• admissions,  mental health

    the risk of losing one’s identity… in the chaos

    1. I’m scared to accept my offer to uoft for fear of my mental health degrading. Is it truly, truly, as competitive as most people make it out to be? 2. Would it be better to go to Ryerson if I am a student who works hard but tends to overthink my grades a lot? There are many aspects of uoft to love; I wouldn’t want to deny my offer because I’m scared of hard work, because it seems like a cop out. However, at the risk of losing one’s identity in the chaos, I don’t know if it’s right for me.

    ——————————————

    hello hello,

    i’m glad you reached out. to be honest, these were concerns i had when i got my offer of admission as well. especially if you’re a domestic (Ontario???) student, you’ll probably have heard a lot about how hard u of t is and how deep we are into a mental health crisis. it’s hard not to be scared. i don’t blame you.

    without knowing you and your specific circumstances, it’s inevitably gonna be a little hard for me to give you the best advice. but i’ll do what i can, and hopefully after you read this you at least have a better sense of what it’s like here from my perspective. thanks to covid, i’ve got plenty of time on my hands, and can give you a pretty detailed rundown of my thoughts on the matter.

    is u of t as competitive as people make it out to be? yes and no.

    yes, in that it’s the top postsecondary institution in the country and for that reason alone attracts very ambitious (and often advantaged) students, both domestically and from abroad. is that necessarily bad? i’m not sure. i’ve met some incredibly driven and accomplished peers in my time here, and it’s honestly pretty inspiring. but it does mean that your basis for comparison with your classmates is going to be pretty different from what it might have been at another school. if you don’t acclimatize well to that– and if your identity is super tied to your grades and position in a class– then on average, u of t may not be the healthiest for you.

    academically, there’s probably something to be said as well. in some of the humanities classes i’ve taken, the TAs are pretty transparent about the fact that they’re expected to grade you in relation to the other people in your class. even if you’re in a class full of A-calibre work, only a few people will qualify for A’s, etc etc. i’m not sure what the situation is like in programs outside mine, but i wouldn’t be surprised if it’s similar.

    but if you’re interested in reading about the grade deflation situation at u of t, this the varsity article does a good job of explaining the “grade calibration” policy. or a better job than i could do, anyway. i’d recommend reading it over believing the rumors floating around.

    no, in that the level of competition isn’t standard across the school. and you can definitely make choices to shield yourself from the worst of it.

    i will admit that there are some really cutthroat programs– you’ll know which ones they are, because when you apply for a subject POSt after first year they’ll usually be a type three, sometimes a type two. type two and three programs are defined by more stringent admission requirements– for example, meeting a grade threshold in certain classes, completing interviews, or even having your CGPA assessed. they have those stringent requirements because there’s often more student demand for those programs than there is space in them. as a result, it makes sense that they’d be filled with brighter/more competitive students.

    so it’s important to be aware of the type of program you’re choosing. a good friend told me that in her professional program at u of t, there is definitely a competitive culture that’s at least borderline toxic. it stems from everyone in the program knowing who’s good and who’s not– the way they’re graded and given feedback is very public, in an unavoidable way. i’ve heard competitive things about engineering and rotman as well.

    BUT someone on reddit told me (before i got here) that u of t has some really great niche programs where you’re more likely to find a sense of community than a competitive atmosphere. i’ve found this to be true, both in experience and from talking to other people. i personally went for a type one artsci program over a type three i’d been interested in, and haven’t found there to be any noticeable toxicity. unless i have a close friend in the class with me, i’ll never know what other people are getting. the one exception is in my stats class– my prof LOVES to graph the grade distribution to show you how many people did better than you. thanks, dude. he also writes problems that are coronavirus, mental health, and student debt themed, so… whatever. i’m sure there are instructors like him at tons of schools.

    my point is, i haven’t noticed any substantial competition in the programs i chose. but i chose them intentionally, with my own mental well-being in mind. what you choose is up to you, and i get that sometimes what you want to study is going to by nature be a more competitive program. whether or not that’s right for you is an assessment only you can make.

    the culture in different programs is obviously going to be different, and it would be impossible to give you a sort of blanket statement for the whole school. i’ve given you the most detailed take on it i can muster.

    is there hope? i always think so, yes. outside your subject POSts, you can definitely surround yourself with forms of community that will help cushion you from the competitive nature of the school. whether that’s a group of friends on res, a fun club like the sandwich club, or a choir. or something, i dunno. i’ve met a lot of very supportive people at this school that have helped me get through the day to day of being a stressy student.

    the one rumor about u of t that i think is the most misleading is that it’s an antisocial school. i’m pretty introverted and came here knowing a single person– it took time, but i now have a number of very cherished friends. we don’t have the party culture that mcgill or queen’s has, but i’ve felt very supported by my fellow u of t students. we’re all just trying to get through, after all.

