Alumni & Friends - Ways to get involved and give back

Your First Year Peers

First Year Peers

Learn what you need to know about U of T Scarborough 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 at U of T Scarborough. Peer mentors are happy to share tips and advice on being academically successful, getting involved and what it’s like to be a U of T Scarborough student. Look out for their emails, starting the second week of June 2021!


Alyssia

Program of Study: 2 Majors

  • Major in Political Science
  • Major in International Development

Year of Study: 2nd year

Something Interesting About Me: During quarantine I was so bored that I learned how to cook!

Favourite Place on Campus and Why: BV, everyone is always working so hard and the environment motivates me to work even harder! 

One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Taking reasonable breaks and planning my day ahead of time.

Favourite Resource on Campus: Health and Wellness! The counsellors and doctors are so very helpful and welcoming.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Surround yourself with individuals who you feel, uplift you and allow you to be the best version of yourself!

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Archanah

Program of Study: 2 Majors and 1 Minor

  • Major in Health Studies – Population Health
  • Major in Human Biology
  • Minor in Economics

Year of Study: 3rd year

Extra-Curricular involvements: I am an events director for UTSC’s World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

Something Interesting About Me: I love watching horror movies and I have two pet rabbits.

Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The study space in B-Wing because there are many tables for me and my friends to study together. I also really enjoy walking along the Valley Land Trail whenever I am taking a break.

One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Creating a schedule has helped me because I am able to plan out my day and figure out how much time I should spend on each task. With my planner I am able to keep track of my progress and set mini-goals throughout the day.

Favourite Resource on Campus: My favourite resource on campus is the Academic Advising and Career Centre (AA&CC). Whenever I am in doubt, I have found that booking an appointment with the AA&CC has always been helpful because the advisor listens to my concerns and helps me figure out potential solutions. Not only that but, the centre also provides employment-related resources, helpful tip sheets, and they host many workshops.

Some Advice for Incoming Students: Some advice for incoming students is to join clubs on campus as it is a great way to gain experience and make new friends. With regards to course material, it can be difficult for incoming students to be able to handle all their coursework at once. In that case, attending facilitated study groups (FSGs) and the professors’ office hours are helpful as they will clarify any doubts students have. FSGs are also a great way to meet people taking the same course(s) as you. Finally, first year is a big step so try to take things day by day. Set mini-goals so that it will help bring you closer to the bigger goal you set for yourself.

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Aubrey

Program of Study: 2 Majors

  • Major in Health Studies - Population Health
  • Major in Biology

Year of Study: 4th year

Extra-Curricular involvements: Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) UofT Chapter.

Something Interesting About Me: I’m a strong advocate for more representation in STEM fields! That is the main reason why I am part of the WISE team. I truly hope to instill interest and encourage the younger generation to take one step forward, and not be fearful of being different in any career they pursue.

Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favourite place on campus is Highland Hall because of the sheer amount of sunlight radiating through the large windows.

One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Starting a bullet journal (instead of opting for my usual pre-made journals) has allowed me to personalize my schedule and find what works for me!

Favourite Resource on Campus: Facilitated Study Groups! The upper years who facilitate them 1-2 times a week have been so supportive and helpful throughout my academic career. They always have great tips and advice on how to handle the course, especially from people who’ve taken the course previously!

Some Advice for Incoming Students: It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with so many deadlines, responsibilities, and resources available. Take it one step at a time! Meet new people, speak with upper-year students, try new things, join organizations, and most all of, have fun!

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Colin

Program of Study: 1 Specialist and 1 Minor
  • Specialist in Mental Health Studies
  • Minor in Music and Culture
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Extra-Curricular involvements: 
  • Facilitator at This Uke's for UTSC (former/in-person)
  • Programming Officer in ACMSA
  • Vice-President of Music 303
  • Volunteer Certification in ACM Engage!
Something Interesting About Me: I play the theremin, a rare, early electronic instrument, and the only instrument in the world to be played without touch!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The third floor of Arts and Administration! We have an amazing, vibrant, and active community of musicians, artists, and professors on the third floor. There's always something interesting going on - if not because of events, then because the students find ways to make every day a fantastic one. Plus, there are practice rooms with pianos OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (more people need to know!!), which is great for practicing your musicianship! If you're a noisy studier like me, it's a great work/study spot, too.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Finding and exploring passions, and making every day meaningful. Having a good working mindset is made so much easier by doing things you enjoy on your downtime. For me, that was my musicianship and computer building, plus socially-distanced meetups with friends where possible. The same energy that goes into what you love ends up going right into your work as well!
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Office of the Registrar. Always so pleasant and helpful!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Talk to people!!! Pro tip: EVERY first-year student in the lecture hall wants friends, but most of them feel too nervous to talk to others because they think they're intruding or 'being weird'. That's almost never true, so don't be afraid to put yourself out there! Start a couple conversations, and you'll have a community of awesome friends in no time. Relatedly, join clubs that interest you and make connections! Having great communities to bond with will make your first year the best time of your life.

