I will be graduating from high school this year and am very keen on attending UofT for life sciences. However, i have been getting mixed reviews from people regarding the social life there as apposed to the social life at say queens or mac.
I live around 45 mins (on subway) from UofT but i am planning on living in residence nonetheless so that i don’t have to sacrifice my social life because i want the uni experience to be so much more than just studying and commuting.
Is this a stupid decision? am i simply wasting mine and my parent’s money here by wasting an extra $9000 here? or is it worth it?
Also which college has the best social life? I applied to UC college… does it have a good community feel to it? or would u recommend some other college for residence?
Thanks a lot!
Besides the fact that you are “very keen” I don’t know anything about you that could inform what you may value in a social life at U of T. In fact, I’m having trouble defining the incredibly ambiguous phrase “social life” in the first place. My working definition involves time, enjoyment, an activity, yourself, and other humans. I will refer to these other humans as cool, in the most relative sense.
You’re in Life Science, so you should appreciate my effort to use sciencey things like numbers:
67 000 students at U of T
21 000 students at Queen’s
At a liberal estimate of 40% “cool people” at Queen’s, that equals 8 400 potential friends (PFs). At the same rate, U of T would offer 26 800 PFs. To provide the same number of PFs as Queen’s, U of T only needs a 13% cool-people-rate.
Now, I did a 3 week stint in MAT135, so I can tell you that that looks pretty good for Toronto.
Perhaps you are thinking that the 8 400 PFs at Queen’s are more concentrated than those at UofT; that cool kids in Toronto are diluted amidst the sea of geeks, nerds, dorks and hermits. NOT TRUE. Coolness tends to cluster, and finding the clusters is just like Where’s Waldo.
To push this metaphor, finding friends at U of T is like finding those coloured books that Waldo drops – more discreet, but more diverse. Finding friends at Queen’s is like finding Waldo himself – more obvious, but totally homogenous.
You may find, however, that the social life at U of T is quite embedded in the city of Toronto itself, and Torontonian culture. The identity of Kingston, inversely, is formed more around the school. These patterns are both good and bad, but neither is definitively better. In Toronto you can take advantage of rich culture (e.g. festivals, concerts, museums, ethnic neighbourhoods). At the same time, the places you go out to will be filled with all sorts of age groups, unlike the 18-25 range you’re bound to find around Queen’s.
I can attest that living in residence may increase the likelihood of a university-based social life, by virtue of sharing the same space as others. It can be a lot like high school in this sense (for better or for worse). Whereas residence enables more passive friend-making, commuting requires more active engagement (e.g. clubs, sports, events, talking to classmates). No matter where you live, a social life won’t just fall on your lap. Now that you’re all grown up, you need to get out and explore to find all the cool kids.
I wouldn’t get too worked up about how social each College is. The range of opinions is really diverse across the student population. University College is big, and they have an active student society, so I would guess that your prospects look good there, but then again, maybe your ideal social life lies elsewhere.