HoTO: Farewell, 2019

As we enter this new decade, we asked Torontonians about their favourite moments from 2019 for the December edition of “Humans of Toronto.”

My favourite moment of 2019 would be my self-growth. This year, I joined an initiative at my university that helps students build motivation, optimism and resilience, along with learning time management skills and effective studying habits. I’ve learned to express more gratitude in my life and talk to the people who are close to me about my problems rather than keeping it all bottled up. I also decided to get more involved this year at school and joined a few clubs, which is changing my university experience. Now I feel like I’m getting more out of university rather than just grades. In my self-care journey this year, I’ve learned the importance of being kind to myself and have been learning to forgive. My mindset has gone from being negative and realistic to becoming positive and open-minded.

For me, the highlight of 2019 was definitely my student exchange to England. I got to travel independently and live on my own and meet the most amazing people from all over the world. I created many new friendships with people who I still text. This is also where I met my girlfriend. I genuinely don’t think any other experience in my life has ever compared to this one. It was the best.

The best part of 2019 was when I started my job at the Ryerson Career and Co-op Centre. From April to August, I started my first full-time office job. It was an amazing experience, but to say I was terrified would be an understatement. I had loads of anxiety going into it, because I was only used to working part-time in retail types of jobs. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to adapt to the structure of it, but I eventually did. The friends I met through this job are so near and dear to my heart now. From teaching me about their cultures during lunches to our deep conversations to our special projects. Shoutout to Ken for allowing me to help him with Career Crunch – a podcast on Spotify and Apple’s podcasting platform. They truly taught me a lot. Apart from the relationships I built through this job, I also learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am very independent and I enjoy having creative control over tasks handed off to me. I’ll treasure this experience forever. 

2019 was one of the best and worst years of my life. I cut off so many people who I thought would be a part of my life forever. I opened my eyes and realized who wasn’t there for me when they said they would always be there. I saw that I was allowing jealous, insecure and negative individuals into my life who didn’t deserve my love and energy. I let go of some of my best friends and it hurt, but it was for the best. I think my favourite part of 2019 was my academic and professional progress. My goal at the beginning of the year was to achieve a certain GPA, pay off my tuition fees and get a job in my field. I’m so happy because in 2019, I reached all of these goals! I think I also truly learned about the importance of believing in yourself and persevering.  I learned to put myself first and set boundaries. No matter how many times you fail, you can always pick yourself up and do way better than you ever thought you could. There were a lot of times where I felt like giving up or felt like my goals were too unrealistic. But, I constantly pushed myself to keep working hard and I think that’s something I haven’t ever done before. No year has ever thrown so much hurt and healing into my life as 2019. What started as an extremely bitter year turned into a journey of forgiveness, love and growth. I’m extremely proud of everything I’ve achieved this year, and can’t wait to use all the skills that I’ve developed in 2020.

All photos by Kirti Vyas.