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David

Program of Study: 2 Majors and 1 Minor
  • Major in Neuroscience
  • Major in Human Biology
  • Minor in Biomedical Ethics
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Extra-Curricular involvements: BrainWaves UTSC and Medical Education Initiative Organization
 
Something Interesting About Me: I'm currently trying to grow watermelons in my backyard!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The new Valley Land trail- this is an awesome place to visit whenever you (or your eyes) need a break from all the studying! I have encountered deer on the trail more than a few times as well.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I like to remind myself that even though I am studying online, the stakes are the same. It also might help to interact with cues related to academic environments (ie. maybe change your PC’s background picture to the interior of your favourite study place on campus, or a library).
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: AA&CC! The Academic Advising and Career Centre is a place where you can go for any kind of academic-related question. No question is considered a bad question, so feel free to connect with them even for the purpose of a double or triple check!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible when you are studying! A good posture and study schedule will really help preserve your health!

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Farah

Program of Study: Philosophy
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Extra-Curricular involvements: UTSC Association of Philosophy Students
 
Something Interesting About Me: I am a twin, mature student, and an Aviation professional (worked in the industry for a few years before joining UofT last September).
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Do not have one. I have not been on campus yet.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Space out study sessions and divide work into smaller daily tasks to avoid getting overwhelmed with last minute cramming.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Academic Advising & Career Centre and Registrar’s Office
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Prioritize balance and do not be afraid to try out different classes and finding new interests!

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Georgia

Program of Study: 1 Major and 2 Minors
  • Major in French Language
  • Minor in English Literature
  • Minor in African Studies
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Extra-Curricular involvements:
  • Regenesis Volunteer
  • Volunteered in a grade 7 classroom
  • Worked for the campus library
Something Interesting About Me: I love all things to do with gardening; painting rocks, attracting pollinators like bees, and re-growing leek and green onion in glass jars on window ledges.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The trail! Going on a walk always clears my head and helps generate ideas for projects. If you go just before sunset, you might spot a deer or two!
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home:  I make a weekly list of things I “must” do and things I “should” do. It has helped me visualize the important tasks mixed in with things I want to do. Once I complete them, I get the satisfaction of crossing them off.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The UTSC BookStore has always helped me through the process of buying, renting, and buying back my old textbooks. They can help you place an order and check the status of when materials will be coming back in stock.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Document your university journey. Trust me, it is going to fly by! I wish I took more photos, recorded mini vlogs, and wrote journal entries about my University days.

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Honma

Program of Study: Specialist
  • Specialist in Strategic Management – Entrepreneur Stream
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Extra-Curricular involvements: Co-president of Black Students in Business
 
Something Interesting About Me: I love photography as an escape from a tiring day. 
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favorite place on campus is the Bridge lab. I find it a great alternative to the library, and I complete most of my research projects as they have several resources to utilize.
 
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: My favorite campus resource would be the writing center. Given we turn in many written projects in Management, I have had to use the writing center to support most areas of my writing process.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Balance is key! Try to maximize your campus experience by joining a few clubs, attending a couple of beneficial workshops or campus events and building strong relationships with your peers.

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Jennifer

Program of Study: Double Major
  • Major in Human Biology
  • Major in Psychology
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Extra-Curricular involvements:
  • Admissions Student Mentor at UTSC
  • Event Executive Assistant at Psychological Health Society
  • Health and Wellness Center Ambassador
  • Sponsorship Captain at Relay For Life
Something Interesting About Me: I am currently working part-time as an ABA Instructor Therapist for children who fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: I love hanging out with friends on the super comfy couches on the higher-level floors in the HL building. That is usually the place we go to de-stress and have some great conversations!
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Finding a spot in my room that I designate for work only so that whenever I am at that spot, I know that I can’t pick up any distractions (like I would if I were working on my bed, for instance).
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising and Career Center (AA&CC) has helped me a lot with figuring out my next steps as a student as well as what to do after graduation!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: University flies by even faster than high school; so enjoy your time, find people who share the same interests as you, and remember that it is completely normal to not know what you want to do in life yet!