    i also think that u of t has a number of fantastic resources to help you through your degree. one resource i always, always recommend is the registrar’s office. i’ve heard some pretty unfortunate things about the state of academic advising at other major canadian institutions (wow we get it, aska, you’re well connected) and it’s put some things into perspective for me. at least in my experience, registrars at this school are fantastic.

    i do agree that a lot of our resources need more funding/staff/improvement, and will happily throw my support behind anyone pushing for that improvement. but it’s not a total lost cause. i’ve written more about our mental health awareness/resources in this post. 

    one last hopeful thing to throw into the mix– if you’re worried about your grades dropping massively, i should note that it is possible to do well here. i and many of my friends have found that to be the case (i don’t feel weird saying that because no one knows who i am anyway, lmao). it takes work, dedication, and sometimes a bit of luck, but it is possible.

    i’ve learned that intentionality and awareness are super important. this last year, i’ve suffered most from surrounding myself with people i love dearly but who very much buy into the hustle culture of u of t. i was constantly comparing myself to people who were excelling in their fields, but barely sleeping and eating. cause yeah, those people do exist here, in numbers.

    whatever i was doing to myself felt fine because they were doing worse. but i’ve since learned that i can continue to spend time with them AND still care for my well-being by going to therapy, taking space when i need it, and checking in with other friends who have healthier lifestyles. it’s all about finding a balance, and shifting my focus.

    and anyway, something i’ve realized this year is that even when people seem to be thriving, when you get to know them better you realize it’s probably because they’re sacrificing important elements of their wellbeing. don’t set unrealistic benchmarks for yourself. it’s more important to take care of yourself, and slow things down if you need to.

    i guess you could say i’ve learned a lot from weathering u of t culture on a personal-relationship level.

    i guess the point of having mentioned this all is that there are ways to mitigate the level of stress that u of t students experience. for me, this has included choosing my programs very intentionally, being mindful of my headspace and wellbeing, and teaching myself healthier ways to think. i think i would’ve needed to learn these things no matter where i went, just u of t forced me to learn them faster. i’m not ashamed to say that i’ve struggled here. but at the same time, i’ve also been supported very well here. it’s not a one-dimensional story, i guess.

    should you be afraid of your mental health degrading? i’m not sure.

    i think that’s dependent on a myriad of factors, like where you are now with your mental health, what kind of supports you have in place, what types of things trigger you, and what facets of this school you immerse yourself in.

    is health and wellness as bad as it sounds? 

    admittedly, it wasn’t the easiest for me to get help for mental health concerns. i wrote up a previous post with a more in-depth take on how i was feeling about mental health awareness here, in which i mention struggling to get a health and wellness appointment. it was hard enough to admit i needed help, and when my first effort to get an appointment didn’t go through, i really had to push myself to keep trying. i ended up needing to go in person, at which point i was offered an appointment in a week’s time.

    but hey, when i made it to that appointment, i managed to start cognitive behavioural therapy with my college’s embedded counsellor. at the end of the day, i thought it was helpful.

    of course, i’ve heard stories about much longer wait times from friends. so it’s a bit of a hard thing to gauge. i don’t know. i think health and wellness is trying. it’s definitely not perfect, and it’s definitely failed a lot of people. it didn’t fail me, so hey, there’s that.

    with everything considered, would i still choose this school? yes, time and time again. for me, it’s worth it. that doesn’t mean i think the state of things here is okay. all it means is that i’ve done my personal cost-benefit analysis and while i recognize that being at this school (as opposed to someplace less rigorous) takes a toll on my mental health, it has also given me access to opportunities i could only have dreamed of. maybe that cost-benefit would look different for you. i dunno. i don’t know if that’s wrong. it’s the most honest assessment i can give you.

    would it be better for you to go to ryerson? i don’t know, i’ve never been to ryerson and can’t make a fair comparison. i can only tell you what my experience has been like at u of t.

    anyway, here are a few tips from me as you make your decision:

    • read reddit with a grain of salt. i feel like thriving students are not very well-represented on reddit– they’re too busy to be dropping things in threads. be mindful of the sample from which your results are drawn, or whatever.
    • assess your support network. if you’re one of the people who falls through the cracks of u of t’s system, will there be other people there to catch you? for example, in the time between first reaching out and actually getting a health and wellness appointment, my mom spent many hours listening to me cry. mock me for that all you want, i don’t care. my mom is great. and i had other options, as well– good friends to lean on. if i’d already felt isolated in my current life situation, i may not have weathered that gap as well.
    • decide whether or not you’d be able to weather disappointments in your academic career– not getting into your desired subject POSt, watching your GPA drop, etc. in my personal experience, it’s better to come to u of t bracing yourself for a fall that never comes than to show up with high hopes and have them crushed.
    • weigh your priorities. u of t is a great school, but it will demand a lot from you. only you can decide whether or not the tradeoff is worth it.
    • make a pros/cons list, if you think it’ll help you! always good to get those thoughts out of your head and organized.

