Ontario universities are constantly being compared to one another. In those discussions, nothing nice is ever said about anyone else's school. It's as if everybody is on a mission to prove that their school is superior when, in reality, there is no such thing.
All universities are institutions of higher learning. Whether a school has more accolades or international recognition than another doesn't make it a better institution - Every school shines at something, so any comparisons being made should highlight those strengths, instead of setting them aside for the sake of proving another schools supremacy.
Unfortunately, that still isn't the case in Ontario. Several students still engage in playful banter, and though it's all supposed to be in good fun, it can still be nasty at its core.
An old online forum discussed classic taunts for universities in Ontario. Here are some of the savage sayings about Ontario universities that were mentioned, and why they may have come to be in the first place:
If you can hold a fork, you can go to York
This is perhaps the most well-known taunt in the Ontario university world. It's nod to the stereotype that York University generally has lower admission rates and serves as the "Plan B" option by many high school students who aspire to go to U of T.
But it's an odd stereotype considering that York University is home to exceptional programs (including Canada's only space engineering and global health programs), 24 research centres and $5-million-worth of innovative teaching initiatives. Needless to say, York University is far from being just a "Plan B" option.
If you can walk and talk, you can go to Brock
Many factors could have contributed to the stereotype that Brock University is an easy ride to a degree. Perhaps it has something to do with the rural-esque surroundings of St. Catharines, or the relatively laid-back student culture of house parties and $2 beers.
But a school with novel experiential learning experiences, top researchers and one of the largest co-op programs in Canada, you'll have to be able to do much more than just walk and talk to get into Brock. Check out the university's response to this stereotype with this epic video.
If you can walk and talk faster, you can go to McMaster
McMaster is often viewed similarly to Brock. The "faster" part of the statement suggests that students who go there have to work a little more than Brock students, but that the school is still lackluster when it comes to reputation and campus culture.
What the stereotype doesn't take into account is McMaster's renowned research-intensive medical-doctoral programs and admission average ove 90 per cent. If McMaster students do have to work a little harder, it's for a reason.
If you want to be able to pay rent, don’t go to Trent
This stereotype is a direct attack on Trent University's ability to prepare students for the workforce. There seems to be this misguided notion that Trent alumni will not be able to find jobs.
Yet, 94 per cent of graduates secure jobs within two years of graduation, with almost 90 per cent finding employment within six months. This rate is also still rising. They're just jealous.
Wilfrid Laurier University = The high school down the street
People refer to Wilfrid Laurier University as a high school not only because the campus is small, but also because they seem to believe the institution operates like a high school. Its students are known for their frequent partying as well, which just feeds into the stereotype even more.
But just because Laurier students like to have a good time, doesn't mean they're not achievers - I mean, in order to attend a university with an award-winning faculty, a leading co-op program and one of the best business schools in the country, you need to be one.
The “K” in Carleton stands for Quality
This stereotype suggests Carleton University students are not the brightest bunch of people, to the point where they even have trouble spelling. Someone on Urban Dictionary even described it as "a third rate Canadian university in a third rate city (Ottawa)".
However, the reality is actually the opposite - in fact, it has one of the best journalism programs around, with more than 1,000 students trying to snag one of the coveted 180 spots each year. So if anyone's concerned whether or not Carleton students can spell, they really shouldn't be.
Rye High is the moniker assigned to Ryerson University, due to its physical and operational resemblance to a high school. Apparently, one step into Kerr Hall and it will all makes sense...
But Ryerson University is way beyond that reputation. With solid career-focused programs, close connections to big industry players and a concentration on polytechnic education, Ryerson prepares its students for the real world.
This saying is pretty self-explanatory - a lot of people just seem to hate Western. It might have something to do with the excessive partying, or the the stereotype that everyone who goes there is living off of their parents' money...
But why hate people for enjoying a good ol' kegger? Besides, they're not just their to mess around - Western students are enrolled in top business, psychology, philosophy and English programs.
"Waterloser" is a common nickname used to describe UWaterloo students. Even UWaterloo students throw it around at each other sometimes. The nickname speaks of the stereotypical "squareness" of UWaterloo students and their lack of school pride.
But "well-rounded" is more fitting descriptor for them. The Globe and Mail referred to Waterloo as "the closest thing Canada has to Stanford", so yes, UWaterloo students have to be hard-working. But that doesn't mean they don't like the party. Besides, they've got Albert St, Laurier and a dozen clubs in the area to do all that if they wish.
U of Torture
U of T is often regarded as the best school in the province, due to its international reputation for academic excellence. However, many people associate the school with torture because of its intensely competitive academic programs. Resulting from this is the stereotype that U of T students are so overwhelmed with school that they're essentially robots.
However, a campus located in the heart of downtown Toronto gives them the opportunity to find a good work-life balance. Book smarts and street smarts make them much more than just slaves to their school work.