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Layla

Program of Study: Double Major
  • Major in French Studies
  • Major in Theatre and Performance
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Extra-curricular involvements: First Year Learning Community Participant
 
Something Interesting About Me: I am a piano instructor.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: I love walking through the Valley Land Trail. It is very scenic path and a great way to relax, get some fresh air, and hopefully see some wildlife.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: One thing that has helped me to stay focused while studying at home is making weekly and daily schedules with time stamps and trying my best to stick to them.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: My favourite resource on campus is the Career & Co-Curricular Learning Network which is perfect for students to explore different volunteer opportunities, campus jobs, seminars, workshops and other events on campus.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: My advice for incoming students is to try and take advantage of all the resources that are offered on campus. You should try to enter university with an open mind, positivity, and a willingness to adapt. Also, the University provides a very welcoming and supportive environment so don’t be afraid to build new connections and meet new people.

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Mafaz

Program of Study: 2 Majors and 1 Minor
  • Major in Mental Health
  • Major in Population Health
  • Minor in Applied Statistics
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Extra-curricular involvements:
  • Best Buddies
  • Debate Club
  • Head Teacher for Children's Programs
  • Health Occupations Students of America
  • Hospital Volunteer
  • Muslim Student Association
  • My Hijab My Right
  • Youth Empowering Youth
Something Interesting About Me: I am a podcast coordinator!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Unfortunately, I started university during the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, I have been to the Valley at UTSC, and it was absolutely stunning!
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Never underestimate the importance of getting organized! Setting a daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list helps you remember all your deadlines and extracurricular projects. I also find that setting zoom study sessions with my friends helps me stay focused.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: My favourite resource is the Academic Advising & Career Centre. I remember feeling stressed about choosing my programs during the second semester of my first year, and the staff at the AA&CC have helped me find the programs that best suits my goals and interests.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: The biggest piece of advice I can give to you all is to get involved with extracurriculars. Attending club events and socials serve as valuable opportunities to make new friends, develop new interests, and make connections!

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Mary

Program of Study: 2 Major and 1 Minor
  • Major in English
  • Major in Psychology
  • Minor in Sociology
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I’ve lived in 7 countries, including Canada.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The busy intersection behind the Student Centre, because I enjoy people watching while breathing fresh air.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Your professors! Attend office hours, get to know them, ask questions, they’re here to help!
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Your professors! Attend office hours, get to know them, ask questions, they’re here to help!
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Don’t’ wait! Explore campus resources and clubs, attend events. The earlier you do, the more opportunities you’ll take advantage of and the more fulfilling your university experience will be.

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Muzna

Program of Study:  
  • Major in the Joint Journalism Program
  • Minor in International Development
Year of Study:  2nd year
 
Extra-curricular involvements: The Varsity Newspaper
 
Something Interesting About Me: I enjoy volunteering with different organizations.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: N/A (I will let you know when I step on campus)
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Doing my work in intervals of 30 to 40 minutes each.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Writing Centre
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Always be open to new experiences and getting out of your comfort zone because you can learn new things and socialize with other amazing people.

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Net

Program of Study: Double Major
  • Major in Human Biology
  • Major in Psychology
Year of Study: 4th year
 
Extra-curricular involvements: UTSC ACF and UTSC Capture
 
Something Interesting About Me: I enjoy film photography.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: There used to be a table near the student lounge, my friends and I would set it up and we’d study there all the time. It was pretty quiet and I would say it was our special spot to hang out together.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Having a schedule, and keeping track of all my deadlines.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Pan Am Sports Centre
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Make friends as soon as you can! Even better if they’re in the same program as you.

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Priyanka

Program of Study: Double Major
  • Major in Neuroscience
  • Major in Human Biology
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I am a huge bookworm and recently stayed up the entire night to finish reading “The Catcher in the Rye” which is my favourite novel I read this year!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Out in the abundant nature that surrounds our campus. The Valley Land Trail provides a feeling of peace and relaxation. It is a great place to de-stress.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I made a to-do list as well as utilized a daily planner. Additionally, I printed out my weekly schedule and posted it on the wall above my study space to ensure I was attending all my classes.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising and Career Centre is filled with amazing people who are always excited to help you along your journey!
 
Advice for incoming students: Don’t be afraid to get involved! UTSC offers abundant resources and you are sure to find a resource tailored to your needs. Facilitated Study Groups (FSGs) are a fantastic way to keep up with the material and ensure that you do not fall behind, while also providing an environment conducive to one-on-one interactions with your peers in a small group setting.

