• bad times,  depression,  gap year,  grades,  health,  lost,  probation,  stress

    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,


  • financial aid,  first year,  stress,  subject POST

    You Won’t Believe What One Girl Did to Destroy her Existential Angst

    Hi there!

    I am a first year in UTSG and from my topic, you guessed it! I have absolutely no clue what i want to major in and the anxiety is eating me inside out.

    This thought has boggled my head so much since money for my tuition is a real problem for me. The financial burden makes me want to ensure that what
    i take will be worth every penny so i tried going for a full on 6 credits over my first year but little by little, i dropped my courses after figuring out how I have no interest(or previous knowledge) in the courses at all. Plus, it’s no joke how serious U of T takes each and every course. Now, I’m at 4 credits.

    I entered U of T in Psychology with the notion that by studying about your mind, you will have a better chance of knowing what you want to major in. Ironically, going through my first few weeks in U of T taught me so much more and i have not even started my first psych class(i got the one for next term). I made the decision that what i study and what i want to do will be two separate entities so i got that covered for me. I do what I want to do outside of Uni and I study what i want to study inside of uni. Only problem is, i’ve been finding it hard to figure out what i want to major in after looking through U of T’s courses.

    What do people normally want to major in in UTSG? What does UTSG facilitate more Arts students or science students? What do you do should you realize that U of T isn’t for you? I am writing this letter not to ask about transferring to another University but to ask about your personal experience about finding what you want to study and where one might get help on this topic on campus.


    Your average stressed out first year


    hey there,

    in 100 years’ time, this e-mail will be exhibit 1.a under the heading: ‘Millennials in Crisis: Dealing with the Existential in a University Context in the Early 2000s.’

    gen y crisis

    The literature chronicling our freak-outs is quite extensive.

    as someone who is (mostly) standing on the other side of this academic crisis, i think i can say with some confidence that the issue is not that you don’t have the answers, but that you’re asking the wrong questions. yeah. i’m a veritable Buddha of academic advice.

    let’s just go through your questions step by step, before i compare myself to any more sacred cultural figures:

    1) what do people normally want to major in in UTSG? does uoft better facilitate studies in arts or science?

    there is literally no answer to that question. aside from the fact that the mixing and matching you’re allowed (even expected) to do with POSts allows for an almost infinite number of majors, minors and specialists, uoft does not have a particular inclination to any one area.

    i’m not going to argue (as some overzealous uoft folks sometimes like to do) that uoft is the best university in literally every discipline. we’re not.

    however, across the fine arts, humanities, and the social, applied and pure sciences, we’ve got consistently strong and diverse programs, and between all three campuses, pretty much every area of study’s been covered.

    uoft is not a tech school, and it’s not a liberal arts college. more than anything, uoft is big. if you search long enough, you’re likely to find yourself somewhere around here. but uoft is not going to hand you any obvious choices.

    i can tell you that psych is a pretty popular subject POSt. PSY100, which i guess is the class you’re taking next semester, is a good litmus test for figuring out if you actually enjoy or care at all about psychology. so that’s a step in the right direction.

    process of elimination is a great way of figuring out what you want to study. if you take a wide range of different classes in first year, chances are, you can cross out a whole bunch of areas as definite ‘no’s,’ and that brings you a lot closer to figuring out what you’ll say ‘yes’ to.

    also, don’t worry too much about doing 4.0 FCEs/term. lots of people do that. if finances are an issue, i would suggest looking into the ontario tuition grant, work-study jobs, your college’s bursary/emergency grant options, and UTAPS.

