Tag Archives: University of Toronto

10 reasons you should not go to U of T

The University of Toronto was recently ranked number one in Canada and number 20 globally by U.S. News & World Report.
However, as an undergraduate student here in her third year, I can DEFINITELY say there are many reasons I wish I never came to this godforsaken school.

1. The weather in this city is always, always horrible – and to make it worse, U of T rarely gives any snow days! (Seriously, what is up with that?)

I don’t remember the last time I walked outside without the wind hitting my face at 27 miles per hour. The weather in this city is basically bad all school year – it starts to get chilly in September, followed by five months of an excruciating winter, and a sad spring till April. To put it simply: the weather is only good in this city from May till August.

And the worst part is that U of T doesn’t give enough snow days. Seriously, we were forced to go to school and write our exams during a polar vortex. On top of that, they don’t put enough salt on sidewalks.

2. Downtown appears thrilling to incoming freshmen till you find out this city is practically unaffordable for students.

It’s all fun and games till you’re forced to pay $1 500 for small student unit downtown. Additionally, there’s nothing really to do in downtown that doesn’t involve spending money. Textbooks are so expensive you’d want to gauge your eyes out, food is expensive, and a single night out can cost you a lot.

Your other options include living outside the city and commuting every day, but come on, who are we kidding? The TTC is the worst.

3. U of T is a real GPA killer.

It’s relatively easy to get into U of T but undergraduate studies here is no joke. U of T is known for having really low-class averages. The competitiveness and the high expectations here can adversely impact your GPA and basically harm your chances for graduate school.

On top of that, bell curves certainly do not make it better.

4. The WiFi on campus is the worst.

To begin, you hardly get network in a lot of the buildings in U of T. On top of that, I find that the internet is super slow and keeps on disconnecting. The WORST of all is Convocation Hall – seriously, it’s a nightmare.

5. U of T is simply way too big.

Seriously, the class sizes are way too big, and the student-teacher ratio is really bad. Large class sizes and frequent impersonal approaches to teaching can often make you feel isolated.

6. Campus life is pretty bland.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of clubs to choose from and there’s always something or the other happening on campus. However, due to overburdening course loads it’s too difficult to keep up with any extracurricular activities for most students. U of T doesn’t even have a large homecoming. In my opinion, the Greek life isn’t all that happening here either.

7. Trying to find a spot in Robarts during exam season is near impossible.

U of T has 44 libraries, and still it’s somehow impossible to find a study spot during exam season. For starters, most of the libraries aren’t open 24 hours. Even though Robarts is open during exam season, only a few floors are functional at all hours – and trust me, there’s barely any sufficient seating. I think it has to do with the fact that we also have thousands of kids on a campus with crowded study spots?

8. Campus food is the worst – the only thing that’ll save you is the brown food truck in front of Sidney Smith.

For a school that’s so big, there are barely any decent places to eat on campus.

9. It’s actually really difficult to get a job in Toronto.

Unless you’re from Rotman, or you’re exceptionally good at balancing grades and extra curriculars, I find it’s really hard to get a job. Because there are so many students in Toronto, competitiveness is really high over here. Sometimes even people with straight 4.0’s don’t even get decent jobs in the city.

10. You could avoid all these and go to UTSC or UTM instead – but come on, why would you? 

I mean, you could avoid all the city problems and move to the other two campuses, but that’s even worse. For example, UTSC is too small and it’s in the middle of nowhere.

10 reasons you should go to U of T

Mid-terms and exam seasons are dreadful. While you’re in Robarts contemplating your life choices, spare a minute to remind yourself why it is still worth cramming for!

1. Your future is going to be so bright.

It’s no Ivy League or Oxbridge, but it’s the best university in Canada – and 23rd best in the world! Your parents and relatives are proud, and it looks good on your resume. That’s why we are all here in the first place…right?

2. You become the better version of yourself here.

There are a lot of empowering moments at U of T. Perhaps it was when you finally memorized your ten-digit student number at the end of the year, or when you pushed through the snow and got to class when it was -40 outside. Cheers, I’m proud of you.

3. It always has your back when you need some space.

Can’t find a seat at Gerstein? Go to Robarts, E.J. Pratt, Knox, Kelly, Law, OISE…all around the campus, U of T has a variety of libraries for your selection. Don’t worry. You can always find that study space that you desperately need.

4. Because work-life is perfectly balanced.

Work-life balance is a big deal here. You even see the flyers in the bathroom. Most frat houses get lit every weekend, or you could also go to a nice club nearby for a night-out with your friends, let some steam off the stressful week. Of course, a safe and cost-efficient alternative is study-hanging at Robarts.

5. It polishes your LinkedIn profile

By the time you graduate, your LinkedIn page is not going to be empty. Throughout your journey at U of T, you obtain tons of key skills that increase your employability. These include speed reading, speed writing, efficiency working under pressure, stress, and crisis management.

6. It equips you with essential life skills.

Next time your TA shoots down the essay you wrote or when you are cramming and crying in Robarts for that test tomorrow (uh, like now?), think about the hidden lessons. U of T doesn’t want you to know…but it’s all tough love to get you ready for adult life.

