Welcome to the Roaring 20s

Welcome to the roaring ‘20s! We’re back with another edition of Humans of Toronto. As we enter this new decade, we asked Torontonians about the hardest challenges they’ve had to overcome in life. 

One of the things that I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older is overcoming the whole sense of time. I know it’s kind of an abstract thing, but it’s kind of scary to me that I can only go forward. I know it seems fairly simple at first, but once it kind of hits you – that next year I’ll be 21, then 22 – I start hitting big milestones in my life, I’ll graduate university and become a real adult. There’s a lot of responsibilities that are going to be tied to that and I can never go back. So, I guess to get over that scary thought, I’ve had to develop a different mentality. It’s one of the hardest things that I’ve had to go through in my most recent experiences which is just kind of, becoming an adult and accepting it. If I can’t control something, it worries me. I’m trying to accept that I can’t control this.

The greatest challenge I’ve faced is attending university. A lot of the kids I grew up with never went to postsecondary school, and the ones that did, ended up going to college or dropped out of their programs. It felt lonely in the beginning, but as the years went on, I was able to make a lot of new friends and some amazing memories. I struggled adapting to university in my first year and was on academic probation, but I eventually had a wakeup call and got my shit together. And, I’m glad I did, because now I’m doing a thesis project and I’m planning on completing a Masters degree once I graduate. I feel like first-year students who struggle in university should realize they aren’t stupid, but just need to be better at time management. This is also the reason why I joined the Tri-mentoring here at Ryerson so I could be a mentor to first-year students who have how I felt and maybe gone through a similar situation in their lives. To all the people who’ll be reading this, all I want you to remember is that you’re amazing!

My greatest challenge was when I was in grade 7, with only two or three months left before the end of the school year. My family and I moved to another house on the other side of the city. It sucked because I had to leave my close group of friends and the house that I lived in. I was pretty sad and couldn’t really talk about it with my family because they were so happy and proud to move to a bigger house in a nice neighbourhood. Once I moved, I was kind of in denial with the fact that I moved, so I wasn’t too eager to make new friends and be in a new school. So, the end of grade 7 was pretty bad, but when grade 8 started, I took a step and started a conversation with the new girl at school that year. Looking back, I realize how important it was for me to accept the changes made by the move so that I could step out of my comfort zone.

The challenge that I overcame was failure. Failure is one of the greatest challenges for me because I had expectations from my family and standards in regards to my two siblings. All of my siblings never failed a subject in their lives, whereas I have. But, what I realized after graduating high school is that being able to face failure, especially in high school, has made my life easier. For instance, now I don’t expect everything to go my way with school or building friendships. Everything that will happen will come at it’s own time. Failing reminds me that I won’t be able to control or create my life to what I want to happen. That some plans don’t always work out. I remind myself that if I want to make up for my failures, I will do so by taking on the self-initiative to improve myself to reach my full potential. I’ve done a lot of self-reflecting since high school like asking myself, “Do I really want to achieve my goals? What are my next steps? What am I doing right?” I am tired of being scared of messing up or making a fool out of myself. So now, I just do what I have to do and see what comes out of it.

All photos by Kirti Vyas.