By Caley Griebenow, associate editor-in-chief

“Fight with my sister less, and take Spike on more walks.” That was what nine-year-old me wrote on a slip of paper and sealed it in an envelope. It was the first day back from winter break, and my fourth grade teacher assigned the class to create realistic New Year’s Resolutions. I didn’t think much of it, considering my goals were pretty straightforward, and they wouldn’t be too difficult to achieve. Besides, it was elementary school; it was supposed to be easy and lighthearted.

The past year was one of the most difficult for me thus far. It presented challenges (taking ACT, finding my first job, applying to college, to name a few) that I had never before faced. But it was also the most fun and simultaneity rewarding year I had ever experienced (refer to my first list below) But now, as this is the year I turn 18, the year I choose where I’m going to college, and the year I move out of the same home I’ve lived in my whole life, I’ve been a bit more reflective of what this past year has taught me. So, after viewing this highly inspirational video, I decided to acknowledge the good things that happened in 2016, both personal and public, and to look to the future.

Why 2016 was actually kind of good:

  • After they were in incubators for a while following their birth, my baby cousins were healthy enough for me to meet.
  • I got into college.
  • Leo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar.
  • Seaworld stopped breeding orcas after the release of Blackfish.
  • My sister moved back home so I’m no longer an only child (and I can start wearing her clothes again).
  • I was accepted to go on the Harvard Model Congress trip, so I have that to look forward to in 2017.
  • I went to prom.
  • I barely survived hiking at Starved Rock Park after prom (but it was still an adventure).
  • Lollapalooza.
  • Giant pandas, manatees and green sea turtles are no longer endangered.
  • The CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!
  • I visited Nashville and Santa Barbara for the first time.
  • I found a job I like.
  • Volunteers in India planted millions of trees in a day.

If you need more convincing that 2016 wasn’t completely terrible, check these out

https://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/2016-was-okay?utm_term=.ivRdNdMja#.tmOVDVoaB

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/30/eight-charts-that-show-2016-wasnt-as-bad-as-you-think

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38224842