First Year Peers

First Year Peers

Learn what you need to know about UTSC from your First Year Peers! They are friendly, fun and helpful upper-year students from all programs. You can ask them about the campus, the community and their experiences in their programs. Peer mentors are happy to share tips and advice for being academically successful, getting involved and what it’s like to be a UTSC student. Look out for their emails, starting from the second week of June!

 

My Name: Abirami
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: 1 Major and 2 Minors

Major in Health Studies - Population Health
Minor in French
Minor in International Development Studies
 
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I'm a lifeguard and swim instructor with the City of Toronto.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: I really like the Science Wing study desks because that area is usually pretty quiet when I need to do an intense study/work session and I like how the desks are really big and I can fit all my stuff there. Also, if I'm lucky I get to sit at the desks nearby the big windows so I always have a view of what it looks like outside whenever I need a break.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: One thing I did was I created my own study/workspace away from my bed so I wouldn't be tempted to do my work there and accidentally take a nap or find myself getting too comfortable and end up watching a show/movie. I also make sure my desk is clean.  If I don’t want to work at my desk, I go into the living room.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: I love going to the Academic Advising & Career Centre whenever I feel stuck/confused about what I want to do with my life. I always feel less stressed and more prepared whenever I leave the Centre because I'm able to talk about my plans with a professional.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Use office hours with your professors to get to know them and to stay on top of your work so you can ask them questions! And join/experiment with the clubs/councils we have at UTSC so you can find the right one for you and it gives you an opportunity to meet new people!
 

Preferred Name: Alana
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Health Studies - Health Policy
Major in International Development Studies
 
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I get my nails done every month at the salon (before quarantine of course), as it makes me feel more confident and beautiful knowing I have a fresh manicure!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Marketplace (HW) because it has the best food options and a lot of space to eat and gather with friends
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I think headphones are really important to me because my house can get loud at times and it’s hard to concentrate, so the headphones block out the noise in order for me to complete my work to the best of my ability!
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Academic Advising and Career Centre (AA &CC) has been the most beneficial to my learning! In fact, I went there in first year to help plan out my second year courses and an Academic Advisor kindly helped me go through the list of programs I would be interested in and directed me towards a great academic career, as well as help me figure out the proper resources to apply to law school!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: First year is a big adjustment because it is the "trial run" of university, but it gets better after that first step!
My Name: Ananya
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Specialist
 
Specialist Program in Computer Science
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I played the clarinet and saxophone for 6 years.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favourite place on campus is the upstairs couches in the Environmental Science & Chemistry building. It's relatively empty, and very comfortable, so perfect for working or taking a break.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: The Forest App has helped me stay focused. 25 minutes of consistent work seems doable, and growing a little plant in the meantime makes it worthwhile.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Math and Stats Office was a life-saver.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: In terms of effective time management, get a planner of some sort, and set small goals to accomplish throughout the day instead of one big goal.
 
My Name: Anushiya
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Human Biology
Major in Health Studies - Population Health
 
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Something Interesting About Me: Something interesting about me is that I know how to play the flute and piccolo.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favourite place on campus is the Market Place because its a great place to relax and study with friends.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Creating a schedule for myself. This helped me stay focused as well as being able to plan out how much time I should spend on each course every day.
 
Putting my phone in a different room than where I was studying helped eliminate distractions like social media.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: My favourite resource on campus is the Academic Advising and Career Centre (AA&CC) which helps students with academic tips and inquiries as well as helping with career related inquiries. The AA&CC offers various events and services that helps students explore new experiences and develop new skills.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Some advice for incoming students is to not shy away from participating in new events because it’s a great opportunity gain new experiences, skills and friends. I would also encourage students to attend office hours, where you can ask professors questions about the course and content on a one-on-one basis. Also, try and get involved with the UTSC community as much as possible through various events and clubs.
My Name: Barathi
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Psychology
Major in Human Biology
 
