My name's Michelle and I'm a third-year University of Toronto student. I created this blog to answer any questions prospective/current students have about the school - whether it be academic, social, or whatever! I'll also be blogging about my own university experiences in hopes that it may help some of you out who are going through the same things!

Beware: I am only in my third year, so I obviously don't know EVERYTHING there is to know about the university, but I will do my best to help. If I can't, there's a wonderful site called www.askastudent.utoronto.ca that is probably far better qualified to answer your questions than I am!

Overall, this is just to help some of you out with your transition into the University of Toronto (a.k.a best school ever).

Good Luck.

 

Anonymous asked
Hello, I really want to attend U of T to study engineering, but I'm from a really small town (population is 16,000) where everyone is white and christian. Do you think U of T would be too out of my element because of the size and diversity, or do you think it's adjustable? Is there anyone you know of that comes from a similar background as me, and could you possibly tell me how they are coping if yes? Thank you! :)

Hi anon,

    Moving from a small town into a large city like Toronto is an experience that many students face when choosing to attend UofT. You said it yourself - UofT and Toronto itself are incredibly diverse - meaning that there are likely many people just like you, as well as different from you. My current roommate, for example, was in your situation when she came to UofT. She now loves being in the big city, and actively enjoys the diversity that Toronto offers, and the opportunities that it can provide. That being said, she knew before attending UofT that gaining different perspectives outside of her small-town bubble was something that she really wanted to gain from university. 

     I cannot say whether or not you will have the same experiences as her, or the same experiences as many others who have come from smaller towns (including myself), and have really grown to call Toronto home. I will say though, that I don’t believe that being integrated into a culture that relies on the diversity of other peoples and cultures is ever a bad thing. In fact, I believe that one of the many reasons UofT is considered a world-renowned institution is because it benefits from being situated in the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the world. Integrating yourself into a community consisting of brilliant international and local students is part of the greater learning experience that the University of Toronto can offer. You will have a vast array of differing views and opinions from around the world all located in one place. That experience alone really gives UofT students the ability to expand their knowledge to include and give value to perspectives that they may never have encountered or considered otherwise.

    With all of this in mind, ask yourself what YOU would like to gain from your post-secondary institution. Also, be honest about what you are comfortable with. It’s okay to be intimidated, concerned by, or even plain not interested in big city living. If at all possible, try to visit Toronto and the school’s campus and get a feel for what you’ll be getting into. Follow your intuition to decide what school will best suit your needs and desires. As previously mentioned, I can’t really tell you what your experiences will be - only you can determine that!

     Just keep in mind that many have dealt with your situation and continue to deal with your situation and do so successfully! Another thing to remember is that UofT does offer ‘smaller’ communities which might help you to cope. Becoming involved in clubs and organizations is probably one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to deal with the ‘cold’ feeling of a big city by forming small communities and close relationships among a large student population. Check out https://www.ulife.utoronto.ca// for listings of clubs, organizations, and well as volunteer and career opportunities if you want to get that ‘small town’ feel in a big town university. If you have any other questions, please feel free to write again. I hope this helped!

Good Luck. 

UofT Reality Show?

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/01/31/university_of_toronto_reality_show_to_be_a_mix_of_survivor_and_big_brother.html

Check out the article above to see the University of Toronto Television's plans to make a student-based reality show that would air on YouTube. The article states that last auditions will be held tomorrow for those brave enough to tryout! 

Greetings to all my new followers!

Welcome to my blog! Don’t be afraid to leave your questions in my ask box! As for those who have recently submitted questions, you can look forward to seeing some answers on your dash after the weekend! Thank-you all for your continued support.

xoxo

lesbianlust asked
Does U of T offer any GSA/Pride groups? Also, are any of the colleges more inclined towards people of queer sexualities? Thanks for running this site, it's really great and super helpful.

Hey there,

   UofT is actually a fantastic school when it comes to gender/sexual equality and self-expression. Each campus has a ‘positive space’ program that works towards creating safe go-to spaces for LGBT students when/if they ever need to talk or ask for advice. You can learn more about the ‘positive space’ initiative here: http://www.positivespace.utoronto.ca/ .

   Furthermore, the St. George Campus is home to the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office which was established to meet the concerns of LGBT students across the campus. The office holds counselling services, safety centers, and hosts events throughout the year in which the community may participate and attend. The office is also your go-to place if you ever need to report harassment or bullying. To learn more about all the wonderful services the Sexual and Gender Diversity Office has to offer, click the link provided here: http://www.sgdo.utoronto.ca/

   UofT is also home to many LGBT clubs, groups and committees that you may join. There’s the “Sexual Education & Peer Counselling Centre”, “Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans People of the University of Toronto (LGBTOUT)”, “LGBT Dance at UofT”, and “The L Film (TLF)”, just to name a few. To check out more of these awesome student organizations and what they have to offer, check out the ULife website and browse campus organizations or specific areas of interest. https://ulife.utoronto.ca/

   Finally, to address your question concerning whether or not there are particular colleges that are “more inclined towards people of queer sexualities,” the answer is simply yes. All colleges at UofT will accept people of all sexual orientations, but their individual support groups may be lacking or struggling to obtain a voice. So, what I will say is that perhaps the two colleges that might be considered the ‘best’ for LGBT open discourse and support would be University College and Victoria College, both of which really advocate for positive space. University College is, however, the ultimate base for this LGBT discourse as it is in fact the home of the school’s Sexual Diversity Studies program which is run by some pretty incredible contributors in queer-Canadian research (I’m a pretty big fan of Professor Green). You can learn more about the SDS undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as student resources, events, and the SDS coordinators here: http://www.uc.utoronto.ca/content/view/284/1809/.

