• 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

  • mental health

    take care of yourself, friends (cw: mental health)

    Not a question but I feel like U of t needs to do a better job with mental health awareness.

    ——————————————

    hey there,

    if you’ve bothered to put this question through, then you’re probably aware this is a common sentiment on campus. since you (so very kindly) clarified that this isn’t a question, i don’t really know how to answer it. i fully agree with you– this school has so far to go in terms of  students’ mental health. mental health awareness, response, support… you name it. i know this firsthand.

    i tried to book an appointment with my college’s embedded counsellor last wednesday. i was put on hold for around 20 minutes, hung up on, put on hold again, and then transferred to a voicemail. i have yet to get a call back. the only more frustrating experience i’ve had with u of t phone lines was at the beginning of last semester, when i was on hold with the bookstore for probably about three hours total, because i kept getting disconnected.

    this isn’t really to complain so much as it is to acknowledge the reality of going to this school– while there are so many fantastic resources here, like your registrar’s office (which you should visit if you have problems accessing resources), it feels like many of them are understaffed and overwhelmed. with that said, i would still encourage people to call/visit health and wellness— it has saved a good number of people, and i may have just called at a bad time. i’ll likely be contacting them again myself.

    i’m not one to place uncompromising blame on the administration, and say that they don’t care and nothing is being done– i’m well aware that more people than ever before are trying to access mental health resources, and improving the system’s response to that won’t happen overnight. but man. it needs to happen sooner. some people are angry. i’m just tired.

    so i understand where you’re coming from, and feel it too. at the same time, though, i’m happy to say that progress is being made. sometimes i feel like the culture of negativity at this school can add an extra weight when you’re struggling with your own mental health, so at this moment i am taking it upon myself to remind everyone reading this (and myself) that not everything is garbage. i’d like to highlight some of my favourite mental health initiatives that i’ve become aware of in the last year:

    the innis college mental health skills certificate

    innis has become the first college (that i know of, anyway) to implement this level of mental health training for students. it was rolled out last semester, and is basically a series of training and skill-building sessions meant to bolster awareness of resources, counteract stigma, and identify “mental health challenges. full participation enables you to qualify for CCR as well as a certificate!

    the innis administration has been really great in seeing the need for a program like this, designing it, and responding to feedback. i’m excited to see how this certificate continues to develop for future years.

    hart house’s in conversation on student mental health

    this was an event that took place in october, aiming to promote mental health awareness. while i wasn’t in attendance, i heard it went quite well and i think it’s strong evidence of student/admin collaboration in bringing mental health awareness to the forefront of discussion. several faculty and college representatives were brought on as speakers, and the whole thing was organized by a student committee. maybe we’ll see more of these events in the future?

    mental health trainings

    for those who are interested, there seems to be some presence of mental health training sessions on campus. safetalk helps with mental health literacy and responding to/supporting individuals with suicidal tendencies. identify, assist, refer is an online training module– i’m not the clearest on what it does, but it seems to be a u of t affiliated mental health resource open to students. i’m sure there are others i’m not aware of, as well.

    how many lives 

    i’m not sure how often this gets updated, but it’s a platform for students to share their stories re: mental health, in an effort to raise awareness. the thread speaks for itself, should you choose to check it out.

    mindfest

    u of t psychiatry is running an event march 11, 2020 from 9:30-4:30. its website states that it’s “a mental health fair that raises awareness about mental health and battles stigma by encouraging discussions about mental illness.” there are supposed to be resources, workshops, and speakers at this thing. could also be worth checking out.

    as you can see, i’m doing my best to rail against total disillusionment. does u of t have a mental health problem? yes, undeniably. is all lost? i don’t think so.

    there are times that, as much as i love running this blog, i become really acutely aware of the powerlessness of my position. at the end of the day i’m just an anonymous student blogger, and i can’t do as much as i’d like to change the way things are. i guess i have a platform, and i hope to use it well.

    please reach out to someone if the hopelessness gets to you, yeah? i always recommend your registrar. if you need help reaching out, shoot me a message and i will do what i can to help connect you to resources and support. this goes for everyone reading this blog, not just the person who asked it. take care of yourselves, friends.

    anyway, thank you for your patience while i tried to find the right words to answer your not-a-question.

    be Boundless,

    aska

     

  • health and wellness,  mental health

    counselling! cw: mental health

    Does uoft offer therapy? My friend at another uni said it was a part of her tuition and set up appointments.

    hello and welcome,

    thanks for asking, cause this is something we should all know about.

    resources-for-the-run-down rundown time. options! delightful! not all of these are necessarily set up by u of t, but i figured the more you know the better, right?

