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Schools Is the university of toronto as hard as they say it is?

  • Thread starter Kianlos
  • Start date
I know it has been asked before but hi, i'm currently a grade 12 highschool student and am pretty scared about university. Financially, i can only go to uoft and so no other school is being considered right now other than ryerson or york. Now, is uoft really as hard as they say it is? (now i mean their said comp science and physics programs hard because those are the courses i'm looking to double major in... also is their mechanical engineering program hard too?) Or is everyone just saying that... I'm currently maintaining a 94 average (95 in advanced functions, 93 in physics and 93 in computer science) and am wondering if i'd be okay or not! Please help!

Vanadium 50

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Nobody can tell you ahead of time you will succeed. But nobody can tell you ahead of time you will fail.


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Generally speaking a physics program is going to be challenging. You can't expect a cakewalk regardless of where you go, (and you probably wouldn't want to go through a program that was easy anyway). The University of Toronto has a well-respected physics program in Canada.

One thing that was fairly common in Ontario years ago (and is, I suspect somewhat universal) is for students to "brag" about how difficult their program was. The reasoning behind this wasn't too difficult to understand. If you struggled with the program, it was because it was hard to begin with. If you succeeded in the program, it made you look all that much better. As a result you have people (largely first and second year undergrads) who would have you believe that a "C" grade at their particular school is equivalent to an "A" anywhere else.

The thing is, you have to look at the courses offered and compare them with other programs. In Canada, a physics degree is pretty uniform in its core course work regardless of where you study. What separates the programs tend to be the options available for the senior courses. Different schools have different specializations, and that larger ones tend to have more options. This doesn't make them necessarily any harder or easier than other programs. Much of the specific challenges will come from the combination of professors that you end up with and the options that you choose. Other factors at play can be the number of students in a program, and the competitive nature of the atmosphere. U of T is a bigger Canadian school. Many of the physics programs in the country will only have a handful of physics students by comparison. This can mean in the larger program you have less individual attention, but more options for making friends and academic networking.

Largely, what's more important is that you focus on your own learning and chose a school that gives you the best options for living up to your potential. If you find a particular program too challenging, there are things you can do to mitigate that - decrease your course load, for example.

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Learning to work very hard is more important than how smart you are.

I predict success if you avoid video games, internet porn, drinking, partying, and chasing romance with most of your time in favor of 50-60 hours per week of solid academic effort with the mind focused and the pencil moving.

I predict failure if you don't worry much about your academic work until a day or two before graded events.

Choice is up to you.

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