    i hope this post has been helpful, and gives you a better sense of what it can be like to be a student here. if you know any people at either u of t or ryerson, i’d encourage you to reach out to them as well and get a couple different takes on the situation. i’m also happy to answer any followup questions you have, if you’re not already sick of reading my heckin’ long posts. sorry ’bout it, i’m talkative and in quarantine. gotta do what you gotta do.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • admissions,  science,  subject POST

    yuhprobablyright,idk

    hiya there aska! i’m from al(aska) [hehehe] and was wondering what the difference is between a specialist science program and a major science program. also what do the 300 or 400 level thingies mean on the courses? also does uoft accept AP physics taken taken in high school? probably right, idk. also does uoft require a language 12 credit for science? yuh muchthank and muchappreciate bye

    ——————————————

    hey there, from al(aska),

    what’s the difference between a specialist and major in the sciences?

    basically, you’d opt for a specialist if you:

    • heckin love the subject material so so much and want to dedicate most of your degree to it
    • are really set on doing grad school in a specific discipline and want to specialize early
    • or otherwise have a very intent and specific interest in a program (or an intent and specific disinterest in everything else, i guess???)
    • want to become a !specialist! at something during your undergrad
    • want opportunities that are only available to specialists, like specific research openings or sometimes even specific classes

    if you do a major you’ll need to do it in conjunction with another major or two minors, meaning with a major you can:

    • diversify! you’ll choose concentrations in multiple subject areas, and have a lot of leeway with what those subject areas are. you can choose one major in the sciences and one in the arts, for example, and still graduate with a bachelor’s of science; or you can choose two majors in very different scientific fields; etc etc. round your education out, friends.
    • explore your interest in a certain program by committing to more extensive study than a minor, without going to the lengths that a specialist would

    this is because a specialist will require you to take more classes (or credits) in a specific department than a major will. usually, the credit breakdown for specialist, majors, and minors is as follows:

    • specialist: between 10 and 14 FCEs
    • major: between 6 and 8
    • minor: 4 FCEs

    if you think about each credit as a yearlong course OR two half-year courses, then that means a minor would account for almost a year’s worth of courses, while a specialist would account for about two to (almost) three years’ worth. a major, then, would be about a year and a half’s worth of courses. obviously, you don’t usually complete one program in one fell swoop then move onto the next one– they’re usually completed alongside each other, in fact. i just thought that might be a helpful way to kind of account for the level of study expected from each type of program. following me so far?

    a few things to note:

    • not all programs will offer all three options (minor, major, specialist). some won’t have the capacity to offer any more than a minor. meanwhile, some bigger departments won’t have built-in allowances for minors, maybe because that level of study isn’t plausible for the subject
    • you can technically choose up to 3 programs in general, as long as that third one is a minor. this means if you really hated yourself, you could do a specialist and a major, or a double major and a minor. i don’t know what would happen if you tried to do 2 specialists and a minor, or a specialist, a major, and a minor. just like,,,,,,, don’t. i guess you could? but don’t.
    • it doesn’t matter if you’re in the arts or sciences! the number of credits required for each program type is the same.

    what do the 300 or 400 level thingies mean?

    how many minutes a day you spend doing classwork. if you do the math, 400 minutes/60 minutes in an hour = 6.67 hours.

    haha the internet already has so much misinformation on it and adding to that doesn’t make me special. the 100/200/300/400 level designations are really meant to indicate what year level the courses are designed for. for example, 100-level courses typically provide general overviews of a topic for first-years, and as you go up the chain, your class sizes will grow smaller and the topics will become more specialized. once you get to 400-level courses, you’re typically looking at very small seminars that will do a deep-dive into a topic, and mark you far more stringently than you would be marked in a 100-level course. this is because most 400-level students will be fourth years.

    in short, the “300/400 level thingies” are indicators of topic depth and coursework expectations! it’s important to note, though, that you don’t need to be a fourth year to take a 400 level course. you just need to meet the prerequisites. i took a 200-level course in first year just for the kicks, because it had no prereqs and i thought it would make me cool. it didn’t. no one cares.

    does uoft accept AP physics taken in high school? 

    heck yea. all the AP physics courses translate to first-year equivalents– you can see the full list here. as you’ll notice, not all AP courses are accepted for credit/accepted as equivalents. the physics APs are probably some of the best to take if you want u of t credit.

    does uoft require a language 12 credit for science?

    haha what. i’m not aware of one. like, if the language you mean is english then yeah, but other than that i don’t think so. i would check the high school prerequisites for the specific programs you’re interested in on this website just to be safe– it’ll vary from department to department, i think. but no, i don’t think you’ll find a language 12 among them.

    i hope this was helpful!

    be Boundless,

    aska

     

  • covid-19

    PASS

    Hi there! With all this craziness going on I’m just getting more and more confused. UofT just issued another statement and it seems to me like they’re just going to give us credit for the courses completed during winter. Did I read that right? Do we still have to pass? Should I bother handing stuff in?

    Thank you! Stay safe!