    below i’ve given you everything i’m aware of, and you can weigh whether or not each will meet your needs. i’ve also tried to include what i’ve heard about each option. never worked up the guts to take the plunge and get help myself (working on it !!) but if i ever do, i’ll update this with personal experience lol

    1. help line

    some people love it, some people hate it– i was at a mental health forum a week or so back, and peoples’ experiences with this seemed to vary dramatically. i guess it depends on whether or not you call at peak times– apparently wait times can be over an hour, or there can be no wait time at all. but! good2talk is an always-open mental health helpline for young adults, so  it is a resource available to you should you wish to give it a try. it’s also bilingual, if that plays a role in your accessibility.

    a lesser-known one is the gerstein crisis centre, which you can phone at 416-929-5200. as far as i know, this isn’t affiliated with our lovely lifesci library of the same name. they pick up 24h/day and serve anyone 16+.

    what i like about the help line option is that you don’t have to leave your home to talk to somebody. a lot of the time when i’m coming down from an anxiety attack, the last thing i want to do is bundle up and head outside. i want blankets, pajamas, and the safety of my own room. phone help lines are probably good for this feel.

    2. health and wellness

    from what i’ve heard, this is generally not the way to go. there’s a really high demand for the counsellors at health and wellness, and i’ve spoken to people who have waited 4-6 months for an appointment once they’ve obtained a referral. i don’t think it’s the fault of anyone working there, and while i understand peoples’ anger, i’m hesitant to take an adversarial stance with the staff and admin on this issue. to me, it seems like the system itself is just overwhelmed and we need to be funneling more resources into it. which is a whole tangent you didn’t ask for. get to the point, aska, cmon. 

    to get an appointment, you can call, book online, or visit them in person. more on this here.

    i’m pretty unfamiliar with the system and couldn’t find much else otherwise. if you feel up to it, you can give this a try. it’s supposed to be the main u of t-organized resource for mental health therapy.

    i don’t know how long this is gonna be up, but at least during this exam season, you can get drop-in h&w counselling at robarts. appointments are 45min beginning every hour 5-10pm. and and and, they’re offered in NOT JUST ENGLISH but hindi, mando, and punjabi. give it a shot if you’d like, this year it runs til april 30.

    3. embedded counselors

    these tend to be a lot more accessible than health and wellness, from what i understand. they’re essentially counsellors from h&w assigned to a college/program and operating at a location close to them (which helps if you live in res, i guess). because they serve a smaller demographic, it follows that they’d be easier to get an appointment with. i want to stress, though, that this is just something i’ve heard from friends’ experience– a friend at trin managed to book something the next week, i think.

    i believe you can phone h&w to get an appointment with these as well, but some also have alternative methods of contact you can give a try. eg. for the innis ones, you can drop into the registrar’s office and ask, or speak to specific staff who can hook you up.

    here are links to all the ones i’m aware of (a very limited list):

    utsg

    trin, vic, innis, uc, kpe (undergrad and grad), engineering, grad students in general. anything i didn’t link here, eg. other colleges and professional faculties should all still have embedded counsellors! just call h&w and ask for whatever you’re affiliated with.

    utsc

    psych, english, anyone living in res

    utm

    send help ?? could not FIND anything. really sorry, i’ll keep looking and see what i can add for yall ‘sauga kids. maybe utm doesn’t have embedded counsellors, though?

    4. counseline

    seems like this is mainly targeted to utsg artsci kiddos. in-person as well as online counselling is available at this outlet running out of the faculty of social work. there isn’t a lot of info for how intake works, but you can try shooting an email at the project coordinator, whose contact info is available here.

    this may be a good LGBT+ friendly option, cause they collab with the sexual/gender diversity office.

    5. OISE

    seems like our lovely OISE runs a clinic for counselling and therapy. you’d be speaking to a student doing their clinical, but under supervision by a professional. there are associated fees, and i’m not sure if uhip covers these but it might. the clinic site recommends that you call intake and ask about a specific program to get further details, and apparently subsidies are available in some cases.

    i’m a lil iffy about this one, just cause they do record your session for training purposes. i mean, they delete it after, but i wouldn’t be fully comfortable knowing that my session would be accessible to someone other than my therapist and i. just something important to be aware of, i guess. i understand that it’s probably important for the facilitators to be learning from the sessions they’re carrying out.

