Molecular Biology, Statistics & Computer Science at University of Toronto (Scarborough)
Arik (Year 5)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
UofT has a great reputation and the campus is a reasonable commute for me.
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
I found first year to be similar to high school workload and difficulty. Second year is probably the most difficult since expectations from professor's are higher. 3rd and 4th it is a little more relaxed and most of my peers became comfortable with balancing the workload between courses.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
I found making friends on campus quite easy. There were only a handful of people that I knew from before attending the school. I found frosh to be a great way to meet new people. Also, I joined the intramural rugby team in first year and I met a lot of older year students and they gave me tips and advice on managing school. Other than that, I would meet a lot of people through studying in groups with my friends and I would meet their friends and the social circle would just get bigger. In terms of partying, UofT Scarborough is not known for partying but there was one house that would host all the parties throughout the year and they were always fun.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
I originally decided to go to the school for Computer Science, but it became really difficult to reach and maintain the standard. So, in my second year, I switched to a major in Molecular Biology while pursuing a double minor in Computer Science and Statistics. As I look back, it was a great decision for me, but it did hold me back a semester or two.
List effective study techniques and/or habits:
Facebook group chats for courses were very useful. Sometimes it would be to ask questions and sometimes it would be trying to answer other people's questions to reinforce what I already knew. They're also great because someone else could give you a new perspective on a topic you would've never thought of.
List three pieces of advice for first-year students:
Try to figure out soon if what you are studying is truly what you want to learn
Don't be sad if you get a grade under 80 or even 70. I know a lot of you expect high school averages.
Explore campus and make friends.