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University of Toronto - What's the big deal?

A photo of Toncho Toncho
Hello everyone, I am a student from Vancouver, British Columbia. As with a lot of you out there, I am just finishing up grade 12 and looking to head into post-secondary next year. I've been looking around the web and looking up where I should go, etc.

I've been accepted to the three universities I've applied to:
University of British Columbia - Bachelor of Arts
University of Toronto - Faculty of Arts and Science - Studies in Humanities
Simon Fraser University - Bachelor Arts - Economics

At first, I really wanted to go to UofT for a few reasons (Reputation, the fact that I want to live by myself for the experience, etc) After a lot of researching around, it seems like there is a lot of negativity for that university. Can anyone explain why this is? I've read things about difficult times to get good grades or a bad social life, but don't these reasons apply to a lot of other universities too?

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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
I don't mean to come across as disingenuous, but the people who do have a social life at U of T are probably too busy having fun to whine about their school on the internet. Admittedly, U of T gets a lot of bad rep for its lack of school spirit, which is something that is difficult to achieve and sustain at large school in the middle of the city or suburbs, depending on which campus you attend. The important thing to keep in mind is that U of T has its share of pros and cons just like any other school. When you're deciding which school you want to attend, you should really think about your own personal preferences, and then determine which school best suits your needs. No school is a one-size fits all deal.
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A photo of cdkpsa cdkpsa
The grading process at U of T makes it very difficult to get a high GPA, because they mark on a bell curve. This obviously sucks, because it ruins some people's chances at going to grad school. As for the social life part, pretty much any school in Toronto is a commuter school, except the students at U of T are a lot more competitive with each other as opposed to the students at Ryerson and York.

Of course, it's not impossible to get a high GPA, and not impossible to have a social life either. I agree with Spengler, it's all about your personal preferences and what you're looking for in a school.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
From what I know, U of T has no 'sense of community', being one of the biggest universities in Canada. In other words, the best social experience does not lie in U of T. Also, their first year classes are enormous compared to several universities (some may reach a 1000).
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A photo of Zion Zion
I rejected U of T because of the bad reputation it gets as well. I'm sure there are people who do well there and love it, but the majority (at least on the internet) seem to dislike it for its difficulty and/or lack of spirit. I definitely get the whole wanting to be independent and move away thing, but I'd still choose UBC if I were you.
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A photo of bladerunner905 bladerunner905

@Zion wrote
I rejected U of T because of the bad reputation it gets as well. I'm sure there are people who do well there and love it, but the majority (at least on the internet) seem to dislike it for its difficulty and/or lack of spirit. I definitely get the whole wanting to be independent and move away thing, but I'd still choose UBC if I were you.

Woah I'm doing the same program. At UofT though.

Its perceived as difficult, but school spirit is probably substituted with college spirit and connection.

UofT is a bit more academic than other schools, but universities don't differ vastly.
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A photo of m27xx m27xx
Personally, I don't understand all the negativity around UofT. I'm going into my second year there and I've LOVED my experience so far. A lot of people assume that because it's a large school, there's no school spirit. But I found that that wasn't true at all, especially with the college system. If you don't feel attached to the school as a whole, you will to your specific college as each of them put on their own events to keep the spirit alive (like University College's Fireball and Red & White for example). I also find that people will complain about the bell curve/grading system at UofT. But the bell curve isn't a standard thing at UofT - it isn't used all the time, nor should it be used very often. AND the bell curve can be a GOOD thing if you completely bombed a test, and all of a sudden your grade bumps up 10%. About the claim that its nearly impossible to get an 'A' or a high GPA at uoft, I didn't find that to be the case in my experience. It's very much possible to get a high GPA if you work for it, just like any other university. Of course, due to the school's reputation, it may expect a little more input from you than other universities, but the rewards are so worth it. Plus with all the funding and resources the university has, putting in a little extra shouldn't be hard to do!

And i mean, the school's in freaking Toronto lol. It's an incredible city to live in and explore. BC is beautiful as well - but if you want a truly urban experience, Toronto is the place to be.

So I hope this helps a little! Good luck :)
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A photo of poeticallydemented poeticallydemented
I agree with what's already been said. The majority of people on here are overachievers, people who want to be doctors, lawyers, etc. Honestly, I just started posting on here because I'm a procrastinator who will find any excuse not to do work. As we speak I should be writing an essay. Oops.

Anyways, the point is that a lot of people will put schools down because they don't suit their specific needs. A school like U of T isn't going to adapt to your needs, you need to adapt to its. A smaller school will make more of an effort to accommodate you, and U of T isn't necessarily able to do that. People talk about not getting into graduate school. To be honest, an undergrad is an undergrad. Whether you go to McGill or Laurier, if you take a course about World War II, you're going to learn that Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party. The academia is not an issue. Your smarts and efforts will be rewarded wherever you go.

The social aspect is something completely different. U of T is a commuter school, it's a fact of life. 6 million people live in the GTA, chances are not all of them can afford/want to live in downtown Toronto. If you're social, then you will gravitate to the people who are social too. Like someone else said, the students at U of T who are there having a great time are way too busy having a great time to come on here and whine about school.

I'm sure that the majority of the people on here won't stick around much longer after school starts, anyways. This place is more of a "OMG nerves and jitters and will I get in" type of forum.

I hope I haven't offended anyone, but I speak the truth. Go where you want to go, whether it be U of T, UBC or SFU. If you're from BC though just think twice about moving across the country - I've lived in Toronto for my entire life and a lot of people I know who move here tell me that the city can overwhelm them quickly.
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