    6. external counselling

    in my experience, if you struggle to get help from any of these other options/don’t feel like you have the energy to give them a try, looking for something outside of u of t may not be a bad idea. if you haven’t opted out of the university’s insurance plan, you have coverage under the universal health insurance plan, or uhip.

    this essentially means that if you choose to see someone outside of the university’s system, you’ll get refunded $125 per visit at most. you can do this 20 times a year, which doesn’t sound too terrible compared to most of the 7-8 visit limits on other options. it also gives you more flexibility with who you choose to see, and where you go.

    7. stella’s place

    i’ve never been, but stella’s place looks promising. really, really promising, actually. they do mental health help for young adults 16-29 free of charge. i don’t know what wait times are, but it does appear that they’re actively working to make them shorter.

    you can find their contact info under this FAQ page, or visit them at 18 camden. it’s a half hour’s walk/10 minute streetcar from robarts. they do these sessions 3pm on thursdays where they walk you through all the options they offer, and i think if you attend these you’re automatically eligible to join their groups as well as get individual counselling. if it works better for you, walk-in counselling is offered tues/thurs 3-5 to anyone, regardless of whether you’ve attended stella’s place previously!

    did i mention it’s f r e e ?

    8. online option

    i believe studentcare is running an online counselling service that works under uhip coverage as well. you talk to a licensed psychologist through a video call, kind of like skype i guess, but with a different software. and you get the convenience of not having to trek to an in-person clinic and wait.

    9. side-options

    they’re not in any way professional therapists or counsellors, but residence dons and commuter dons have received basic mental health training and may be able to help you out, maybe while you’re waiting to see a real therapist. it’s a better option than not having anyone to reach out to, in any case.

    i’m hoping to see this list of options expand as u of t starts to address the deficiencies in its mental health help system.

    if you’re reading this and know of anything i didn’t mention that you think should be on here, or if you’ve had experience with any of these options and have advice to impart, comment it below and i’ll edit this post accordingly.

    over n out,

    aska

  • fees,  GPA,  grades,  health and wellness,  mental health,  OSAP

    mario kart ghost mode is the only mode that matters

    Hi there,

    I am currently in my third year  at UTSG and sitting at a 2.61 GPA and I am feeling pretty shitty about myself, I had a pretty rough last semester, but am trying to get myself back on track for my last year and a half. Is messing up a semester going to set me back significantly? do you think that taking summer courses and trying to get good grades in my 4th year would be enough time for me to pull my GPA back up? I feel really bad because I went from a 2.9 in my first year to a 2.61 in my first semester of third year, because of personal reasons and I also changed programs. How do I stop comparing myself to the accomplishment of others? I know my GPA is not the worst, still a B, but it is so hard being surrounded by others who are doing so well, and is so toxic and damaging to my mental health.

    ALSO OSAP QUESTION

    I was advised by my registrar to drop the courses that I was not doing well in this year to save my GPA, which brought me to 3 courses per term, which is still a full time status, and was told that i would not get in trouble with OSAP for dropping these courses. Is this correct? I am afraid to drop the courses I want to this semester because of this and I do not want to get into any type of trouble with osap.

    thanks..

    ——————————————

    hello!

    coupla questions here, so i guess i’ll break it up like i usually do.

    can i pull my gpa up?

    i thought about this one for a while. looked at the numbers and all, and tried to figure out if there was some mathy way i could give you reassurance. unfortunately, my brain doesn’t really work like that, but i can link you to the u of t gpa calculator that will be able to give you a more definitive answer anyway. basically, it’ll let you input your grades so far, as well as hypothetical grades for future semesters. then, it’ll calculate your SGPA and CGPA with all that considered.

    the thing with summer courses is that they are accelerated, so they can sometimes be harder to do well in. so just be cautious before rushing into it, i would say.

    osap!!!

    ah, money issues. so for your OSAP to be secure as an undergrad, you need to have at least 1.5 credits per term– that translates to three courses. as long as you make sure you keep these three courses, your osap should be safe! keep in mind this doesn’t mean an average of three per semester– you can’t take two now and four later, and hope you’ll be okay. osap looks at each term separately. and if you do have a permanent disability of any sort, that requirement drops down to 1.0 credits or two courses.

    what about my mental health?

    i feel like i should start by linking you to mental health resources. i’m only really aware of the ones @uoftears_ on instagram uses: where to get free mental health help in toronto, as well as the university health and wellness centre and mental health resources. if you check these out, they’ll likely to be able to give you better support than i can, and if you’re struggling with your own mental health i want you to get the best help possible.

    with that said, this is definitely something i’m sensitive to.  every time i get a question along these lines i’m at once saddened that another person feels this way, but glad that we have the opportunity to talk about it a little. we go to a competitive school, and based on your program/community maybe you’ll feel it more than others might.