    ——————————————

    hey friend,

    sorry i didn’t get back to you sooner– been upended by all this turmoil, same as everyone else, and lost connection to the website for a couple days as well. the u of t statement you saw does not mean that credit is going to be handed out for everything– the credit/no credit option is basically a pass/fail, meaning you still need to pass in order to receive credit.

    as a result, i exhort you:

    i want to stress the seriousness of this situation– the updated CR/NCR policy for covid isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card for your semester, but rather a provision from our school to ease the repercussions/anxiety that students disproportionately affected by covid are facing. i’ve been really proud of be a u of t student as this crisis has unfolded; our admin seems to be doing right by us, and seem to have recognized that so many people are packing their lives up and leaving toronto, caring for sick family members, or facing the mental health consequences of social distancing. i know it’s been confusing, though, dealing with the flood of information, and i’m not saying you specifically are treating it like a ‘hell yea, school is out’ situation. just wanted to clarify that. and i’m happy to continue clarifying policies if anyone else has questions.

    in short– please continue handing stuff in. i hope you’ve continued to do so in the time between having sent this question in and seeing the answer. i know it’s difficult to focus on school right now, but if you need a lil’ monday motivation, here’s our fave artsci dean melanie woodin with a good luck/hang in there message. most wholesome thing i’ve seen all week.

    hope you’re staying safe and healthy as well– and another reminder to everyone to use my tumblr ask box for covid-related things, as i monitor it more often and will respond quicker. on top of that, please don’t look to me for urgent answers. your registrar’s office is still your best option for important matters.

    be Boundless (but within the bounds of your home),

    aska

  • no one asked

    covid-19

    hey friendos,

    surreal times, huh? started this year with the SCI, ended with the coronavirus. i don’t even really remember everything that happened in between. is university always like this? i hope not.

    anyway, came back to campus to release a quick lil thing for anyone still on this site during these trying times. i guess some people are in self isolation, and have nothing better to do??? i can see that there are still a few of you on here. get some better entertainment, we have no useful content for pandemics in our archives.

    i don’t currently have access to the site from home, so if you need to reach out to aska for any reason, please use my tumblr ask box. i’ll be monitoring it, and posting to tumblr to support anyone who needs support until i get access on the wordpress again.

    with that said, i may not answer regular questions as quickly as i usually do. it’s unfortunate that i still had a backlog when this thing started– i will be doing my best to get back to you guys, but those answers may not come quick. please be patient!

    in terms of resources:

    • the varsity’s twitter and website for all breaking u of t announcements. their articles will break down the academic consequences of the covid shutdown for you. i’m not able to cover it all right now, though i’d like to.
    • the president’s website for institution-wide announcements
    • your registrars (please call/email rather than visiting in person! note: best for clarifying policies that are already out, rather than inquiring about policies that have yet to be released. i’m betting all your registrars are stressed at the moment, and in many cases won’t have info ahead of release. check in with your faculties, if anything. HOWEVER– registrar’s offices are still operating, and there to support you. don’t hesitate to reach out.
    • MySSP for mental health support. take care of yourselves emotionally and mentally as well as physically. i know it’s hard to be navigating this in the first place, let alone as an individual dealing with mental health concerns.
    • i’m happy to link you to any other situation-specific resources if you reach out to me. i’m aware of quite a few, but am working under time constraints right now and can’t be as thorough as i’d like to be.

    a few well-being/safety tips from me:

    • remember that by social distancing, you’re protecting society’s most vulnerable– the elderly, immunocompromised, et cetera. i know it’s hard for us to disrupt our lives, but we shouldn’t wait until more people die to start taking this seriously. stopping the spread of covid will only work if we all pitch in. data from south korea indicates people our age (20s) can test positive with mild / no symptoms, so it’s no longer enough to just stay home if you’re sick.
    • don’t panic! take a deep breath. we’re all gonna be okay. here’s a trick my therapist taught me for centering my attention, if you’re anxious like me. it’s called 5-4-3-2-1:  take a seat. identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.
    • go outside to a non-crowded place if this all starts to get to you. when it gets warmer, sit on the grass. watch the clouds. go for a walk. this might be one of those rare times in our lives that we can slow down enough to do things like this– as the world seems to grind to a halt, there’s never been a better time to be still and quiet.
    • take space from the news, even if you’re intrigued by the developments. at some point, it’s gonna get overwhelming. i hit that burnout point today.
    • fact-check your sources. heckin’ misinformation flying around right now, bois.

    my thoughts are with all of you– those who are leaving the country to be with their families; who are worried about rent and meals; who are uncertain about graduating, research, jobs, and internships. also with those who are anxious or feeling alone, who have sick relatives, and who wish they’d gotten to say goodbye to their friends before the school year ended. this isn’t how anyone wanted things to go. stay safe, wash your hands, we’re gonna get thru this.

    all my best, and please take care of yourselves,

    aska

  • Uncategorized

    does anyone know any corequisite puns?

