by John Leung

It’s official – I have survived my first term here at New College, University of Toronto! University has been very different than what I imagined. I definitely wish that someone had told me what university would be like so I could have prepared myself mentally.

To help future university students, this blog post will take a MythBusters approach. I have asked my high school friends for some university myths that they have heard. I will categorize those myths as: real, fake or half-true, half-false.

John Leung's MythBusters at U of T


1. Myth: University is super difficult.

Real. At a big institution like U of T the course material and workload become more difficult because university has different expectations compared to high school. Also, in order to maintain a high ranking, university tends to bell curve the class so it becomes more competitive to get good grades. There is definitely a learning curve from high school to university.

Exam Stress!


2. Myth: Everyone at university drinks alcohol and has a lot of sex.

Fake. Although there are a very small percentage of students who party and have sex often, this is not a daily activity for most university students. The friends you have will make big difference on whether or not you party a lot.


3. Myth: Universities prefer to accept athletes into university.

Fake. Okay, this might be true in the US. The only advantage athletes may get is a lower admission average compared to others, but not a lot. Athletic scholarships in Canada are not worth that much either since Canada is not big on college sports compared to the States. It only helps athletic students to get accepted with a lower admission average.

UToronto #29 Brett Willows makes a save


4. Myth: You can’t sleep if you live on residence because everyone is loud and partying all the time.

Half-true, half-false. There were only a couple times last semester when I couldn’t sleep because there was a party in the common room on Friday and Saturday, but they did not break any rules since quiet hours are extended on those days. But, this rarely happens.


5. Myth: Freshman 15

Real. As I mentioned in a previous post, Freshman 15 exists because of the all you can eat meals in the cafeteria, lack of exercise and unhealthy living habits that freshmen have during first year.

Granola and bowl

Try having health snacks like granola in your dorm room!


6. Myth: There’s going to be at least one hot person on your floor in residence.

Real. At every university, no matter what academic discipline, there will for sure be good-looking people. Hence, there will be at least one hot person on your floor in residence.


7. Myth: Profs are hard to reach.

Fake. Professors are quite easy to get hold of, although some are harder than others. You can simply reach a professor during their office hours, email them or talk to them after your lecture.

Blackboard showing contact details


8. Myth: You’re going to hate your roommate.

Half-true, half-false. It’s hard for me to speak on this because I live in a single room. Listening to my friends, though, most of them get along with their roommates. I do hear of some cases where roommates do not talk to each other or that one is always away, but it could be worse. On the extreme side, I do know a couple friends who despise their roommates.


9. Myth: Students skip lectures.

Real. Some students don’t care about lectures or tutorials because attendance is not recorded for most courses. They may also find it difficult waking up to go to lectures or learning in a room with 100-1400 other students in it. Students are also known to skip tutorials. During my last Sociology tutorial, only 5 of the fifty students showed up. My advice is to go to lecture and tutorials because we did pay for those lessons through our tuition, didn’t we?

Person under the covers in bed

One reason that students skip lectures is because they sleep in. I encourage everyone to develop a good sleep routine.


I would like to thank my friends Yvana and Kat for sending me all the university myths they have heard. To the readers, I am sorry if I broke any of your university fantasies or dreams, but at least you are finding out early rather than later, like me… Also, comment below if you know of any more wild university myths – I want to hear them!