    one way i’ve been taught to look at it– and you can decide for yourself whether this perspective makes you feel better or pisses you off– is that you never know what’s going on under the surface. it may seem like some people have it all– are doing super well, have that golden 4.0, whatever. the thing is, people with all sorts of GPAs are self-conscious about their grades, and those at the higher end of the scale often feel an insane amount of pressure that begins to impede on their mental health as well. seems like they should be happy with what they’ve got, yeah, but the happiness isn’t intrinsic to the number– it’s more about how you look at it.

    basically, it can be rough no matter what your GPA is, unless you’re able to work towards the place where your grades and self-worth aren’t intertwined. obviously, this is just my take. it’s something i struggle quite a lot with myself, if that helps. i myself was raised in an environment where my self-esteem was contingent on my academic achievement, and that’s something i’d like to leave behind but haven’t yet. bad grades still feel hella personal, especially when i know people are doing a lot better than me. so i definitely sympathize there.

    something i’m trying to learn is that it’s definitely healthier to focus on yourself. think about it like playing mario kart ghost mode, if you will. sure, you can try to out-race everyone else, but because i SUCK at racing games i’ve learned to be okay with beating my own record. hopefully someday that’ll transfer over to the rest of my life. but for now, it’s a start. wow, a metaphor! hope my high school english teacher would be proud.

    suffice it to say that i really hope you’ll be able to pull your GPA up, but if you can’t? just work on what you can control– improving your study habits, learning the material, and reaching out when you need help. and throw some time in to take care of yourself too, man. put on a face mask. spend a lil time outside, now that it’s warming up. watch an episode of a show you like. idk, whatever works for you. best of luck, my friend.

    x aska

  • mental health

    it’s okay to cry

    What are your top 10 places to go on campus to cry? I’m fed up of getting weird looks when I sit in the middle of a cafeteria sobbing

    ——————————————

    hi!

    not sure if i have a top 10. though personally, i like a good washroom cry. a nice, deep, soothing robarts stacks washroom cry. i also kinda love crying in the lester b pearson garden for peace and understanding, which is located by ej pratt library, but that’s more of a scenic seasonal cry.

    cry crying GIF

    on a more serious note, mental health is something that sometimes gets thrown out the window once the semester gets too busy. and while everyone cries and it’s okay to cry, just know that if there’s other stuff at play here, there are on-campus resources that you can access. there’s health and wellness’ mental health services. some services that they offer include: individual therapy, group therapy, and on location counselling.

    hope this helps!

    xoxo,

    aska

  • academic success,  failing,  health and wellness,  mental health

    i’m rootin’ for you!

    HI!!!
    Sooo ya, Im in my 3nd year of study and I already failed 2 courses back in first year. I thought I was doing fine in this course (csc236) but then the marks came and it was abysmal. During this whole year I wasn’t feeling well, a lot of anxieties and some depression – I know, I only have myself to blame. I’d like to ask what are your suggestions on the actions I should take to deal with this 0.0gpa and the advice to do better?

    Thanks ;(

    ——————————————

    hi!

    that sounds like a really tough situation to be in. i’m really sorry for how long this response has taken me, but i hope that you still find it helpful.

    first of all, i’m going to suggest that you make an appointment with your registrar’s office. they can help you and/or point you towards resources that can help you. they should be your first point of contact whenever you’re feeling distressed (emotionally or academically). make an appointment, talk to one of the advisers there, and they’ll be able to give you more nuanced/ detailed/ personalized advice– more than i can give you (as a lowly student blogger).

    broken computer GIF

    for academics, i highly suggest checking out the academic success centre. you can make appointments with learning strategists, mentors, people who work in writing centres, and a whole bunch of folks that’re there to help. they can provide a lot of personalized advice and teach you all about HOW you learn and ways of learning more effectively. that should help you learn BETTER and (hopefully) boost your marks. they also have some walk-in appointments that you can make, if you don’t wanna make an actual appointment.

    you should also check out health and wellness. in your question, you said that you aren’t “feeling well” and have “a lot of anxieties and some depression.” i think that you should check out their mental health services, even if you don’t think that you need to. mental health is super important, and the university doesn’t talk about it enough. mental health can really have a negative effect on your academics and getting to a healthy state of mind can help improve your academics as well.

    i hope this was helpful. i think that, most importantly, you should make an appointment with an adviser at your registrar’s office– they are literally paid to help you. school, especially this school, can be really hard, and we all need a little bit of help sometimes. there’s no shame in it 🙂

    good luck.

    spongebob squarepants good luck GIF

    xoxo,

    aska