Editor’s Note

Honestly, 2020 kinda sucks. I think this is the general sentiment we’re all heading into this year with, and for all the new students at U of T, I know this isn’t how you pictured your first time at university.

This handbook guide to surviving U of T has been drastically impacted by the limitations that COVID-19 has put on our lives, but it’s just a small way to tell you that, regardless of the circumstances, there’s still a community for you at U of T. There are still opportunities to be seized, memories to be made, and Robarts fugue states to emerge from.

This community might look different this year, and hey, it honestly might never look the same down the line. But here at U of T, where we have a species-ambiguous mascot and great pasta at Daddyo’s, we’re nothing if not adaptive. And I’d like to think that this is the kind of community you’re getting yourself into this year. So enjoy these articles, muse over the realities shared about this university, and imagine all of the new windows to climb through in 2020.

And as always, stay safe, wear a mask, and perfect that sweet, sweet elbow-tap. Anyway, don’t worry — even with all the chaos and a pandemic going on, you’ll all still be first-years to us.

— Stephanie Bai, Handbook Editor

Staying safe with your friends

By Candice Lee Zhang

Your first year at university is a chance to make new friends and connections. Even though physical distancing guidelines have been relaxed in Ontario, we have to remember that a pandemic is still going on. This means implementing safety measures when hanging out with others. If you have recently planned to socialize with your peers or plan to in the future, remember to follow the advice provided below.

  • Sanitize and wash your hands regularly. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds each time, and make sure to use soap and water.
  • Wear a mask in public spaces — including on campus.
  • Always maintain a physical distance of two metres from others — with or without a mask.
  • Know the risk of your chosen activity. Be mindful of the location, transportation, and crowd.
  • Greet others from a distance to limit physical contact.
  • Avoid travelling to crowded places.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when you sneeze or cough.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Make sure that there are less than 10 people in your group.
  • Use cashless transactions — cards, not cash!
  • Carry your own water bottle, and avoid drinking from fountains.
  • Avoid sharing items with who people you don’t live with, including gym and sports equipment.
  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19 — including coughing, difficulty breathing, and fever — and get tested if you feel sick.
  • Overall, have fun and enjoy your first year, but be safe!

Pro tip: University College dining hall has a chicken caesar wrap that’s not on any menu. — Tahmeed

Write your essays knowing a sleep-deprived teaching assistant at 2:00 am has 10 minutes to get through it. — Ori

Use the chat box in Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom to form Facebook groups with your classmates! You’ll thank yourself later.— Jadine

The burrito place in Robarts and Sids and the coffee truck in front of Robarts each have punch cards — get one. — Megan