   UC’s Sir Daniel Wilson’s Residence also accommodates LGBTOUT’s Drop-In Centre, which you can learn more about here http://www.lgbtout.com/dropin/. And if that all isn’t enough, UC’s Frosh Week is all about sexual diversity and the acceptance of varying sexual orientations. UC very much prides itself as a centre of acceptance for all walks of life.

   Thank-you very much for this excellent question and I hope this helped you out! Let me know if you need any more information regarding LGBT services at UofT!

Anonymous asked
Do you think it would be hard for a first year to take a second year course? In order to get into Classical Civs you need 1 full credit in a CLA course but there's only 1 first year course available for the program, and it's a half credit course. I ended up selecting two second year courses and am worried about the level of difficulty. Any comments would be helpful, thanks!

Hey anon,

Many students take second-year courses in their first year of study, so it isn’t an uncommon practice. That being said, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to take and pass those Classics courses. However, I will warn you that the buzz around the Classics major is that the courses are very difficult in terms of testing, so if you have little to no prior knowledge of the ancient societies or their languages, I would suggest taking the recommended first-year course, CLA160H1.

If you do have some experience, but are still unsure about the level of difficulty of the two second-year courses, then my suggestion to you is to attend the first few lectures of both and look over the syllabi carefully in order to understand what is required and expected of you. If after some analysis, you determine that you will be unable to take both courses along with the rest of your classes due to the amount pressure, then switch out of one and opt for a combination of CLA160, along with which ever one of the two second-year courses you found easier. That way, you will feel less stressed about your ability to achieve high enough grades to get into the program, while having a balanced schedule.

I hope this helped, anon. Good luck!

xoxo

Anonymous asked
Hey, I was wondering if you knew anything about the course HPS210H1F? Did you take it or know of anyone that took it and what they thought of it? Thanks!

Hey anon,

Unfortunately, I did not take this course, however I do know someone who did. When I asked him what he thought of the course, he told me that it was relatively easy, despite the fact that he isn’t a science student, and that the material was quite interesting. The work load is fairly minimal for a half-year course and that if given the chance, he would retake the class in a heartbeat. The ASSU Anti-Calendar for 2010-2011 also provided a 69% retake rate among students who participated in the survey. For more information concerning the student’s thoughts on HPS210H1, here is the link to the ASSU Anti Calendar website: http://assu.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/HistoryPhilosophyHungarian.pdf

If you have any more questions regarding this particular course, don’t be afraid to put them in my ask box and I will consult my friend and/or other sources for more detailed information. I hope this helped you out, anon! Good luck!

xoxo

Anonymous asked
Hellooo there! Lovin your blog :) I have a quick question.. I'm starting at uoft this week, my first year. I've signed up for all my tutorials.. but there's one course "Sociology" that says on Blackboard "You are not eligible to sign up for any groups". Does this simply mean that the professor has not updated the blackboard? or there's no tutorials? or in the last worse case scenario.. no tutorial for me? :(

Hey anon,

Thanks for the love! That  message generally means that your professor has not updated the tutorial schedule to blackboard yet, which happens pretty often. You’ll usually have to wait until your first class starts to obtain instruction regarding how and when to sign up for tutorials. So don’t worry - you haven’t been left out!

Good luck with your first week, anon!

xoxo

Anonymous asked
Hey! I'm attending my first Political Science lecture tomorrow at Convocation Hall. It's kind of a stupid question but is it a building with lots of rooms inside? Or is it like one HUGE building? I'm scared I'll get lost as soon as I enter CH.. I hate looking for room numbers :(

Hey there,

Con Hall is one very, very large lecture hall. As soon as you enter, you’ll see many doors, but they all lead to the same room, just different sections of it. There really is no getting lost in Con Hall!

I hope you enjoy POL101 (it was my favourite first-year class)! Good luck!

xoxo

Hey Frosh!

I hope you all enjoyed your orientation week and that you’ve become settled and familiar with your new home!

As you know, tomorrow marks the beginning of your academic year at U of T. If you’re nervous, don’t be! You’ll soon find that the fun doesn’t have to end just because frosh week did! On Monday, you’ll be introduced to new and exciting fields of study, new curriculums, and some amazing professors that are leaders in their field! If you’re feeling a little unprepared, take some time today to get ready for the week ahead:

* With a friend, walk around campus and get familiar with the locations of each of your classes in order to avoid awkwardly bumping into people while holding a map and trying to figure out where BT101 is. 

* Make sure binders/laptops/notebooks are organized for each class before actually going to class.

* Ask your friends about classes they’re taking to see if any match yours. Forming a study group now will help you keep on the right track with class work later.

* If you haven’t already, look your professors up on sites like http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ to see what kind of prof you’ll be dealing with this semester.

* Purchase an agenda/calendar. Tomorrow, you’ll be given a list of important due dates for all of your assignments throughout the year. Writing them down in advance on a calendar will help you to remember when they are due and how much time you should allot yourself to complete them.

* Relax. It’s the last day before classes commence, so make sure to have a relaxing afternoon and get a good sleep tonight (because you’ll miss it come midterm time).

Good luck tomorrow everyone!

xoxo