    hey. i’m currently taking mat137, but due to my grades early on, I won’t be able to finish with a good mark in the end. that’s why I want to lwd. however, the problem is that phy152 requires mat137 as a corequisite. I’ve emailed the professor to ask if I can continue taking phy152 and finish mat137 in the summer (I didn’t want to take a risk) but i’m really unsure of whether this will be accepted. do I have a good chance of receiving this exemption, or not? 🙁

    ——————————————

    hey friendo,

    i don’t really know what your chances are of receiving an exemption, but this is what i do know about the situation you’re in:

    the department is usually responsible for enforcing prerequisite/corequisite requirements. at this point in the semester, though, the risk is low that the department will be actively checking for corequisite fulfillment. in other words, if you just drop MAT137 without notifying the department, you probably won’t get kicked out because they probably won’t find out. key word here being probably– i can’t make any guarantees. you’ve mentioned you don’t want to take risks on it, so i don’t even really know how relevant this information is to you.

    anyway, if you’ve already emailed the prof, the department may already be aware. my guess is that, if the prof is unsure at all, they’ll reach out to the department to find out what the guidelines are for situations like these.

    because of that, i’d just advise that you wait for a response from your prof, and then continue on once you know what their decision is. it’s hard for me to predict what your prof will say– they’re likely aware of everything i’ve mentioned in this post and more, so they’ll be best able to assess your situation. feel free to reach out for help again if you get an update/the situation changes, or see your registrar if you’d like more detailed in-person advice! you’ll need to see them anyway to request an LWD.

    in general, it’s important to keep in mind that corequisites tend to exist for a reason– the two courses are meant to support each other. i don’t know what the impact on your learning will be of you dropping a coreq, even if the department’s okay with it. it’s possible that the crucial overlap occurred early on? but yeah, something to keep in mind, and something i’m sure your department/registrar will also mention to you.

    sorry i can’t be any more conclusive– but good luck! hope it all resolves okay.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • internal transfer

    it me, a blessing

    Heyyyy! Just wanted to say this website is a blessing, so helpful! I had a quick question about internal transfer (I’m sorry, i know they are the most annoying questions :(. Im currently a first year at UTSC life sci, and um chem didnt go too well, so Im retaking it this sem, and was panning to do the other chem in the summer. I sent my internal application for UTSG in January but it it only says “application received” and nothing else :(. Does this mean something? Or are they just waiting for my second sem marks? Cuz i did say to send the transcript for winter and summer. Any advice or information is greatly appreciated ?
    ——————————————

    hey there,

    internal transfers are, indeed, one of the most obscure things at this school. how do they work? when do they work? wish i knew.

    i mean… you could try calling the undergraduate admissions office for utsg artsci, and ask them if there’s anything else you need to submit right now. it is entirely possible that they’re just waiting for your marks to be updated. but yeah, only they would be able to tell you for sure. if you haven’t sent any transcripts at all along yet, then i doubt you’re going to get any results back until you do. they can’t assess you without your marks, after all.

    if you’ve sent in everything you’ve been told to send in, then i’d just say sit tight and wait for your application status to change.

    if you haven’t spoken to your registrar’s office re: your internal transfer yet, i’d reach out to them as well. they may know more than i do / be able to advise you more in-depth.

    best of luck with the transfer! hope it goes through.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • no one asked

    yes it me i am naptime bb

    heyo friends,

    unsolicited post, but found out about this cool event series i thought i’d point yall to! seems like most of the lurkers on this website don’t even go here, but IF YOU DO:

    calling all procrastinators, naptime bbs, and youtube addicts: want to psychologize your way into spending a couple productive hours at the library instead? want to learn some tools to avoid those dreaded robarts all-nighters and those catch-up seshes? want some free food while you’re at it? heck yea. you do. innis is holding a series of academic motivation workshops in the coming days (the first one is tomorrow, but they’re also happening on the 10th, 13th, 16th, and 18th). event page here for more details, and to find out how to register.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    maybe i’ll see you there.

    but you’ll never know, will you?

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • co-op,  co-op management,  keeners,  management,  management,  UTM

    fOLLoW yOur HeaRT, [redacted]

    Hi this is [redacted]. I am sorry for contacting you but I am too desperate to get an answer for some of the questions that I have regarding UTM management and UTM commerce haha. Hope you would not mind:)

    I was recently accepted to study management at UTM in the upcoming Fall. I love the course and all that it has to offer but I can’t help thinking that there are better options such as Rotman Commerce, or even just UTM Commerce. I have been looking through Reddit post and people are saying that UTM Management is just not that impressive and is a low-risk low return kind of course. There are also no PEY or co-op for this course but the one thing that I really want to do at Uoft is to get a lot of internships/work experience during my college life. However I do not think UTM Management can provide me as much experience when compared with Rotman commerce/ UTM commerce. The only specializations that UTM management offered are Human Resources management and management which is very broad. On the other hand, The commerce program leads to specializations in accounting, finance, and marketing which are more employable than just pure management or pure commerce.

