The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lessons Learned: What I Learned in 2019


Here it is, my last blog of 2019.

It’s hard to believe the year is almost over when it feels like, to me, it started not too long ago. When I was younger, I don’t think I gave much thought to the changing of the years. Yes, celebrating the year change on New Year’s Eve was a big deal, but other than writing down a new date at the top of my homework, the turn of the year wasn’t much but a change of a number. I think 2019 might be the first year I feel I can actually reflect upon deeply.

So, without further ado, these are the lessons I learned in 2019.

First and foremost, I think this year has taught me a lot about the fragility of life. I lost my great-grandmother this year, and I previously blogged about losing my dog, Simba. David Ortiz, a childhood hero of mine that meant so much to the city of Boston, especially after the marathon bombings in 2013, was shot and had his life put into critical condition.

Things I cared a lot about seemed to be lost or put into jeopardy, and while I’ve had this happen to me in previous years, it seemed to kind of accumulate more in 2019. And while this is obviously a sad and scary thought, I think it really helped me grow and truly cherish the important things in life.

On the bright side of things, 2019 granted me opportunities that I hadn’t had in previous years. I was lucky enough to land this great position as a communications assistant at the Honors College, was promoted to an assistant editor position at the Daily Collegian student newspaper, and was approved to study abroad in Florence, Italy, starting in the spring 2020 semester. My hard work over the past few years paid off, and I think it helped me appreciate myself more.

I feel like a lot of the time I’m usually doing work and trying hard without really knowing where it will bring me. I guess knowing I’ve earned these sorts of opportunities is inspiring and can show me where future hard work can take me. I think 2019 really showed me the payoff of all my work, which is both relieving and exciting.

Though 2019 may have brought me a range of exciting new opportunities, every year comes with obstacles we have to hurdle and mistakes we must better ourselves after. Not to get too personal with it, but I’m sure everyone has situations they think, in hindsight, could have been handled better, or regrets about words they wish they did or didn’t say. While that may seem incredibly generic, it’s a good reminder we are better than the mistakes we make. Self-betterment is only possible by learning from what we do wrong, so I’m happy to be able to take what mistakes I made in 2019 and hopefully learn how to do better in 2020.

To end on a high note, 2019 gave me another year to spend in good health with family and friends, something I should not take for granted. I was lucky to be able to spend so much time in 2019 running around, playing basketball or ultimate frisbee, or shooting videos with my friends. Someday far down the road when I’m old and gray, I’m sure I’ll reflect upon my age 20 year as my prime. And to be able to do it surrounded by the best, most loving family and friends I could ask for is truly a blessing

I’d like to finally conclude by sharing some of my favorite songs from the past year or so. Music has such a great influence on one’s mood and feelings, I feel like it’s a soundtrack to our lives in one way or another. Most of these songs will surely give me nostalgia of 2019 for years to come.

  1. Barefoot in the Park - James Blake (feat. Rosalía)
  2. Limbo - Joesef
  3. Hakuna Matata- Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, JD McCrary and Donald Glover (I like the original too—don’t worry)
  4. Hell n Back - Bakar
  5. Bags - Clairo
  6. Gone, Gone/Thank You - Tyler, The Creator

For all the highs and lows, thank you, 2019. Cheers to another great year in 2020.