The University of Toronto: Canada’s top ranked university, home of the U of T Varsity Blues, and one of the country’s main hubs of research. Boasting close to 100,000 students and a wide range of courses, programs, and clubs, it’s a school that attracts all kinds of people from across the globe. Despite that, there are still some things that all U of T students seem to share. Read on to discover some signs that you are a proud (and stressed) University of Toronto Blue.
1. Your friends and family are tired of hearing about how hard school is
U of T students have it pretty tough sometimes, and you have to vent to someone. There’s no doubt your poor mother or friend from high school has heard all about the competitive GPAs, the seemingly irrelevant breadth requirements, the back-to-back exams, and the pre-requirements (go ahead, shed a tear for first year Economics). Not to mention the amount of Majors and Minors they want you to pile on. Oh, and have your friends and family heard that the grading scheme and course load at U of T is harder than at Harvard? I’m sure you didn’t forget to mention that.
2. People automatically assume you are pretentious, and it’s an expectation you might even be willing to live up to
There’s a saying at U of T: “Should’ve gone to Western…” Or, on a really bad day: “Should’ve gone to York…” Personally, I don’t think U of T students really mean it, but that sarcasm is part of what gets the point across.
3. The Mathletes competition scene in Mean Girls is a source of great pride for you
Yes, Mean Girls was filmed at U of T. The math competition was shot in the campus’ infamous Convocation Hall, and every U of T student feels partly responsible for how fetch the movie is.
4. People ask you if it’s really like Hogwarts, and you’re happy to tell them that it is
One look at University College or Emmanuel library will have anyone convinced it’s the Canadian Hogwarts. We even have houses; students of Trinity College (Slytherin) boast a castle for a dorm while students of Victoria College (Ravenclaw) enjoy meals in a dining hall strikingly similar to the Great Hall. Did I mention there’s a Quidditch team, too? Pretty soon they’ll start sending out acceptance letters via owl.
5. Tourists are a serious obstacle on your way to class
Going to a school that looks like Hogwarts also has its downsides. You’re probably used to dodging tourists taking photos of all the castle-like buildings. Not only that, but it’s normal to see lines of trucks carrying film crews all over campus and clogging the roads. Unfortunately, stopping to give a tourist directions doesn’t count as a late excuse.
6. You have come to consider squirrels as your fellow classmates
Sometimes it seems like more squirrels go to U of T than students. Seriously. There’s even a “Squirrels of U of T” Facebook page. At exam time, when the stress really starts piling up, it’s not that uncommon to see a student talking to a squirrel or two. Sadly, they don’t make the best study buddies, but they’re
great for venting all that test anxiety.
7. You feel ready to slap any non-U of T student who talks about how they can cross their campus in under ten minutes
No one knows work ethic until they have to cross King’s College Circle in shin deep snow. No one knows how to hustle until they realize they have two back-to-back classes that are a twenty minutes’ walk away from each other. It’s not even unheard of to live on campus and take the subway to class if you’re really in a pinch.
8. By November, you’ve lost all your friends in Life Sciences
Seriously, what even happened to them? Do they see sunlight? Do they sleep in their labs? It’s a mystery confounding U of T students. We would ask a Life Sci student but we can’t find one.
9. You’ve experienced the anxious misery that is Robarts Library
Need a quiet place to study? Try Robarts, an all-inclusive, 24-hour library complete with stacks upon stacks of books, study rooms, computers, and even a food court! Sounds great, right? It’s less great when you’re there past midnight and see people with pillows and sleeping bags. Thoughts like, “Have I just willingly walked into a prison?” may come to mind. Even more discouraging are the people weeping into their textbooks. Of course, they better be crying quietly, because a sob that’s too loud might send someone off on a panic attack.