    2) what do you should you realize that uoft isn’t for you?

    get out. it’s not worth your time or your money.

    that said, the issue may not be that uoft is not for you. it could be that your program is not for you, or your course load is too heavy, or your living arrangements are stressing you out, or your health is in a bad place, or you’re not connecting enough with the community to feel really excited about it.

    if you’re starting to feel unhappy, don’t just push it to one side until it becomes this all-consuming, nebulous thing, like an itch without any clear point of origin. sit down and ask yourself what exactly is making you unhappy. be as specific as possible. write it down as a list, even.


    things i hate list

    A list is a great way to figure out what you like, and what you don’t like, about university.

    once you have the list, go through it point by point and try and come up with some solutions for each point. if one of those solutions is to leave uoft, or university altogether, then that’s what you should do.

    obviously, don’t just write a list and drop out the next day. give yourself some time to chew on it. talk to your registrar’s office. go to the career centre and book a career advising appointment, or participate in one of their career exploration programs. as well as being a welcome financial help, work-study jobs can help you explore your interests in a much more concrete way than in the classroom.

    i know you’re already at school, but maybe it might help to come out to fall campus day. pretend you’re coming to university for the first time and just visit a bunch of different people. which programs excite you? which ones do you like talking to? that can also help you clarify some things.

    just be honest with yourself. most people have a pretty good handle on what they like doing, and what they don’t. sometimes, though, our interests and priorities don’t match up with those of the people around us, and that makes us question them. try to block out the voices of your parents, your peers, the NSLC, etc. ask yourself what you actually want.

    finally, don’t be too stressed that you have no idea what you want to do yet. it’s only september of your first year – you’ve got four years – at least – ahead of you to decide, change your mind, decide again, change again, etc. if you’ve already gotten past the homesick phase, that in itself is an accomplishment. clarity about your academics will come in time, if you put in the work to figuring them out.

    best of luck,


  • admissions,  stress

    the halcyon days of youth

    I’m going into my senior year and I’m having such anxiety about getting my grades high enough for u of t! Do you have any tips on how to relax in this time of panic??


    hey there,

    i mean, different things work for different people. some people like bubble baths. some people prefer marathoning TV shows. i myself like ravaging countrysides and kidnapping princes, but hey, to each their own.

    there are lots of different feel-good things you can do, but ultimately there’s one thing at the root of your stress, and that’s a worried mind. somehow, you need to convince yourself the worry is not worth it.

    when i DELVE deep into the PSYCHE of the high school student, i see two possible ways of minimizing stress: channelling your anxious energy into the thing you’re stressed about, or away from it. like so:

    1. channelling your anxiety into the source of the anxiety.

    the next time you feel really nervous about grade 12, create a plan for how you’re going to do really well. and none of this ‘i’ll try really hard.’

    what you need are specific things you can do to improve your grades, like ‘i’ll limit myself to three extra-curriculars’ or ‘i’ll get a tutor for math’ or ‘i’ll offer lackeying services to my grade 12 physics teacher so she passes me.’ practical stuff. review the admissions requirements and see where, if anywhere, you’ll need to up your game to meet them. if you have a plan, you’ll feel a lot more prepared, and a lot less nervous.

    2. channelling your anxiety away from the source of the anxiety.

    focus on acquiring a skill outside of school. i know that grade 12 is beyond stressful with applications and school and often a part-time job, but if you can find even half an hour a day to try learning something new, it’ll take your mind off things.

    learn a new musical instrument, or try learning a new language. or, if (like me) you’re not talented in cool and interesting ways like music or languages, it could be something as small as mastering sudoku puzzles, or keeping a diary. building completely new neural pathways is a challenge that requires all of your focus, meaning you’ll spend less of that focus on uni stress.

    best of luck and try not to worry too much, chum. wrinkles don’t look good on young folks like us.



  • admissions,  stress

    swerve away from those nerves

    I’m applying to u of t next year but ok I’m really nervous my avg isnt going to be high cause most of my courses I’m taking I’m able to get 85 and up in except for two Maths. The two Maths are going to be included in my top 6 cause religion doesnt count as U and neither does my elective. Any advice on how to not stress? I’m applying for humanities at st george btw


    hey there,

    despite the fact that i’m pretty sure you’re the same person as this dude, i’m gonna answer this as well, just because you’ve actually technically asked a different question.

    like i said to the other dude, the anticipated grade range for incoming humanities students this Fall is in the low 80s. i don’t know how badly you did in those maths, but it’s probably not as bad as you think.

