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my bed is my safe place


My registrar has advised me to petition to have a quite a few of my credits designated as LWD instead of the F’s they currently have due to my documented illness (read: mental health struggles). I was just wondering if you could give a ball-park estimation of how successful these types of petitions are? The depth of consideration these petitions are given? Will I be taken seriously or will the petition-gods roll their eyes?

I’m scared/embarrassed of submitting a petition with such a heavy request. I actually do pretty well in school when I’m not in bed all day (which has been the case for the past year and a half).*

*FYI, I am currently receiving treatment and plan to resume with my studies – I just really need my academic record cleaned up if I want to have any future in my field or any future period.




while i personally haven’t seen people petition to designate failed courses as LWD, (that’s not to say it doesn’t happen) petitioning for most things at U of T is done through a case by case basis. there isn’t really a formula or way to predict what the outcome will be. since this petition is kind of a big deal, know that the petition committee will not handle it lightly and will only approve of it if there are serious extenuating circumstances.

for now, i would just follow the advice of your registrar and try to petition it anyways. the fact that your registrar has advised you to do so means that they think there could be a chance of it getting approved. and hey, it doesn’t hurt to try!

in my personal experience (meaning it might not be the same for everyone), mental health issues are dealt with pretty seriously at U of T. i’ve definitely late withdrawn from several courses over the years due to mental health issues with the help of my registrar and counsellors at health and wellness. being in bed all day made going to class and, well, pretty much everything very difficult. it was the greatest escape from reality. you’re not alone.

the good thing is, you’ve taken the initiative to contact your registrar and ask for help. the fact that you reached out for help definitely helps your case! i don’t think they’d straight up roll their eyes if, like you said, you do pretty well in school when you aren’t in bed.

i can totally understand why you’re scared; petitioning is always a little nerve-wracking. it may not be what you want to hear, but realistically, the only thing you can do is keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best! remember, health always comes first. stick with the treatment plan if it works, and always put yourself and your wellbeing before anything else. you can do this.

^me and you

(i started typing ‘hug’ into giphy and then i saw ‘hugh jackman’ [my husband], so i thought i would get him to give you some encouragement as well)

sending you our love, luck, and positive vibes all around,




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.


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)



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,



feels good, feels organic

how would I go about using the uoft drug plan to cover oral contraceptives ?


hey there,

you can find details about your coverage here (it’s correct as of 2015). seems as if there’s a $250 coverage for oral contraceptives.

details about how to use the drug plan can be found here. electronic and manual claims are both available to you. you just need to fill out a form, send it away with your receipt, and wait for your reimbursement. voila! not too tricky. unlike remembering to take the pill, probably.




Opting Out – Last Chance to Save Money and Let The Rents Pay For Your Birth Control

Hey Y’all

October 8th is your last chance to Opt out of your Health and Dental Plan .
This post applies to you, if you are already under another Insurance Plan (ie your parents), or if your superman (ie invincible aside from kryptonite).

Don’t opt out just to save money because the coverage is specifially designed for the student body.

Check out all the goodies you receive on the plan here.

Now if your covered elsewhere (not by a sugar daddy, but a legit plan) these are the steps to take to Opt out

Go onto ROSI, punch in your digits and password and click on the tab that says ‘Where to Opt Out’
Click on the only option on that page, ‘More information about where to opt-out’

Choose the link that applies to you and follow the steps to Opt-Out
The site says that it should take a mere five minutes to do, but if it doesn’t, yell at them and not me (don’t kill the messenger)

NOTE: If you opt out you can still use the Health Service appointments if your covered by OHIP (who really knows what OHIP covers aside from doctor’s appointment). All prescriptions, genital creams, and eye patches are to be paid for.

Feel free to send some of that money you saved to your favourite person,? Askastudent

With passionate love,


tips for “full-assing” your work

Hey, I don’t go to the University of Toronto, I am still in high-school at Northern Secondary school, but my question is beyond general, so maybe you can help anyway. Ever since I can remember, I have had difficulty handing assignments in on time, but lately its gotten exceedingly worse. Things have gotten to the point where that majority of my assignments are either late, or are not handed in at all. On top of this, almost all of my on time work is “half assed” and done the night before. This results in screwed up sleep patterns, lack of concentration in class, and constant stress. To make matters worse, the assignments I actually get in are usually high eighties to mid nineties, so my parents push me extra hard to replicate it. I am also a member of a band, and have been having difficulty balancing the two. On one hand, I know that school should always be my priority, and on the other, I don’t want to become that band member who’s always the one who has to be caught up to speed. As I type this message I have a major assignment half a week over due, two presentations coming up, a DBQ due for American History, and months overdue annotated bibliographies and one Thesis statement, also for american history. What do you suggest?


I’m glad you asked me that question, despite the fact you’re not from UofT. I’m guessing you were probably procrastinating on Google and stumbled upon this site and, dazzled by my beauty, decided to reach out to me.

Anyway, I don’t think there are any concrete solutions to your problem, but here are some suggestions.

1) Take a step back. With your extra-curricular activities and schoolwork, there seems to be a lot on your plate. Is it possible that you’re overloading yourself with work, and are feeling stressed out as a result? When I was in first year, I undertook a highly ambitious schedule: I took 6 courses, had almost 30 hours of classes (that’s a lot for a University student), and was an executive member in a choir. Though I was pushing myself more than I had ever before, this exotic blend of courses and extra-curricular activities left me more unmotivated than I had ever felt in my whole life. Plus, I had no time for social or family life. So, I think you should ask yourself: are my current goals realistic? Would cutting back a course or two help? There are times when school life will have to be compromised, and times you’re your social life will have to be compromised. Only you alone know where your priorities lie and what you value.