7. Because you can study anything. Literally, anything.

Enrolled in social science but changed your mind? You can always start over with a major in computer science. But if you’re interested in a challenge, you can even do another major in Caribbean Studies, Buddhist Studies, and many more programs that look lovely on your CV.

8. Because campus is beautiful.

Remember the moment you fell in love with the campus during your tour that one summer? Thinking about a picnic on the front campus or a stroll with your boo at Queen’s Park? It will happen someday when it’s neither freezing cold nor too muddy.

9. U of T keeps tabs on your physical health.

We get a good work out at least once a week. Got a class back to back? You have ten long minutes to go all the way from New College to St. Mikes. If you run fast enough you might even manage a bathroom stop!

10. Because we’re all proud to be here.

Let’s be honest. It is a complicated love-hate relationship we have with this school. But at the end of the day, we all share a good laugh whenever someone mentions Ryerson.

Happy 192nd Birthday, U of T!

To commemorate the University of Toronto’s 192nd birthday I considered the number 192 and why – at least mathematically – it’s special.

A Wikipedia search of the number 192 came up with these reasons:

  • 192 is an even number.
  • 192 is the sum of ten consecutive primes – 5 + 7 + 11 + 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37. I like this one in particular.
  • 192 is a composite number, having as its factors 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 3; based on this factorization, it may also be seen to be a regular number – as its only prime factors are 2 and 3.
  • 192 is the smallest number with 14 divisors, namely 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 48, 64, 96, and 192 itself.
  • 192 is an abundant number, as the sum of its proper divisors (like, 319) is greater than 192.
  • 192 is a practical number, subsets of its divisors can be chosen to add to any number up to 192.
  • Based on its decimal expansion, 192 is a Harshad number (it is divisible by 1 + 9 + 2 = 12) and a happy number (repeatedly summing the squares of its digits leads from 192 to 86 to 100 to 1).

Those are the reasons why, mathematically speaking, the number 192 is special. Yet, why is U of T special?

Personally, I find U of T special for many reasons but ultimately, the most important reason is:

  • It brings together wonderful and diverse people from all over the world, not just to disseminate knowledge but also to share and cultivate in the advancement and development of new knowledge.

That said, here’s to wishing U of T a very happy 192nd Birthday!

Why is U of T special for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Do I have to be a Trin student to…

Trinity College may seem insular and exclusive, with high barriers to entry. I’ll have you know though, you don’t actually have to be a Trin student to partake in some of the quintessentially Trin experiences. Whether you want to though, is totally up to you.

If you’ve ever wanted to ask, “do I have to be a Trin student to do this?” Here are the answers to all your pressing questions.

Can I step on the grass in the quad?

No one is allowed to step on the grass in the quad anymore. The grass has been fenced off for the season.

Can I use study rooms in Graham Library? 

Yes, and no. Study Rooms 1 and 2 can be booked by any U of T student. The exclusive study Rooms 3 and 4 can only be booked by groups with at least one Trin student or Wycliffe College student.

Can I walk around in a gown (like a pompous ass)? 

Yes. You probably know that academic gowns are steeped in tradition at Trinity College. You don’t have to spend $125 to traipse around in a Harcourts gown. You don’t even have to be a Trin student to borrow one from the College. Sign out a gown from the Porter’s Lodge – I mean, Welcome Desk – and leave your T-Card or driver’s license as collateral.

Can I dance the night away at Conversat?

Yes. Find a Trin friend to buy you a guest ticket to the 136th Conversazione: Conversin City, if there are any left.

Can I dine in Strachan Hall

Yes. Feel free to pack your lunch and eat in the Hogwarts-esque space that is Strachan Hall. You might feel a little out of place, I recommend you visit with a Trin friend or acquaintance. If you, for whatever reason, desire the dining hall food, you can pay in cash.

Oh, and make sure to sit at the right table – rules may not be enforced, but upper year tables are for upper years, and God forbid you sit at the don’s round table or the high table.

Can I submit artwork to the Trinity Art Show?

Yes. You don’t actually have to be a Trin student to have your artwork featured in the hallowed halls of the college. You don’t even have to be a current U of T student – recent alumni are invited to submit their work too. The call for submissions is on until January 31.

Can I get involved in a Trinity College Dramatic Society production?

Yes. If you look at any TCDS playbill or program, you will see names not affiliated with the College. Talent is talent, and Trin recognizes that.

Can I join a Hart House Committee

Yes. While it seems that every other Committee is chaired by a Trin student and can be disproportionately populated with Trin students, everyone can join. Hart House values diversity, including diversity of colleges, faculties and campuses. No matter where you come from, there is space for you at Hart House.

Can I get married in the Trinity College Chapel?

You don’t have to be a Trin student, alum, or affiliated in any way, to get married in the Chapel. However, booking priority  is given to Trinity College graduates and their family members.

Can I also be “the salt of the earth”?

No, not if it wasn’t instilled in you throughout the course of orientation week. Because Trin students are truly the salt of the earth. Damn the dissenters, hurrah for old Trinity!

