Major Keys to U of T: 6ix Tricks For Academic Success at the University of Toronto
Being anxious to enter a new school is a tradition exactly as old as the mere concept of formal education, honoured across ages and cultures and individual variables. It can feel like, in the words of a famous presocratic philosopher, “they don’t want you to succeed/eat lunch” (apparently the two are related). However, your first-day-of-school-jitters at U of T don’t have to be debilitating, because Woodsworth wolves run in a pack! Throughout the summer, OEC will be using this blog to share our top secrets to surviving the 6ix– an ambitious task that will today concentrate on major keys to academic success at the University of Toronto!
We could ramble about U of T through thinly veiled DJ Khaled references for the rest of our natural lives, but we’ve decided to spare you all and just jump in: Here are our 6ix Tricks to Academic Success at U of T.
1) TAs and Profs
This seems self-explanatory– but the sheer volume of first year students who don’t make use of the resource most available to them is staggering! There is a factor of intimidation when it comes to asking for help from established university professors and grad students, but try to remember that your TAs and profs want you to participate, ask questions, and succeed in school. And if the idea of admitting in person that you have no idea what conclusion to draw from your research, or where the amygdala is, or how to end an essay gives you hives, emailing your TAs for advice is a great way to pad the experience.
This piece of advice is most likely going to be put more eloquently by one of your instructors in the opening week of classes, but there’s no way I’m skipping this in a post about academic success: GO! TO! CLASS!
Please go to class.
Further, please go to and participate in tutorial. I can guarantee that in a one hour tutorial, your TA will be able to put at least one concept more simply or relatably, or otherwise enrich your learning in a way that overall improves your mark in the class. Talk to your TAs! Go to office hours! Above all else– Go. To. Class.
2) Academic Writing Centre
If the idea of improperly cited sources, dangling participles, and unclear thesis statements dragging your GPA to unrecoverable depths keeps you awake at night, have no fear! Woodsworth’s Academic Writing Centre is here to offer one-on-one help at any or every stage of essay writing, as well as guidance on note-taking and studying. You can drop-in or make a reservation to have an experienced instructor walk you through writing a proper university paper. Also, if you lead a life too exciting to be able to sit down with an instructor for 45 minutes regarding an essay, you can book an online appointment and have an instructor make suggestions on your progress through email. For more information, click here: http://www.wdw.utoronto.ca/index.php/current_students/academic_writing_centre/
2) Math Aid Centre
Math, to me, is an unfortunate reality of living in Canada in 2016, like the common cold or cracking your iPhone screen– unavoidable, inconvenient, and if you mess it up bad enough it might actually cost you money. That’s why the Math Aid Centre is a godsend– Dr Lindsey Shorser is available for one-on-one counselling to get you through a breadth requirement or otherwise particularly difficult concept. In keeping with the theme of numbers, I’m not going to wax poetic about the Math Aid Centre, but I am going to point out the sheer statistical likelihood that your grade will improve by using this resource.
For more information, click here: http://www.wdw.utoronto.ca/index.php/current_students/math_aid_centre
3) Academic Links
Would you prefer your academic counselling come in a friendly and warm environment? Look no further than Woodsworth Residence! Academic Links are trained students employed by Woodsworth College who will work intensively with incoming Wolfpack to ease the transition into U of T. Your Academic Link will help orient you in your faculty, encourage co-curricular involvement, and meet with you personally to discuss any and all academically relevant topics like academic honesty and study tips. Your Academic Link will guide you through your first year running with the Wolfpack and ensure comfort and ease integrating into the community!
More information will be provided about academic links in the fall!
4) Career Centre
If you’re at all interested in studying anything outside of STEM, you’ve probably received the patented “How EVER will you find a job with a major like THAT?” talk from family, friends, and random passersby on the street. Fortunately, U of T has your back, and the Career Centre is available to help you come up with the exact witty comeback that will shut down doubters of career success regarding arts, social sciences, humanities, etc. The Career Centre is an online hub of information, with links leading out to relevant and enriching opportunities for you to build your resume and explore opportunities. There are also a plethora of workshops and events catering to your questions and concerns, as well as one-on-one appointments with experts who can help allay your fears and lead you in the right direction.
For more information, click here: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/cc/cln
E-mentors, much like Academic Links, are trained students employed by Woodsworth to help guide your transition into university. As is suggested by the name, E-mentors will send bi-weekly emails through the summer providing in-depth explanations of important parts of your U of T experience such as course selection. Your E-mentor can answer direct questions and point you towards outside resources to help further your academic experience!
No sign-up or further information is required for E-mentors because everyone is assigned an E-mentor automatically! It is ultimately your decision whether to respond to your E-mentor or not– but we highly suggest you maintain contact as E-mentors are a great soundboard for all of your questions about U of T!
(Students hard at work in Kruger Hall)
That’s all for this time, Wolfpack! Thank you for reading this instalment of our bi-weekly orientation blog!
To help you maintain a healthy love for your Wolfpack, your next blog post goes live Sunday June 12!
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @woodsworthfrosh to keep up with us as we reveal important dates regarding orientation, drop hints about what we’re up to, and count down the days (literally) to orientation! You can also like us on our Facebook page— Woodsworth Frosh 2016.
WOODY WOODY WOODY!