2016: The Year of the Meme

2016: The Year of the Meme

The best and worst moments of the hottest year on record.

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a shitty year- so much so, that John Oliver, host of "Last Week Tonight" dedicated the season finale episode to just how terrible it was. Despite popular belief, it wasn't all bad, and we have the memes to prove it.Here are all the best and worst things that happened this year.

January 10 - Musician David Bowie died of cancer at age 69.

January 14 - Actor Alan Rickman died of pancreatic cancer at age 69.

February 19 - Harper Lee, author of American classic To Kill a Mockingbird, died at 89.

February 28 - Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for his leading role in The Revenant. And he used his acceptance speech time to talk about climate change. Bravo, Leo!

March 26 - 32 people were killed in terrorist bombings in airports and metro stations in Brussels, Belgium.

April 21 - Music icon Prince died of an overdose at age 57.

May 28 - The infamous gorilla, Harambe, was shot at the Cincinatti Zoo when a child fell into the gorilla enclosure, leading to widespread controversy and, of course, memes.

June 3 - Boxer Muhammad Ali died of Parkinson's disease at age 74.

June 10 - The Voice singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed during a meet-and-greet following a live performance in Orlando. Her brother tackled her killer, preventing further gunshots

June 12 - The worst mass shooting in American history occurred at a gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida. 49 people were killed and 53 were injured.

June 14 - A two-year-old boy was killed by an alligator in Disney.

June 19 - Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in Star Trek, died tragically at age 27 when he was pinned between his vehicle and the gate to his home, after driving friends to their homes.

July 6 - Philando Castile, a black man, was shot dead by a police officer after being pulled over for a broken tailight, and was live-streamed via Facebook by his fiance and passenger, Diamond Reynolds. Their four-year-old daughter was in the backseat.

July 7 - A march against police brutality was held in Dallas, during which five police officers were killed by a sniper.

July 14 - A terrorist ran people over with a truck during the Bastille Day festival in Nice, France. 85 people were killed.

August 9 - American Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps breaks the 2,186-year-old record for most individual gold medals, set by Leonidas of Rhodes in 152 BC. Phelps completed the Rio 2016 Olympic games with 23 gold medals, and 28 medals overall.

Rio 2016 was probably the best part of America's summer this year. With all the tragedies happening at home and around the world, focusing on the Olympics and celebrating American wins, including our amazing Final Five gymnast team, was a relief to most. The memes that came out of the Olympic games were comic relief, too.

August 13 - Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in Star Wars, died at 81- despite the fact that he was not expected to live past his teenage years due to his physical condition; he was 3 feet, 8 inches tall.

August 29 - Gene Wilder, AKA Willy Wonka, and the subject of the famous meme, died at age 83.

September 1 - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was widely criticized for kneeling during the national anthem.

November 2 - Chicago Cubs win the World Series for the first time in 108 years. The last time the Cubs won the World Series was in the year 1908.

November 9 - After Donald Trump is elected president of the United States, protests break out across the country and #NotMyPresident begins trending.

December 4 - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady becomes the "winningest" quarterback of all time with 201 wins in 248 games, beating the previous record set by Peyton Manning: 200 wins in 293 games.

December 4 - After months of protest, #NoDAPL wins; the permit to drill the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock reservation is denied.

December 13 - Actor Alan Thicke, father of Robin Thicke, died of heart failure at age 69.

December 25 - Musician George Michael died of heart failure while home alone on Christmas morning. He was 53.

December 27 - Carrie Fisher, AKA Princess Leia, died of a heart attack at age 60.

As 2016 (finally) draws to a close, let's look back at how far we've come. So many deaths, both of celebrities, and of civilians randomly attacked by violence and terrorism, occurred this year. But I truly believe we're in a better place as this year comes to a close than we were in the midst of all its craziness. In the words of John Oliver...

Good riddens.

Cover Image Credit: Getty Images

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Success Is Great, But Failure Is Better

Fail and fail often.

Don’t let success get to your head, but don’t let failure get to your heart. Know that things don’t always work out as planned, and that is OK!