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I love pineapples on pizza!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The seating area in H-Wing because of all the sunlight and the trail is right outside. It makes for a perfect study break or a hangout spot with friends.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Making a to-do list everyday and trying my best to stick to it!
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising and Career Centre because there are so many resources in one location. It’s really easy to navigate through it, and they have great workshops, especially for first years!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Don't hesitate to explore the campus and what it has to offer! There are a lot of different resources, and they are all here to help make our time at UTSC as fun and as comfortable as possible!
My Name: David
 
Preferred Pronouns: He/him
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Human Biology
Major in Neuroscience
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I play Pokemon GO, and have done so since the day it was released in Canada!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Upstairs AC223 is the best place to study in my opinion; the windows are large, meaning that there is plenty of sunlight, and conduction of heat or cold. I also enjoy the wooden tables (however, this area is under construction currently).
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I would often pretend I was on campus studying, by replicating as many conditions as possible (ie. create a quiet atmosphere, listen to music I would normally listen to while studying at school, etc.). If that didn't work, I would remind myself that it doesn't matter where I study, and that I just need to get a certain amount of studying done that day.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising & Career Centre (AA&CC) has some really helpful tip sheets, which helped me out during my first year. There are really helpful ones on choosing your program, as well as taking efficient notes!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Primarily, I would advise students to try different methods of note-taking and studying, to help them prepare for evaluations. Once students get these down pat, they can divert more resources into figuring out other aspects of campus life, such as staying active, or finding time to join clubs, as well as making friends and spending time with them.
 
My Name: Devlin
 
Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
 
Program of Study: Specialist
 
Specialist in Integrative Biology
 
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I was a certified rescue SCUBA diver when I lived in Fiji!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: I love hanging out in the residence center. It has a big open space that's great for studying! It also gets lots of natural sunlight
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I've found that creating a daily To-do list on a post it note, and writing down my weekly or longer term goals somewhere really helps to keep me focused and on track!
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: My favorite resource on campus is probably Health and Wellness. In first year I had no idea the services they provided, and ended up getting a nasty case of the flu during finals. Since then, I've always gotten my flu shot as early as possible, and taken advantage of their other services!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: I think my biggest piece of advice for incoming students is to find a good social/school balance! The friends that you will make and meet in university really become an important part of your life, and it's important to make time for them, as well as your studies
 
My Name: Fariah
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Human Biology
Major in Molecular Biology, Immunology, and Disease
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: My parents are from Bangladesh.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favorite place on campus is Highland Hall because I love studying on the red sofas which I can also use to charge my phone or laptop.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I let my family members know when I’m studying so I have less interruptions and distractions. They help me by staying quiet, etc.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Professors are incredibly friendly and supportive resources for students.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Do not be afraid. University is a warm and supportive community and there are so many people here to help you. Everyone wants you to succeed.
My Name: Fatima
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Specialist (Co-op)
 
Specialist (Co-op) in Mental Health Studies
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I have a black belt in taekwondo!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: You can usually find me in quiet study corners, I don't like cafes.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Creating a to-do list and being able to tick off tasks I set for myself that day. It is satisfying and keeps me motivated to keep going.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Writing Centre is very helpful, and are there to support all writing levels
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Don't be afraid to network and reach out to upper year students. I found it extremely helpful and they were all nice and willing to connect online and in person. It was great to learn about their program of study and what opportunities to look out for
My Name: Amadi
 
Preferred Pronouns: He/ him
 
Program of Study: Specialist
 
Specialist in Strategic Management – Entrepreneur Stream
 
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I am into modelling and photography.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The bridge lab: it’s a great alternative to the library and is aimed at boosting research.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Listening to soothing music or rain sounds while studying
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Writing center has been a great resource for any academic papers I have to write.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Be sure to find something outside of school to maintain good balance and keep a healthy mind.
My Name: Lydia
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her or They/them
 