    I understand that I will have to do Management at UTM for my first year. But may I know is it easy to transfer to UTM commerce after first year? I also did not take any Calculus course in high school but I might consider getting tutorial on Calculus (not summer school/night school) before attending UTM. Now I was looking at your previous response and you mentioned that ‘MAT133Y5 recommends that you’ve already completed high school calculus (with at least a 70%) before taking the course.’ I do believe that I have a solid math background but I am not familiar with calculus, do you think tutor can help me get prepared for the course?

    Apart from that, is there anything that I need to look into before thinking about transferring from UTM management to UTM commerce? Or are there actually any advantage of studying Management over Commerce? My ultimate goal is basically just to work at a large company with a decent salary and nothing much. Will UTM management be able to give me that opportunity or will other courses provide a better prospect for my future career? Really sorry that I have so many questions. I am just pretty excited but also kind of worried that I am missing out on better opportunities. Just want to get a clearer picture of everything and I hope you would not mind giving me some guidance and suggestions. Thank you very much for your precious time!! (Love what you are doing btw:)))

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    not gonna lie– i get kind of overwhelmed when people send me questions longer than medieval love letters. please don’t ever apologize for contacting me, though! this is what i do. just means i gotta break the question down a lil. let’s see what we got.

    is it easy to transfer to UTM commerce after first year?

    easy enough. in fact, i dunno if you’re aware of this, but you’re not actually a management student in first year. you’ve probably been admitted to a stream (management first-year admissions is my guess) with instructions to take certain courses; upon completing those courses in first year, you’ll then be eligible for admission to the actual management program. u of t runs using a POSt system, which stands for Program Of Study; all this means is that first years aren’t really in a major/minor/progam until they qualify, apply, and get accepted at the end of their first year.

    i’d check this over with the utm registrar to be safe, but as far as i’m aware, all you need to do to switch into commerce is take the commerce prerequisites and meet the grade threshold. you can find that info here. if you’re certain you want to be in commerce, you can probably take those prereqs right off the bat (instead of your management ones) to save you the trouble of switching over later on. but like i said, please confirm this with the registrar’s office! in my experience it’s been easy enough to switch around, but i don’t know if the programs you’re interested in have any quirks.

    can a tutor help you get prepped for calc?

    you are correct that calculus is important for MAT133Y5. i can’t give you a straight answer as to whether a tutor would be helpful– wouldn’t it depend on the quality of the tutor and the material you cover? i think in general, it would definitely be better than no calculus experience whatsoever. university math classes are pretty rough, and i would not advise you to enter into one without calculus. the best approach would probably be to have your tutor cover the calculus and vectors curriculum outlined in this pdf, and make sure you have all those concepts down. if you scroll down to page 101, you’ll see the curriculum i’m referring to.

    is there anything that you need to look into before transferring to UTM commerce?

    like i said, just check in with your registrar!

    are there actually any advantage of studying Management over Commerce?

    i am not an expert on this.

    i’d say someone at the department would know– maybe you could try contacting the academic advisor? the advice i, personally, can give you is simple: follow your heart, as cheesy as that sounds, and don’t trust everything you read on the internet. if i had believed every single redditor i came into contact with in high school, i would not have ended up at u of t. i’d say it’s more important to pursue your interests and excel at them than it is to drag your feet into a program that an internet stranger said was better. so that’s my take.

    you didn’t directly ask these questions, but you seemed to want guidance on it. out of the generosity and benevolence of my heart, i’ll cover them: 

    • can you get PEY and co-op opportunities in management? 

    it actually seems like the UTM management program offers a fourth-year internship course, MGT480H5, that will give you the kind of hands-on experience you seem to be hoping for. whether you’re in management or commerce, you’ll also be eligible for a new program (launching in fall! wow!). it’s called the certificate in effective business practices and leadership skills. details are here, should you be interested. if you’re admitted to the certificate, you’ll get to take part in a 4-month paid work placement, on top of other certificate requirements. fun stuff! ‘

    • will you end up at a large company with a decent salary?

    haha bold of you to assume climate change won’t getcha first

    all in all, though, i’m really glad you’re excited and looking into your options! best of luck with it all, and you know where to find me if you have any other questions. hope this was helpful.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • academic offense

    I LITERALLY HAVE NO FRIENDS IN THAT CLASS.

    I got an email from my philosophy prof that she wanted to meet to talk about my essay. she said that it was too similar to other students except I LITERALLY HAVE NO FRIENDS IN THAT CLASS. I THINK ASSIGNMENT IS WORTH 10% EXCEPT I ALREADY HAD AN ISSUE FIRST YEAR WITH A POLITICS COURSE THAT I FAILED AND WENT ON MY TRANSCRIPT. I really didnt copy anyone else work, and im guessing maybe I sent in a copy that didnt have all my citations on it bc I had multiple. how would I convince her otherwise??