 

Eight upcoming campus events you should definitely check out

1. UTHS Website Launch Party: The University of Toronto History Society is launching their long-anticipated website. The group’s website is a digital database of U of T’s history, curated entirely by students. The free event will also feature displays by U of T Archives and a keynote by Historian and Professor Robert Bothwell.  As an added bonus, there will also be appetizers and a cash bar.

When: Thursday, January 24 at 7pm

Where: Hart House Debates Room

2. Hug As Many Schoolmates As You Can In 3 Minutes To Spread Warmth: This event needs no explanation. And it’s something we all need, even if we won’t admit it.

When: Thursday, January 24 from 4:12pm to 4:15pm

Where: Front Campus

3. Undergraduate Research Conference: The Arts and Science Student Union is hosting their second annual Undergraduate Research Conference where students from various academic backgrounds present their research to the U of T community. The conference is all day so you can easily squeeze in a presentation or two between class. The keynote speaker this year is Political Science Professor Lynette Ong.

When: Friday, January 25 from 9am to 3pm

Where: Sidney Smith Hall

4. U of T’s Annual Snowball Fight: Cause, why not? There’s no better way to de-stress than letting loose and throwing some icy snowballs. Unsure what you’re walking into? The Varsity’s got you covered. Check out this video we made of the snowball battle last year.

When: Friday January 25 at 6pm

Where: Front Campus

5. Poker Night Social: The University of Toronto Poker Club and Innis Poker Players are hosting a relaxing evening of poker and tea this Friday.

When: Friday January 25 at 6pm

Where: Innis College Residence Events Room

6. Pathways to Sustainability Conference: This Saturday, the Sustainable Engineers Association is hosting 2019’s U of T Sustainability conference. The conference’s theme is “Pathways to Sustainability” and will explore a variety of topics related to sustainability. The event is stacked with great keynote speakers and will have food.

When: Saturday, January 26 from 8:30am to 6pm

Where: MaRS Discovery District

7. ASA Arts Night: U of T’s Afghan Students’ Association is hosting their fifth annual Arts Night on Saturday. The evening provides a platform for various forms of Afghan art. In addition to visual art, the event will also feature spoken word poetry, traditional dance, and musical performances. Last year 250 people came to the event, and this year the association is hoping to expand further. Individual tickets are $20 and, if you purchase in a group of five, each ticket is $15.

When: Saturday, January 26 at 6pm

Where: Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East

8. Design for The Varsity: Come help design our weekly print paper! If you have used Adobe InDesign before you can sign up for a weekend production slot by emailing one of our designers at [email protected] or [email protected] If you don’t have experience — no worries! You can sign up for a training session by emailing our designers as well.

When: Saturday, January 26 between 11am and 3pm

Where: The Varsity‘s office, 21 Sussex, third floor

Things to do on campus this weekend

Here’s your list of to-do’s for this chilly January weekend on campus.

Saturday 

1. Varsity Blues Men’s Hockey vs. Brock Badgers 

Come out and cheer on our Varsity Blues men’s hockey team this Saturday at 6pm. Students get in free with their TCard and the first 100 guests will get a complementary Varsity Blues toque!

When: Saturday, January 12, 6pm.

Where: Varsity Arena, 299 Bloor St. W.

2. Making the Dead Talk 

The Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology Student Union is hosting their annual symposium this Saturday exploring a variety of topics in forensic science.  The conference will include a career panel, a poster fair, multiple speakers, and a demonstration of live forensic techniques. As an added bonus, food is provided!

When: Saturday, January 12, 6pm.

Where: Macleod Auditorium, 1 King’s College Circle.

3. Tommy Thompson Park Winter Outing

Okay, it’s technically not on campus but the U of T Ornithological Club is hosting a hike at Tommy Thomas Park this Saturday and it’s definitely worth checking out. The club plans to walk a few kilometers hoping to spot ducks, raptors, and owls. Even if you’re not a birder, it’s still worth tagging along; a winter afternoon hike is the perfect opportunity to clear your mind. If birds are your thing, make sure to bring binoculars!

When: Saturday, January 12, 11am.

Where: The group is meeting in the parking lot at Unwin Ave. and Leslie St.

Sunday

4. Day of Percussion 2019 

U of T’s Faculty of Music has teamed up with the Ontario Percussive Arts Society to host a day in celebration of percussion instruments. The event will include clinics by drummer Sarah Thawer, mallet players Frozen Earth Duo, and the percussion section of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. There will also be a afternoon and evening concert for your listening pleasure.

When: Sunday, January 13, 10am-9pm.

Where: University of Toronto Faculty of Music, 80 Queens Park Cres.

5. Drop-In Basketball 

Keep up that new years exercise resolution with drop-in basketball this Sunday. Shoot some hoops or participate in a low-stakes scrimmage.

When: Sunday, January 13, 12pm-4:50pm.

Where: AC Field House 1 and AC Field House 4.

6. Copy Editing  

Come copy edit for The Varsity! No experience is required – we’ll show you the ropes.

When: Sunday, January 13, 11am-2pm.

Where: The Varsity‘s second floor office, 21 Sussex Ave.