    as for ways to avoid stress, i’ve written about that before. i could list more things, but to be honest, i’m getting into the first quarter of my life here, and i can already feel my hands WARPING from carpal tunnel, so.

    the core of the matter is this: you have to to realize that getting into uoft is not the be-all and end-all of your happiness. try to get excited about other universities and other opportunities that can make you happy, so that no matter what happens here, it’s not gonna make or break you.

    like, i think uoft’s great. love working here, love studying here (well; i don’t love studying…) BUT i also understand that i am a radiant being of light who will continue to be as attractive, transcendent, and an all-around delight (not to mention conversational WIT), even after i leave uoft.*

    if you work hard and stay meticulous about school, you’ll be fine. but even if uoft doesn’t work out, you are still one COOL HUMAN. so don’t stress, ’cause you don’t wanna wrinkle a face as great as yours.



    *to be fair, i don’t know if YOU’RE all those things…obviously only aska can be made of the pure, guiding light of knowledge and charm…but you know…you’re probably cool too…

  • admissions,  stress

    destress in ten simple steps for only $29.99

    How in the heck do I not stress about getting accepted to uni I’m in gr 11!!


    hey there,

    well, in the interest of not letting myself get too preachy in long, tedious paragraphs, and also in breaking up the way text looks on this website a little bit, i’m going to present some of my ideas in a list. so here we go!

    Aska’s List of Ideas about how Not to Freak Out about University (Yay!)

    1. take a bubble bath and watch as all your troubles melt away.

    2. eat a piece of cake.

    3. start off every day by stretching in bed.

    4. hug more people, more often. (not like strangers, though; only hug people you know. and ask first, ’cause some people have a thing about not liking hugs which you should totally respect, and also, people are better huggers if they enjoy hugging, so…anyway. next point.)

    5. do well in school! almost forgot about that one. because doing well in school is the only sure-fire way of getting into university. no amount of worrying and anxiety can do more than that. buckle down and work, and try to channel that nervous energy into productivity, if you can. (i know how hard it is, but it’s worth it.)

    6. let yourself daydream a little. worrying about university can often be mitigated by a healthy amount of excitement for university; visit campuses, peruse the course calendar to try and find the coolest-sounding courses just for fun, make grand plans without worrying about whether they’ll actually happen. if you’re not enjoying yourself at least a little, then the whole thing isn’t worth it.

    7. understand that while you’re probably not the smartest person applying to university, you’re also probably not the dumbest. if you keep working hard, you will almost certainly be accepted somewhere. also, if you’re not accepted, that’s probably for a reason. like, i would probably not be accepted into the navy, but, you know, i would be miserable if i were in the navy, so i’m glad they wouldn’t take me.

    8. focus on building memorable experiences, now. school is important, and planning ahead will always make things smoother for you down the line, but that’s not everything. go to concerts. learn a new hobby. take a class at your local community centre. take a trip. read more books. start a new TV show. your life will not be made or broken based on whether you attend uoft.

    9. don’t read this blog too much; all this talk about OSAP and subject POSts and stuff is bound to be unnerving for someone not part of that world yet. and if you do read it, know that it’s alright if you don’t understand half of what’s being talked about. heck, i barely understand it sometimes.

    10. breathe!



  • stress

    Panicking about marks and other fun stuff about UofT!!1!one!!: Part Two

    I got my BCH210 mark back and I got a 62…it’s worth 35% of my mark. I’m freaking out and about to have a mental breakdown, I’m even crying as I write this. Should I drop it? It’s part of my subject post. Plus my mom is gonna be so pissed if I drop it…AHH and I might drop HMB265 too…I don’t know what to do, please please please help.


    hey there,

    Alright, lemme tell you a story. I was in my first year, minding my own business in first semester. Everything was going swimmingly. Then, the first midterm test came around for Chemistry – bam. 47%. I’d failed. I’d FAILED a test. I hadn’t failed a test since grade 4 in French conjugation when I got 0/10 and the teacher pulled me aside to ask me if I was okay. I didn’t know what to do. I panicked. I cried – a lot.

