first year

freedom!

If I’m going into my first year and still pretty undecided about what I want to study, can the courses I take just be exploratory and unrelated to each other?? I’m a vague ~humanities~ person but am also really interested in environmental studies (even though I suck at math!!!! aaah!!!!) and so im worried my courses are gonna be alllll over the place before I figure out what I wanna do.

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hello there,

it’s perfectly okay to still be undecided going into first year! a lot of people go into uni with a concrete four year plan they end up ditching anyway, so i wouldn’t say your lack of direction puts you at any particular disadvantage.

u of t’s actually pretty great place to go if you’ve got a variety of interests. i’m not sure how familiar you are with the school’s requirements, but this university (for some reason unknown to me) pretty much only hands out honors degrees. a lot of students don’t realize this heading in. that means that you won’t actually be able to take a single major at this university: you’ll need a combination of either one specialist, two majors, or a major and two minors. we call these our programs of study, or POSts. i know kids doing double majors in things as unrelated to one another as Chemistry and Peace & Conflict Studies—cross-disciplinary study is easier here, i feel, than at other universities. so by all means, you could end up majoring in environmental studies AND a humanities program.

the only thing you’ll want to be aware of is that you’ll need prereqs to get into those POSts. so it’s not exactly an ‘explore to your heart’s delight’ situation, unfortunately. on the bright side, from what i know, humanities and social science programs generally tend to have fewer prerequisites than science programs, so this might give you more leeway.

i don’t know what humanities programs you were looking at specifically, but i took a look at the environmental studies major for you. the one i’ve linked is the arts version of it, which interestingly enough doesn’t require anything from you as a first year. they recommend you take ENV100, but it’s by no means a requirement. doesn’t look like there are any math courses required for this major, either, so this might be a good option for you! there is an environmental science major, which does seem to be quite a bit more intensive with required first-year chem and bio. you can take a look at it if you want, just to know what your options are.

in short– yes, you can and should explore! just be aware of what you might need to get into the programs you’re interested in. welcome in advance to u of t and all the best for your first year, my friend. hope you figure out what it is you wanna do!

over n out,

aska

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