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,



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