    That panicking stopped when I took a second to assess my options. These are the ones I came up with: a) drop out of school and become a scary hermit in the woods of Northern Ontario b) switch programs or c) do better.

    The way it shook out is that I picked b) and c). I did my best to pass the course and then I switched to a program that was better suited for me. And now I couldn’t care less about that midterm. Actually, I’m glad it happened to me, because now there’s a chance it might be of some use to you.

    You can still very easily pass that class – you’ve only forfeited 13.3% of your final mark, giving you plenty of opportunity to make it up. Plus, in my experience, profs who give super hard midterms tend to give easier final exams.

    I’d say it’s probably too late in the semester to drop the course. What I would do is buckle down, finish BCH210 and HMB265 and do as well as you possibly can. Then over the Christmas break, when you’re a bit more relaxed and have time to think about this properly, make a decision about whether you want to stick to the courses you’ve got next semester, maybe drop some extra-curricular commitments you’ve got going on, or make whatever other changes you need to to make next semester a little easier.

    Just trust me that this isn’t worth crying over, and also, that you don’t owe anyone anything; not your mom or the school or anyone. You owe yourself a happy university experience, and it’s up to you to figure out how to get that.

    Good luck,


  • admissions,  international students,  stress

    everyone is panicking about admissions oh god.

    I study in year 10 and in an cbse school. I want to take up science but I am very weak in it. I am good in biology and I know that because of my grades and understanding. I really want to be a gynaecologist but I cant because of my grades. I doubt I can take up science also. I am in desperate need of help. Please tell me what to do.


    hey there,

    I understand where you’re coming from. Students all over the world right now are experiencing exactly the same thing you’re experiencing – they’re afraid they’re not good enough, and they are generally convinced that they are going to fail. Man, I can’t blame you. Going to university is incredibly scary, especially if you’re planning to go to school in a different country.

    I’m guessing you go to school in India, meaning this is the year you’re doing/have already done your AISSCE examinations, and that has got to be really stressful. Just know that even if you don’t do as well as you hoped you would, you have two whole years to improve.

    That said, if you’re thinking of coming to UofT and you eventually want to go to medical school, you’ll probably want to enrol in the BSc. Life Science program. If you like Biology, there’s a Biology major available, where you get to focus on Biology, which is what you seem to feel most comfortable with. The requirements for that program are here. Like I said, you’ve still got some time to figure all this out, but if you want to feel a little less worried, take a look at the requirements and see if you think you could handle them.

    If it turns out that in two years you don’t meet the requirements, then maybe you can take some time to think about what it is you would be most comfortable doing. However, you’re only in year 10 now and there’s plenty of time to figure all this out and get your grades up if you have to – so don’t worry! If you are careful about researching the best possible option for you, you won’t go wrong.


  • failing,  stress

    Panicking about marks and other fun stuff about UofT!!1!one!!: Part One

    Hello, I am a freshman who has royally screwed up. My first term tests for bio is a 74, physics 55, and chemistry most likely 60, math most likely a 70. These are horrible marks, as they will inhibit any attempts at furthering my GPA. I had begun university thinking 5 credits compared to 8 in high school, would be a walk in the park, with the exception of now more weighting to tests and exams. Due to this thinking and most beginning material to be high school review, I didn’t review or read anything, and my marks reflect that. I now plan for taking 1.5 credits this semester with 3.5 the next, so 7 courses next semester…is this realistic? Those courses are BIO130, CHM138 (dropped now and taking next semester), CHM139, PHY132, MAT136, MAT223 and PCL102 (art of drug discovery).
    Thanks, a lonely, depressed masochistic student.


    hey there,

    first of all, I disagree with your statement that “these are horrible marks.” You did fairly well, and most people say that their first year was their worst one average-wise, so don’t feel too discouraged. It’s more than likely it’ll get better from here on in.

    However, if your program is making you feel “lonely, depressed and masochistic,” ask yourself how much you’re really getting out of it. Over Christmas break, I’d suggest you take some time out to ask yourself why you’re at this school, why you want this degree, and whether you think the job it’s likely to get you is worth this effort, and is something you’d actually enjoy doing.