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    “i literally have no friends in that class” lol a mood, where’d they get this headline about me?

    sorry, i couldn’t help it, i had to find a way to sneak that gif in. i promise i know an average of 2.67 people in my courses this sem lol. all jokes aside, this is a tough spot to be in and i’m glad you reached out– you must be panicked, and you shouldn’t have to navigate this alone. this is what i think you should do:

    your first step should be reaching out to the resources you have, which you’ve already sorta done. the registrar’s office would be even better equipped than me to give you a rundown of your options, point you towards other resources, and give you advice.

    • gather any drafts, reading notes, or other proof of the process you went through when putting this assignment together

    this should include the other copies of your assignment with citations! it’ll help you make a stronger case that the assignment is your original work. i know sometimes papers get written super fast, so you might not have many substantial notes/drafts– but anything you have will help you. in terms of “how would i convince her otherwise,” this is the only real piece of advice i can offer.

    • trust the process

    haha i hate this phrase. but in this case, you’re kind of going to have to trust the process– my understanding is that you’ll need to attend several meetings to have your situation sorted out. the first (and hopefully only) one will be with your course instructor; if, after that meeting, they are still convinced you committed an academic offence, you’ll have to sit down with either a dean or department chair. there’s a whole rundown for you in this pdf, should you choose to preemptively subject yourself to learning what “the process” entails. i’m sure you’ll be informed anyway, and there might not be any use in making yourself anxious given that you might not even need to go through it all. but hey. what you do with that link is on you; i just toss info your way. my hands are washed.

    best of luck with this all! i hope this answer has been at least a lil’ helpful, and that the situation resolves in your favour.

    be Boundless,

    aska

  • CR/NCR,  grad school

    ah yes, grad school admissions. life’s greatest mystery

    Hi! I am planning on applying to grad school next year and I have a concern that might affect my decision to apply. In my last year, I’ve decided to spend summer to take a few courses so during the year I could lessen my load for a club (3 in summer, 4 per term = 5.5 credits). But, I CR one of my summer courses. The grad programs I’m looking at looks at the final 5.0 credits. Will grad school ignore my CR grade and look at the the last 5.0 credit “real” grades or will they consider the CR still?

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    it’s kind of hard to assess this– different grad schools might have different policies, and i don’t wanna toss you the wrong direction by giving you my guess! i’d encourage you to reach out to the admissions offices of the grad programs you’re interested in, and see what they say. as much as i wish i could help you, for this one i think it’s best that you go straight to the source.

    wishing you all the luck (all of it!) with your grad school applications, though, and hope the admissions offices have favorable responses. after you hear back from them (or even before lol we love our registrars), i’d encourage you to drop by your registrar’s office if you have any concerns.

    be Boundless,

  • admissions,  Uncategorized

    just do ur best dawg

    Hi guys! I’m wondering what kind of average I should aim for in Math (I’m in gr 10 but doing Math for gr 11) if I want to pursue something in the Life Sciences area. Also if y’all have any tips for studying please share.

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    Image result for niki just do your best dawg

    i never really have much to say in terms of high school averages. it’s really hard to tell what’s going to be the minimum competitive average in any given year– unfortunately that information isn’t advertised, nor do i have access to it. even then, though, i don’t think your grade 11 math will typically even matter if you’re completing it in your tenth grade year. this page confirms that they’ll base your conditional offer of admission on the most senior-level math course you’ve completed at the time of your application. assuming you apply halfway through 12th grade but finish grade 12 math in grade 11, they’ll really only be looking at your grade 12 mark.

    my recommendation would be more so that you think of grade 11 math as a way of getting the necessary foundations down for grade 12 math and calculus. you’ll need calculus to get into lifesci, although your calculus grade will only be factored into your admissions average if it’s one of your top courses. i can’t really quantify what averages you should be aiming for, but hopefully this tip on what you should focus on helps you out a little.

    in general, i’d just encourage you to do the best you can– reach out to your teachers for help, review your test corrections in depth, and study with friends who can help you out if it won’t be too distracting. at least when i was in high school, it was support from the people around me that helped me bump my math grade up. and just do your best, man. the u of t competitive average isn’t under your control, and although i know it would be nice to have a number to aim for, i just… can’t really give you anything of the sort.

    so that’s all i have to offer. in terms of general tips for studying? check out our tumblr. i’m usually too swamped by the questions in our inbox to create the kind of studyblr content that REALLY speaks to my soul (lol) so i try to reblog all the useful stuff i see out there. here are some of my favorite posts i’ve seen and reblogged recently, in case you’re too lazy to scroll through our whole feed:

    studying myths 

    using whiteboards to study 

    study breaks

    tips for incoming students 

    parkinson’s law

    color coding your notes 

    miscellaneous tips

    check these posts out!

    best of luck with the rest of your high school career and be Boundless,

    aska

  • extra courses,  switching

    no upper years in first year courses. none.