Program of Study: Specialist
 
Specialist in Studio Arts
 
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I was a figure skater for 12 years. (And have been playing softball for 15.)
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Womens and Trans Centre - It is welcoming, calming, comfortable, has lots of outlets. It is a nice place to chat with fun and interesting people you might not have met elsewhere.​
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: My Schedules and To-Do Lists (I actually find them fun and relaxing to make).
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Library - In person and the online database​
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: University is completely different from high school so don't be discouraged if your grades drop. Lower first year marks don't say anything about your intelligence - they really just mean you are still figuring out how to adapt your learning and coping strategies to the new context!
My Name: Micki
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Double Major (Co-op)
 
Major in Neuroscience
Major in Health Studies – Population Health Stream (Co-op)
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I used to be in competitive Judo and perform for my school choir. I am also a travel enthusiast, having visited fascinating locations such as Atlantis, Dubai and Amalfi Coast, Italy.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: I love the Meeting Place because there are always so many exciting events and workshops happening where students can interact, learn, and experience many new things. Also, I gotta love my daily stop at Starbucks!
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Creating a balance throughout my day by putting in productive breaks like going for a walk outside, working out in my basement, or cleaning the house.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising and Career Centre is my favorite resource on campus because it has provided me with a safe environment to ask questions and receive advice regarding study skills, course enrollment, and career development. Everyone working there has always been very friendly and approachable and I always got fast and efficient answers to my questions
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Come in with an open mind and positive attitude because there are so many new opportunities to explore and use to your benefit. Also, don't be afraid to reach out and make use of all the resources available when needing guidance.
My Name: Natalie
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Management Specialist (Co-op)
 
Specialist program in Management and Accounting (Co-op)
 
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I completed one of my academic terms on exchange and did a summer study abroad course in Europe
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: EV (Environmental Science & Chemistry) Building because it has nice study rooms
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Listening to peaceful instrumental music
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Writing Centre because it provides personalized writing instructions which I find very helpful in improving my academic writing skills.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Explore and make use of the resources available to you
My Name: Palak Sharma
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Psychology
Major in Women’s & Gender Studies
 
Year of Study:  3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I literally spent 25 mins thinking about this question (haha). But yes, I am definitely one of those persons who like pineapples on their pizza.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Mostly outdoors and definitely Tim’s (Tim Horton’s). I like to sit a lot at the outdoors of the marketplace. It gives me such a beautiful view of nature and of course lots of sunlight.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: A quiet room with lots of sunlight.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Pretty much every resource that helps me become a better person at UTSC.  For example, I visit the Academic Advising & Career Centre (AA&CC) a lot to get help for my academics. I would say whenever you feel that you need help with your academics, connect with the AA&CC. Also, heading over to the socials by Student Life gave me a sense of interaction at UTSC in my first year. Look out for virtual offerings throughout Fall semester!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Jump in to the new phase with enthusiasm and joy. On top of that, FEARLESSLY AND CONFIDENTLY.
My Name: Patricia Nagatani
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Specialist (Co-op)
 
Specialist (Co-op) in Management and Information Technology
 
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: Once I went to study at the library at 2am because I saw a spider in my dorm.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The Bridge. I like using 2 screens when doing my work and The Bridge gives me access to 2 screens.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Turning off all my notifications
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: International Student Centre, as I like to participate in Exchange programs
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Everyone is experiencing the same as you. They are also afraid. Don't be shy and go talk to the person next to you!
My Name: Samridhi
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Public Policy
Major in Psychology
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I started swimming when I was 4 and I published my book internationally when I was 17; it was a childhood dream come true!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The valley, especially in the evening with the pathway lit up, it is so beautiful and serene. In a chaotic university life, I find my solace in that place.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Discipline is extremely important to stay focused because nothing triumphs hard work.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Academic Advising is very helpful as they help us plan out university life more smoothly.
My Name: Samrin
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Specialist (Co-op)
 
Specialist (Co-op) in Neuroscience
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I enjoy playing lacrosse!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favourite place is the library because it is spacious and has a variety of spaces to study.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: One thing that helped me stay focused while studying at home is having self-set 'deadlines' for completing course materials.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: My favourite resource on campus is the Writing Centre which has been of immense help academically across a variety of courses.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Some advice for incoming students would be to become familiar with the various available resources on campus. This will aid you in understanding the support that is available for you during your time at the University of Toronto!
My Name: Shajaky
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Specialist (Co-op)
 