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Raksana

Program of Study: Management
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Extra-curricular involvements: Activity Planner for the Management Orientation Committee and Violin player
 
Something Interesting About Me: Even before I was a UofT student, I volunteered at UTSC’s spider lab!
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The library because it’s so peaceful!
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Taking small breaks in between studying and minimizing distractions while studying.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Math and Stats Support
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Studying is important - but trying new things and making friends enhances the university experience!

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Shree

Program of Study:  Management
 
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I have been to Sweden on an exchange program while I was in high school.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The valley because it is a great place to unwind from all the academic stress.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Making sure I have everything that I need before I start studying to avoid distractions, as well as occasionally turning off notifications on my phone.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: The Academic Advising and Career Centre (AA&CC) is extremely helpful and beneficiary to all the students especially those in the coop program.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: No matter what happens do not feel discourages, first year is just a chapter of your life and one that is always memorable.

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Shreya

Program of Study: Double Major
  • Major in Human Biology
  • Major in Molecular Biology, Immunity, and Disease
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Something Interesting About Me: I love playing soccer.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favorite place is the UTSC trail because it is peaceful and full of scenic views.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Creating a study space without any distractions.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: AA&CC because it has always helped me through either their workshops and info sessions or academic advising.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Build connections, solve any doubts or problems without delaying them, it is okay to get confused!

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Tasneem

Program of Study: Double Major
  • Major in Human Biology
  • Major in Psychology
Year of Study: 3rd year
 
Extra-curricular involvements: Because I'm a Girl UTSC and Molecular Biology and Immunology Students' Association
 
Something Interesting About Me: I’m a co-founder of the Diabetes Awareness Society at UTSC, a student organization dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes particularly amongst the student community.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: My favorite place on campus is the informal study space in Highland hall because I enjoyed using the space to study with friends and classmates.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: One thing that helped me stay focused while studying at home was separating my work and living spaces, I made it a priority to keep my workspace free from distractions and to only sit at my desk while working. 
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Facilitated study groups because they are an opportunity to discuss and review course material with my classmates and an upper year student who is familiar with the course content.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Don’t be afraid to connect with your first-year peer! We’re here to help you and we enjoy hearing from you.

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Theevya

Program of Study: Specialist
  • Specialist in Neuroscience
Year of Study: 2nd year
 
Extra-curricular involvements:
  • Associate of Operations for Jack.org club at UTSC
  • Writer for Margins Magazine (UTSC Women's and Trans Centre in-House Publication)
  • International Student Ambassador (volunteer position) at UTSC
  • Intern position for the newsletter team at the Neuroscience Foundation (World's first neuroscience and humanitarianism non-profit organization run by students)
Something Interesting About Me: I was born in Malaysia, but I also lived in Cambodia and Vietnam for six and four years respectively, before going back to Malaysia to finish high school.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: The Valley Land Trail! When you’ve got a long day on campus and you need to take a break between lectures, this is the place to go. I’d grab an iced capp from Tim’s and take a stroll down the trail with my friends. Great way to get some fresh air, and to get off your seats!
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: Changing my studying environment from time to time. I find that when I study in my room, I’m often tempted to jump on my bed and relax, so finding another quiet spot in the house designated solely for studying was very important for me.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Facilitated Study Groups which helped me immensely as a first year.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: Have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself!

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Wendy

Program of Study: Double Major
  • Major in City Studies
  • Major in Economics for Management Studies
Year of Study: 3rd  year
 
Extra-curricular involvements: Health and Wellness Centre ambassador and Sponsor director of UT&Fun club
 
Something Interesting About Me: I played the flute for 10 years and I studied in a girls’ school for seven years in Shanghai.
 
Favourite Place on Campus and Why: Highland Hall is a newly built building which has a great architectural style. The all-glass design allows sunlight to penetrate comfortably. There are many study areas and a snack bar in HL. I enjoy getting a cup of coffee and studying with my friends there.
 
One thing that helped me to stay focused while studying at home: I will write all the deadlines on a calendar and remind me of what to do today. Meanwhile, a quiet learning environment and taking a rest play a critical role in making me more focused on the study and improving my learning efficiency.
 
Favourite Resource on Campus: Library is a useful database. It is regarded as a time-saver in searching peer reviews and related academic resources when writing an essay.
 
Some Advice for Incoming Students: First Year is a significant period in transition. The abundant resources of the campus will aid you a lot. Be active in participating in campus clubs or volunteer activities and try new things in the university. Moreover, communicate with professors and campus advisors to gain more opportunities and establish your personal network connections. Everyone at UTSC is unique. Hope you all have a wonderful time here.

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