What are SFU students looking forward to in 2020?

SFU students talk about goals they're looking forward to in 2020, and what they're leaving behind with the last decade

Image courtesy of pxfuel

ByKelly Chia, Meera Eragoda, Victoria Lopatka, Nicky Magas, Lubaba Mahmud, Kim Regala

I want to live my twenties without guilt about taking time to rest.

Hi there, 2020. 

2019 was a year of many firsts for me: it was the first time I allowed myself to take my writing seriously, I got my first few tattoos, and I vacationed with friends rather than family for the first time.

Despite all this, in the last months of 2019, I really lost touch with my mental health. I would brush off unhealthy coping mechanisms and persist into bad habits that ultimately wore me down into an unrecognizable husk. It’s a place I do not want to be in again — not when I’ve learned that there’s so much love for me here in the people I love and the things I create. 

There are many new things I want to try in 2020: I will be performing in a burlesque show, trying to save more money, and I will be getting more plants. I’d like to travel more. I will love my friends the best way I know how. I want to live my twenties without guilt about taking time to rest. Learning each day that my value isn’t my productivity is difficult, but I am trying. – KC

I would like to politely decline on becoming a “new” me, and instead continue the journey of resistance I started in 2019.

Welp! It’s here again. That time of year for all the “new year, new me” posts, subscriptions to gym memberships, and committing to signing up for a million things to help you on your journey to the new and improved YOU! 

This year, however, I would like to politely decline on becoming a “new” me, and instead continue the journey of resistance I started in 2019. I’ll be doing this by prioritizing rest over our hustle and grind culture, and respecting my body instead of conflating weight with value. I will not buy into diet and fitness culture. I will say no to the anxiety of overextending myself. In 2020, I am prioritizing not feeling guilty for not filling up every hour of my day, refusing to buy into the “you can sleep when you’re dead” mindset, and dismissing the notion that rest makes you lazy. 

I will continue to cultivate an Instagram feed of positivity and compassion, prioritize my mental health, strengthen my friendships, become a better ally, listen more, dance wildly, sing terribly and out of tune, wear flashy clothes, and embody Kurt Vonnegut’s ideal that “we are here on earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.” – ME

I’ve decided I want to spend more time alone in 2020. Whether that be by going to a restaurant or café solo, hiking on my own, or simply just putting my phone on Do Not Disturb and taking a bubble bath, I’ve set a personal goal to do a “me-date” once a week.

Upon ending a long-term relationship a few months ago, I discovered something about myself: I can’t stand to be alone. Whether I’m grabbing some food at a restaurant, there’s a movie in theatres I want to see, or I need a new pair of shoes, I’ve realised recently how much I rely on partners and friends to do these things with me. When I’m not physically present with these people, I am constantly messaging them and browsing social media, simulating the experience of company.

The idea of going to a coffee shop solo and sitting down with my drink makes me feel uncomfortable. In fact, as I am writing this I am trying to find someone who’s free to get bubble tea with me tonight; I’m craving some oolong milk tea and don’t want to go by myself. In my opinion, having a friend by my side makes any experience more enjoyable than if I was alone. That being said, I also acknowledge the importance of being alone with oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings. I’ve heard from newspaper articles, YouTube videos, mental health enthusiasts, and fellow students about the benefits of spending time alone: increased productivity, decreased stress and sadness, opportunities to reflect and know yourself more deeply, and so on. 

After some reflection, I’ve decided I want to spend more time alone in 2020. Whether that be by going to a restaurant or café solo, hiking on my own, or simply just putting my phone on Do Not Disturb and taking a bubble bath, I’ve set a personal goal to do a “me-date” once a week. It’s my hope that by 2021, I can see some of these aforementioned benefits in my own life, and feel a little more comfortable with me, myself, and I. – VL

As 2020 closes one decade and opens another, I’m faced with a year of endings and beginnings. This will be my last year as an undergrad at SFU. The journey began in 2009, was returned to in 2016, and has bounced me through multiple successes and failures.

As 2020 closes one decade and opens another, I’m faced with a year of endings and beginnings. This will be my last year as an undergrad at SFU. The journey began in 2009, was returned to in 2016, and has bounced me through multiple successes and failures. I’ve made so many wonderful friends and an abundance of experiences both fascinating and painful. This ride has sucker-punched my health, tested my endurance, stretched my emotions, and opened my mind. 

There are no more twists ahead. I can see the end of my time at SFU clearly in a distance that was once a far away horizon, now rushing towards me far too fast. And I can’t help but feel that tiny seizure of fear. Will I be able to find a good job after this? Have I made the right choices? Will the sacrifice of time, money, and sanity (which at times distressingly hemorrhaged out of me) prove to be worth it in the end?

University is a tunnel, connecting one phase of life to another. I’ve been finding my way in the dark for over four years. I’m accustomed to it now. The rhythms, the walls, and the voices. When I finally step out, blinking against the light, what will I see? – NM

This year, I wish to continue to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone as well as travel to new places. I usually don’t make any new year goals, but I’d like to continue to travel, apply for Co-op, and live a more sustainable life. 

For me, the past year has been a journey of growth. Being an international student, it was the first year that I’d lived away from my family. I was a wreck at first, but over time I’ve actually come to enjoy some parts of adulthood. I’ve realised that even though challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone may be daunting, it provides me with a tremendous learning opportunity. Other than that, looking back on the year, some of my best memories are from travelling —be it exploring Vancouver, the new city I’m learning to come home, or other beautiful places.

This year, I wish to continue to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone as well as travel to new places. I usually don’t make any new year goals, but I’d like to continue to travel, apply for Co-op, and live a more sustainable life.  – LM

At the end of the year, I realised that I had given myself zero days off to actually do things that I enjoyed.

That’s why in 2020, I’m making a personal oath to allow myself more free time outside of my busy schedule.

I definitely had some of the best experiences in the first half of 2019, from learning how to snowboard in the winter, visiting Maui in the summer, and seeing my favourite bands live for the first time. 

However, the later half of 2019 was when I hit some of the most stressful moments of my life. I was juggling between full-time school, 30-hour work weeks, and extracurricular activities all while attempting to maintain my social life, relationships, and quite frankly, my sanity. At the end of the year, I realized that I had given myself zero days off to actually do things that I enjoyed.

That’s why in 2020, I’m making a personal oath to allow myself more free time outside of my busy schedule. To make sure that I achieve this goal, I made myself a checklist of all of the new activities and hobbies that I hope to try out. This includes going wine tasting, trying out pottery, developing my own film, and even salsa dancing. My goal is to keep building on to this list so I can motivate myself to continue exploring new activities that will spark more joy in the later years to come. – KR