A Place to Call Home | Jaime Hills | #RoadToRyerson

I don’t even know where to start when talking about the first week. My first week was really the one before classes started, because that was when I got my life packed up and moved across the country from Vancouver to Toronto. Luckily my mom came out here with me, so I had some help with the move, but it was still quite the adventure. We flew on Friday, August 28th, and arrived in Toronto at 3pm. I had practice at 6pm that night, so we had to get from the airport to downtown pretty quickly. We had enough time to drop off my bags and take a look at my new apartment, but then I was getting changed and to the gym for my first scrimmage with my new team.

My desk!

The week following was packed with painting, cleaning, unpacking, exploring and adjusting to the new downtown feel, while getting into the routine of basketball practices. I got my room all set up, which was really exciting for me, because the little things make a huge difference in a new place. Now I have somewhere in Toronto that I can call my own, a space that I’ve decorated to be what I want. There are still a few finishing touches I need to make, like a Magic Johnson print that isn’t ready yet, but for the most part I’m done with my room (especially with building IKEA furniture).

Living Room
Living Room

I’ve gotten to know my roommates (above) pretty well so far, with all three of us moving in around the same time. Their names are Meg and Morgan, so naturally we’re calling our place the MJM Grand, and they are both from towns not too far from here. Meg is studying English and Publishing, and Morgan is in Communications, but what I think is pretty cool is that we have all tried something else in our university careers. We got started on one path, and changed it around a little, and fell into what we are doing now, which is where we want to be. I spent my time at UBC, Morgan did a year at Ottawa, and Meg transferred out of her program and back into it. All three of us are getting our heads around what we might want to do, and I know Ryerson is going to be the place that we make that happen. They both have the same silly sense of humour that I do, so we’ve been getting along even better than I could have hoped for – that’s why I had to give them a shout-out in this post.

Basketball is in full swing now, with a two-hour practice every day, three weight sessions, an individual workout on court, team meetings and hill sprints every week. Unfortunately games don’t kick off until October, so for now we’re just training and getting prepared for the season, which is sometimes the hardest part of being an athlete. You’re putting in all this work, and not getting to put it to use in a game for another month. It is a challenge in itself to go to practice and guard the same people every day, but that is how we make our teammates better, and that’s what will lead us to success when we do start playing other teams. I am excited to see where our team is going to get to this year, but I am not going to be the least bit surprised when that takes us to great heights and success. This group of women is dedicated and focused to an extreme level, and everyone brings a competitive spirit to everything we do. I sound like any other athlete when I say that our team is in everything together, but I’ve been on a lot of teams in my life, and there have been few that have the same connectedness as this one. It runs through each of the players, through to the coaching staff and the trainers. We make a conscious effort to have everyone on the same page, and as a new member to an already successful team, it is very welcoming to have been brought in and already feeling a part of that. It would be easy for me to feel like I’m a bit on the outside, but each of my teammates has been finding their own way to connect, whether that’s through talking about classes, basketball, our social lives, whatever it may be.


I had never been so excited for classes to start as I was this year, and so far the excitement hasn’t faded. Each of my classes brings something new to me, so it is a bit intimidating in that way, but I know that most of the people in there with me are in the same boat. Like anyone, I don’t like making mistakes, and so with all this new work comes a bit of nerves, but I know that messing up is what is going to help me understand and learn, and be able to master the skills that I’m just being introduced to. So far, my favourite class has been Creative Processes. I think this is because the instructor for my lab seems so real, and is working in a field that I want to get into, that I can really relate to what she’s talking about. There hasn’t been a class that I’ve been to yet that I haven’t been interested in what’s being discussed, and I’m not just saying that to seem like a keener. I really think I’ve found the right place for myself, not just here at Ryerson, but specifically in the Sport Media program.

I was expecting to be a bit more overwhelmed when I got here, to be feeling like it was all too much of a change. I thought I would be more homesick, I wouldn’t fall into a routine like what I like to have. But instead, I’m already busier than I could have imagined, meeting new people every day, experiencing new parts of the city, and loving every second. It could be classified as overwhelming, yes, because every single part of my life is different than what it was 2 weeks ago, but I am already so comfortable here, and that makes me realize (as if I didn’t already know) that I am in the right place, and that I am going to really enjoy my next 4 years here. Thank you for reading my Road to Ryerson, and I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I have!

To check out the rest of my story, click here. 

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