For many millennials, it’s easiest to just give up when something doesn’t go your way. But take heart. Success is great, but failure is better. The reality is, you’re going to fail... a lot.

Failure does not mean your idea was not good or that your dream isn’t valid.

Failure means you have more to learn.

Failure is GOOD.

It shows you that you did something wrong and that you need to take a redirection. It’s an opportunity to come back stronger with a better attack plan. It’s a second chance.

Having failed many times in my life, there’s one thing for sure: failing sucks. It sucks being disappointed. It sucks not succeeding on the first try. However, you can learn to become a good failure.

Failing is inevitable, which is why it is important to learn from our mistakes. You’ll learn more from a single failure than a lifetime of success. Here’s what you can do when you mess up: accept what you can’t change, keep an open mind, maintain a positive attitude, and know that nothing will be perfect.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was on an engineering team at my school. I was extremely confident in our abilities as a team, so when we didn’t advance to the world finals, I was devastated. The next year, however, my team placed second at the national competition, and we advanced to the world finals. If I had allowed that initial failure to consume me, I wouldn’t have been successful the next year.

It was not easy to advance to the world finals, but because I took my previous failure as a learning opportunity, my team succeeded. I knew I couldn’t change the past, so I didn’t focus on it. I kept an open mind about the competition and did not allow my bitterness to harden me, thus maintaining a positive attitude. My team wasn’t perfect, and I knew that. But I knew if we worked hard, we would succeed. We did.

Every failure is feedback on how to improve. Nothing works unless you do, and nothing works exactly the way you want it to. Failure is life’s greatest teacher; it’s nothing to be scared of. If we are so focused on not failing, we will never succeed.

So fail, and fail often.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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7 Things English Majors Go Through

Yes, I'm an English major. No, I'm not throwing away my education.

I love being an English major.

And no -- I'm not lying.

While I do advocate for womxn in tech and the rise of STEM majors, my heart belongs to the humanities and more importantly: English Literature.

Here are some of the things as an English Major that I have experienced:

1. So... Do you wanna be a teacher?

As an English Major, my sole purpose of getting my degree is not to just become a teacher. I also want to be a writer. Get it right. I also want to be a teacher, though, so...

2. Writer's Block

Writer's block = hell unleashed. My brain is my most valued. My heart, too, but my brain is what helps me actually write my essays and poems. When my brain isn't working, I'm not working, and with those two not working -- I'm not getting anything done.

3. Having Friends Ask You To Edit Their Papers

My mood 24/7 when people ask me to edit their papers. I'm working on my own, leave me alone. Seriously though, I know I'm an English major, but there's a reason why office hours were created -- but if you REALLY need my editing/revising, pay up.

4. Reading "Whatever" Literature

There are some great works that I love reading (Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Dr. J & Mr. H, etc). But if I'm forced to read another book that EVERYONE has "read" and ends with the classic patriarchal ending -- I'd rather not. Give me some more Mary Shelley, please.

5. Reading AMAZING Literature

OK BUT WHEN THE CLASS READS SOMETHING LIKE MRS. DALLOWAY -- I AM SO HAPPY (I love you, V.W). But, honestly, I love most literature (especially classics). It's only with very few works that I'm upset with reading. (50 Shades of Grey? Blegh.)

6. Getting Trash-Talked About Your Major

OkAy, SuSaN, I get that you're happy with being in the business school, but frankly I don't care, so don't worry about me or my major. We, English majors, get trash-talked about our majors. Back in the day, our major was considered noble and great -- and now it's considered as "throwing away our education".

7. Knowing that We Chose the Right Major

In my experience in college so far, I've met very few -- actually no one who has changed their major from English Lit/CRTWRT. (Disclaimer: I'm sure there are some?) But those of us who stayed with this major know that we chose the right path for ourselves. While our friends in STEM, Business, etc. are "having fun" with their path, we get to read our favorite works, write, and appreciate the arts. So... who's the real winner? ;)

Cover Image Credit: Study Breaks

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