Specialist program in Neuroscience (Co-op)
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I am an architecture aficionado and love travelling!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The study space in Highland Hall! The amount of sunlight that enters through the big glass windows always lifts my mood.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: While studying at home, I found that making a daily to-do list helps me stay focused and keeps me on track with my online classes.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: A place called CopyKats and the Academic Advising & Career Centre (AA&CC)! Whenever I needed to print lecture slides, forms or any content, CopyKats was always open and available. When I was a first-year student, I visited the AA&CC to ask questions all the time! They helped me resolve issue with course enrolment and provided an opportunity to explore CAMH. It’s a great resource and love how it is very accessible.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: It's okay to experience and embrace change in first year. Once you get used to the environment, you'll find what really works for you!
Name: Tasneem
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Human Biology
Major in Psychology
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I'm an only child!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: I love the sense of campus community in the informal study area in the Highland Hall basement where laughter and fun are combined with productive group study sessions.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Creating a designated study space that is free of distractions.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Facilitated Study Groups (online or in person!). Many first-year courses offer FSG sessions 2-3 times a week led by students who have completed the course and have access to current course material. They are an interactive way to review the material, ask questions, tackle sample problems and keep up to date with course deadlines while developing meaningful friendships and mentorships.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: You are coming into a very unique situation and I know that you have many questions so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or anyone else mentioned here. We will try our best to guide you through this transition but any and all questions are always welcome. We are here to help you and we want to hear from you!
Name: Vjura
 
Preferred Pronouns: She/her
 
Program of Study: Specialist (Co-op)
 
Specialist (Co-op) Program in Neuroscience
 
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Something Interesting About Me: My favourite novel series is Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Some of my favourite movies include Avengers Endgame, Split and Parasite. I can also play the piano, violin and cello.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favourite place on Campus is the Valley Land Trail as it’s a nice place to take a stroll to destress.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Taking breaks in between study sessions and rewarding myself whenever I finish a bunch of tasks (eg. watching 30 mins of a TV show).
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: AA&CC, as they have a lot of resources to help students to succeed academically and prepare us for the workforce.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Join campus clubs and attend campus events from the get-go as they are a great way to meet new people and gain skills that you would need in the future. 
My Name: David
 
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
 
Program of Study: Management Specialist (Co-op)
 
Specialist (Co-operative) Program in Management and Finance (Bachelor of Business Administration)
 
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I am a credit card savvy
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Library Group Study Room; I can work with other students on projects and brainstorm ideas
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I use the Forest App to help me stay focused while studying at home. Forest is a cute gamified timer which uses virtual trees to inspire me to better manage my time and go phone-free. The longer I stay focus, the taller my virtual trees grow. Forest App even support friend-connection function where I can plant with friends. So, if you are interested, join me in planting virtual trees on Forest App and let’s stay focused together.
 
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: My favorite resource on campus is the BRIDGE Lab, which is an innovative study space dedicated to finance and accounting students to discover the real-world applications of market research platform and gain hands-on experience of analytical tools. As an individual who is passionate about gaining new knowledge and taking on new challenges, the BRIDGE provides many unique opportunities for me to gain a deeper understanding of what a career in finance and accounting is like and help me be better prepared for my future career.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: It would be beneficial to participate in first year experience programs and gain knowledge about campus resources as soon as possible
 

Name: ZHino
 
Program of Study: Double Major
 
Major in Neuroscience
Major in Molecular Biology, Immunology, and Diseases
Minor in Psychology
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: In my high school I built a football player robot
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The Valley Land Trail which has a spectacular nature and is so peaceful all the time. Great way to stay connected to nature 😉
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Making daily schedules and developing quarantine routine really helped me staying focused after we switched to remote way of studying and working.
 
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Academic Advising and Career Centre (AA&CC) because of its positive energy to start with. Also the fact that AA&CC advisors and staff almost always have the answer to students’ questions.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Never doubt yourself, explore different pathways, build connections, and have fun!!