2) Set goals. One thing I learned this year is that it is really important to set goals for yourself. Keeping a calendar/agenda and marking down the due dates of your assignments might help you plan your best mode of attack on your pile of work. Try to set more goals for yourself, and do your best to see them through. Be systematic. Perhaps you could set aside hours in which you will concentrate only on your homework, and nothing else. Also, I know it’s probably difficult to catch up now, but I think you really have to work really hard to meet deadlines. Once you miss one deadline, it?s very easy to start thinking that it’s okay to miss another deadline, and another, until you barely even care about when assignments are due anymore (*insert ‘once the ball gets rolling’ cliche here*).

3) Sleep. Tell yourself, “I’m going to try to sleep at 12 am every night this week”, and actually stick to it. It might sound silly, but a regular sleeping schedule REALLY does help. Take it from me. Last year, I constantly slept at 2 am or later; this year, I made it a goal to sleep every night at 12 am, and I felt so much more concentrated, and so much less stressed. Health is of utmost importance, and school shouldn’t compromise that.

4) Seek help. Emailing me was a great first step. Is there anyone else you can talk to? Counselors at school? Teachers? Parents? Siblings? Don’t think, “Why would I do that?”, because that’s your ego talking. There’s nothing wrong about seeking help. In fact, I think it’s very important to talk to others, because it challenges your own perspective, and if you don’t challenge your perspective, you’ll never change.

To top this post off, here’s a link to some tips from the academic success centre at UofT, and here’s a nice Aqua song with a nonsensical music video that has nothing to do with this post. Enjoy.


Don’t forget to chew.

My boyfriend and I have been together for about 2 years, we hold hands, hugs and lots of kisses, but never cross the line.? I am still a virgin, and I really, really think we should have sex only after marriage. My boyfriend tasted the forbidden fruit long time ago, and I know he really really wants me, but I just can’t, even I wanted to. I am still in my second years, so I? still in school for 2-3 years (which mean I will not marry him for 2-3 years, which mean he will have to bear 2-3 years with no sex.)

I want sex, I am horny, but I can’t give up myself and taste the forbidden fruit. I really really wanted to save myself for that special person (my boyfriend) for that special day.
Help me!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know what to do anymore.



Dear Aska!

Does stomach growling constitute as socially inappropriate?? As, say, passing gas? If not, why do I feel embarassed every time old yeller starts going at it?

Yours Forever,
Too-Loud-For-Comfort? (more…)


Health Plan-Schmealth Plan

I transferred to U of T from Ryerson this year. I wanted to be able to opt out
of the health and dental plan but never knew how to. Before I knew it, the Fall
semester was over and never got around to finding out how. How would I go about
opting out of the plan, and can I even still opt out at this point in time?
Thank you

? (more…)


rescheduling due to blood loss

I was just wondering if you could help me.
I woke up today and realized that im sick,runny nouse,cant open my eyes,I know
its just a cold but I got soc101 test tomorrow , so I dont know what should I
do. Feeling really shity. On top of that i fell of the stairs few days ago,it
was bleeding and still hurts,…anyways thank you.



here he comes, the leader of the plaque

Hi! I have an URGENT question… I opted out of health and dental in spetember-ish but have received nothing and am not covered…I am just wondering if you or your people might know why this is the case. I would greatly appreciate it! Cheers!

oh more question!….how much does the greenshield dental insurance cover for wisdom tooth extraction? I was quoted by my dentist at 2000 dollars :s



aska copies and pastes text…again!

I am on health plan at Uoft. I filled a bunch of persciptions but they were kinda expesnive. Dont i get to cliam them or something?


imagine: all the oral contraceptives you can get your hands on

what’s the deal with health services?
this is the first year I am on the UofT plan and I need to knew what it entails



what’s up, doc?

Hi aska. Hope you’re enjoying your summer answering our questions, among other things (that are actually fun).
Here’s my problem:
I was ill during my last year of high school, and it was indicated to me that I should have a medical examination.
However, upon trying to receive this medical examination today at my doctor’s office (the university physical examination), it was requested that the university give me or send me a form first, as they said that universities always give forms for these examinations, because this physical examination differs from the regular annual physical examination, and the specific things each university asks for can vary. I lost my appointment today because I haven’t been given a form of any kind by the university.
Not having the form made me very upset today
However, I have called several departments of the university today (arts and science faculty registrar’s office and the health services department among them) and no one knows what I’m talking about. Do they want to know if I’m okay or not? Or does it not matter if I’m sick with something dangerous?
I mean, you never know… I could have the avian flu or something deadly and dangerous like that and no one might know about it until it’s too late. Even if I hadn’t been sick, I’d still like to know that I’m medically fit and that everyone else at the university is okay too. I don’t want to get anything lethal or disgusting there.
According to my doctor, the form I need is supposed to be between one and two pages in length and is supposed to state everything I need to be examined for, what immunizations I am required to have (and for my doctor to correlate this information), my height and weight, my medical history information (such as being ill in grade twelve.. the date of my surgery…and the fact that I now have to return to my specialist), the things I’m allergic to,etc.
Moreover, this is an examination that can only be done by your family doctor (I asked if I could have it done in Toronto by the medical staff at the university and they said that I couldn’t, even if they tried, because they wouldn’t have any of my medical history). In addition, I have to pay my doctor $75 to have the form filled out, plus any immunization costs.
If you could please (please!) help me with this, as soon as possible, I would greatly appreciate it. I don’t know who else in the university to call anymore. I figure since you have so many more ways to contact people and squeeze information out of them than I do, you might be able to succeed in finding the answer to this. After all, you are aska! You can find out anything!


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