around Hart House is a shuttle from St. George to UTSC and visa versa? Any advice will help. Thanks.



crooked lies at the library

is it possible to negotiate a fine with Robarts? i had a $68.00 fine a few months ago and i paid it in full, but could i have bartered? i mean those bastards make enough money as it is…. (more…)

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