    If you’re dead-set on staying in the program that you picked originally, then there’s a couple things you can do. First, do the reviews! Never think any problem sets or practice midterms are beneath you. Ultimately, it’s the people who work the hardest who make it, not the people who get by with the least effort.

    Sometimes you might just need help understanding the material, and uoft has plenty of resources to help with that. If you need chemistry help, that’s available. Math help is available in the Galbraith Building in GB 149, every Monday to Friday from 12:10-2pm. Finally, take advantage of your prof/TA’s office hours – go to them and get help, as often as possible. I know everyone says that, but seriously. You’re paying money to learn. So get your money’s worth.

    Finally, to be totally honest, I would advise against doing 3.5 credits next semester. If you’re finding you’re having trouble this semester, doing two extra courses above the regular load next semester probably isn’t a good idea. But ultimately – it’s your decision. You’re in charge of your own life, and whatever you think is best for you, you shouldn’t be afraid of doing.

    Best of luck,


  • frosh,  math,  stress

    Pythagoras wouldn’t have panicked. He was kinda scary though.


    I am a first year-student in Life Sciences about to embark on the journeys of MAT135 in the Fall and MAT136 in the Winter, and I feel very insecure about it. I got a 75 in grade 12 calculus, and the teacher was being generous. I feel like I don’t remember anything from last year? Should I review my notes? If I do, wouldn’t that hold me back? Does MAT135 touch upon some concepts from grade 12?

    How much should I be worried about university math – on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being ‘really worried’? I know there are math aid centres – can I just drop into those? Should I also allow myself to be consumed with stress if I get a low mark? And if I do get a low mark (and I’m praying I’m not) will that affect my application to the program I want to get into (Human Biology)?

    Thanks for your time.


    You’re stressing a lot. Let me tell you something: there is no call for the kind of panicking you’re doing right now. Life is too short for that kind of silliness. Here’s something that you probably don’t realize: you’re not the only one who knows you’re a frosh. It’s not some kind of big secret. Everyone else can tell. I can tell, your peers can tell, and more importantly, your profs can tell.

    This means that the professor knows your background, and he or she is going to structure the lecture appropriately towards it. The course starts off with a quick review of trigonometry, which, if you went to school in Ontario, is something that you started learning about in Grade 11 Math (if you went to school outside Ontario, you’re also more than likely to have learned this before).

    Now, I’m not saying the course is going to be a piece of cake, but it won’t be impossible, either, regardless of what your marks were like in high school. If you consistently do the weekly problems and go to lecture, you’ll do well. If you do find yourself needing help, however, it is always available to you – absolutely feel free to drop in on it!

    As for Human Biology, as long as you complete 4.0 credits, you’re eligible to enrol – so don’t panic.

    Good luck, little soldier, and try to chin up!


  • campus,  stress

    i wish i could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles

    I have a good three hours between some of my classes this year so I’m wondering where are some good, quiet places to let it all out at U of T. Preferably near the sciences (Queen’s Park, St. George) and with some nice comfy seats but I’ll settle for stairs…not like the ones at Sidney Smith though, I almost got trampled last year.

    Thank you,



    If you need to cry-cry, like wet-faced, snotty-nosed sort of crying because you’re like depressed and stuff, you can always head over to CAPS at the Koffler Centre.

    But if you just need a small secret place to let out all your feelings, my personal picks are

    • Queen’s Park. There are lots of crazies there. At least if you get seen crying in the middle of the day, then you’ll blend in.
    • One of the third floor balconies of Con Hall. Yes, this is mildly creepy, but as long as there’s no class going on, I’m pretty sure you’ll have the little space to yourself.
    • The park behind University of Toronto School, just north of Sussex and Huron. Just sit on the hill and cry. Not quite the “comfy seat” you’re looking for but it can suffice. Hills are lovely.
    • An abandoned classroom of UC. Not only will you get privacy in that no one will be around, but people will probably think you’re some kind of wailing ghost haunting UC and run the other way.
    • The staircases of SidSmith (if you’re willing to settle for a staircase).

    happy screeching,