31 Dec 2016

Surviving 2016

I don't think I need to explain why 2016 was a hard year on all of us, though if you're reading this from a thousand years in the future I'll provide a quick summary; Donald Trump got elected as President of the United States and Britain voted to leave the European Union, both of which resulted in increased levels of prejudice and hate crimes against minorities living in these countries, as well as a new age of fascist beliefs disguised behind the term "alt-right". The Syrian Civil War and consequential refugee crisis remained as bad as always, with many seeking further asylum in several European countries. All of this has caused a lot of tension within our society, and despite all the progress we've made it somehow pains me to think we might be actually moving backwards. Let's not forget other tragedies of 2016; the Pulse nightclub homophobic shooting, the Bastille Day attack in Nice, the fall of the global economy and stock market, Harambe, Leo winning that Oscar so we can't share the memes anymore, the "dinner with papaw" tweet, and the deaths of many, many beloved celebrities including David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Anton Yelchin, Harper Lee, George Michael, Muhammad Ali, Prince, Ron Glass, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Wilder, Robert Vaughn, and Kenny Baker (although recent research shows the number of celebrity deaths this year is lower than in the early 2000's).

Weird to think Bowie's death was the biggest news of 2016 at one point.
Now that's out of the way, why don't we look at the positives of 2016? It wasn't a bad year for me on a personal level. I finished my degree in Creative Writing and English Literature, I became a journalist working with movies and video-games, and I broke out of my comfortable shell and began dating, making more friends and trying new exciting things. In light of all the bad stuff that's happened this year, I'm happy I got have new experiences and no doubt will be looking forward to seeing what I get up to in 2017.

I'm also happy to see my peers do well this year - two of my best friends got engaged, a bunch of people I love graduated alongside me and went into some kick-ass careers, my sister completed her first year of university, and one person I know literally became Mad Max.

This year has been both great and terrible - and ultimately it's these experiences that will drive us throughout 2017. We survived a rollercoaster of a year, let's make the next one good!

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