    hey dude! do you know if second years can take first year courses? i’m thinking about switching out of the humanities stream into life sci, but ill need to take bio120, bio130, chm135 + chm136 if i want to pursue the program i want (ecology major). do i need to take summer courses, or? is there a way i can take those first year courses next year? thanks so much!
    hey hey heyo (cringes a little because who sounds this much like a middle schooler on a tuesday? ridiculous.)
    you should be able to take first year courses as a second year, yes. this isn’t an uncommon situation to be in. do you need to do them in the summer? i’m not sure. i guess it depends on how anxious you are to get into the program– if you don’t mind waiting until next year’s program request period, you can definitely take those prereq courses during the regular school year.
    if you do decide to take a full summer courseload and get those courses under your belt sooner, you should be able to request admission to the EEB major for your second year. EEB seems to be a type 1 program, which is lucky for you because that’s the most lenient form of POSt in terms of admissions. you’ll be able to enrol in type 1 programs until september 23, 2020, by which time your summer courses should show up as completed.
    you might wanna just keep in mind that u of t won’t recognize any 100-level courses you take beyond 6.0 FCEs’ worth, at least as far as your degree or CGPA are concerned. after you take 6.0 FCEs of 100-level courses, any other 100-level courses you complete will be counted as ‘EXTRA.’ they’ll be invalid towards your 20 credits to graduate and can’t be used to raise (or lower!) your GPA, but you can use them for things like prerequisites and program admission. so that’s your one caveat. nothing to prevent you from taking more first-year courses, just something to be aware of. if you’re uncertain whether this rule will impact you in any substantial way, i’d recommend that you visit your registrar and have them check.
    hope this helped! and hope your new POSt is heckin’ incredible. proud of you for being brave enough to switch into something you find more interesting, even if it could possibly inconvenience you.
    be Boundless,
    aska
  • admissions,  biology,  prereqs

    broaden your horizons, or whatever

    Questions! (I was recently accepted into the faculty of arts and science! Yay!) *deep breath* Here I go: I hope you won’t judge me but I didn’t take any science or math courses in Grade 12 simply because I thought majoring in English would satisfy me. (I severly limited myself, I know, and I’ve been regretting everything) The thing is, I’m now looking at all of these awesome programs that require math, bio, etc. and I was wondering if uoft let’s students take the classes required for those programs that you don’t have the high school prerequisites for. ie. You need to take a bio course for a genome major, but that bio course requires you to have taken grade 12 bio. Is it possible to still get into a more science and math oriented programs? It sounds impossible just typing it out because I don’t know if I would even be able to catch up to university level courses.

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    congrats on your acceptance!

    honestly, you’re thinking about these things pretty early on– you’re in a much better position to catch up than, say, someone who realized the same thing in september of your first year. it’s really cool that your interests are broadening and you’re thinking about what will fulfill you. genomes? dang, dude. that’s some cool stuff.

    i wouldn’t say the game is over for you. as far as i can tell, these are your options:

    • contact the biology department

    i looked up the requirements for the genome major, even though i don’t know if it’s really what you’re interested in or if you just mentioned it as an example. it looks like you are correct and they will be looking at the high school courses you took to determine your eligibility for required courses like BIO120 and BIO130. but both course descriptions mention that you can get in touch with the course office if you don’t have the required prereqs. i’m guessing this means that they have some form of policy for dealing with students lacking prereqs. while i’m not sure what that is, i’m hopeful that they’d be able to provide you with some guidance on this issue.

    if you’re interested in programs other than genome biology and run into the same issue, i’d follow the same path and contact the department. they’re usually the ones who will know whether exceptions can be made for you, and/or what your best course of action is. department contact info can usually be found under the program listing on the artsci calendar. 

    • take summer school

    if your summer is unoccupied and the thought of spending the lovely months of july and august in a classroom doesn’t make you want to soak your pillowcase in tears, then covering those science/math prereqs in the summer is always an option.

    i still think you should contact the relevant u of t departments first, just to make sure that you don’t unnecessarily pile on schoolwork in the summer. i also don’t really know how many prereqs you think you need, and whether those could plausibly be completed over your break. i don’t know how it works for you, but what i remember from taking summer school in high school was that you were limited to two courses at a time???? obviously, that’s probably different in different systems/provinces/countries etc.

    it may also be important to note that once you complete those courses, you should provide proof of completion to your registrar/the department. the department is allowed to kick you out of a course as soon as they realize you don’t have the prereqs, which can even happen in the first few weeks of school. i don’t really want you to have to deal with that nasty surprise, so this has been your heads up.

    • take online courses

    you can also consider taking your prereq courses online. if you’re in ontario, ontario virtual school will probably be able to help you out. if you’re not in ontario, you can try talking to your high school guidance counsellor– ask them to point you in the right direction re: reputable online schools. from what i remember about high school online courses, you can start them whenever and finish them whenever. that might give you a little more flexibility– if you feel up to it, you can get started now and have those transcripts ready much, much earlier.

    best of luck with everything! i wouldn’t say it’s impossible to catch up, maybe just a bit more work. hope this helped and congratulations again on your acceptance.

    be Boundless,

    aska