A Reflection On The Roller Coaster Year That 2018 Was

A Reflection On The Roller Coaster Year That 2018 Was

2018 was a year of ups and downs for many of us.


In many ways, 2018 was just another year. We all have good memories and bad experiences. They both define our years, and we revel in the good times. However, when looking back at this year I realized just how consistently inconsistent this year was, from a societal and a personal perspective.

2018 was a real roller coaster year from start to finish.

First off, personally? I managed to achieve a lot. I got onto a research project for next semester, I managed to invite my senior senator for a get out the vote rally on my campus, I made new friends and commenced meetings for a medical ethics club my friend and I created on our campus. I also found great volunteer opportunities this year.

Those were great moments of this year and they defined it positively.

However, last year came with its own downsides. School was a struggle — it was hard to find a balance and juggle all of my responsibilities. Certain classes vexed me — some teachers seemed to be too demanding and a hassle, while others moved at the speed of light, making it too difficult to succeed in the class.

Combine that with working in a hospital at ungodly hours, and the year was immersed in stress. Stress, while sometimes positive, is not positive when it's consistently present.

2018 also brought us many ups and downs as a nation.

From the President defending hush money payments for infidelity, to the immense fires causing apocalyptic amounts of damage to California, to trade wars that harmed many of our farmers and fellow Americans — 2018 was a year with many disappointing and saddening moments. There was many a fight over politics, further increasing the division between sides of the aisle in America.

2018 also produced some of the worst music imaginable. Justin Timberlake's new album was tragic, 6ix9ine dropped some pathetically drab and dull material and Lil Xan — a shockingly bad rapper as is — dropped an album that exceeded all expectations for badness.

However, 2018 also brought us some great moments.

Some phenomenal music was released this year in the form of Astroworld and Kids See Ghosts, as well as Boarding House Reach by Jack White.

2018 also brought out the highest midterms turnout since 1914, with an estimated 118 million votes cast. Whether or not you agree with the House shift, it is satisfying to see so many individuals involved in the democratic process, despite obvious gerrymandering in many states.

Furthermore, public school teachers in many states — frustrated with decreased funding, lower salaries, and frankly understaffed and dilapidated facilities — fought for better pay for teachers and facilities for future generations of students.

Overall, 2018 was an interesting year.

While there is much more one could discuss in terms of culture (Kanye, Drake, the many memes that were promulgated across the internet, movies such as Black Panther), 2018 brought along the usual in terms of something exciting and great, as well as something remarkably sad.

2019 will, hopefully, not be as consistently inconsistent as its predecessor was.

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17 Things I Learned From Dr. Cristina Yang In Preparation For 2017

2016 was tough, but Dr. Yang can help you have a better year this year.

2016 was tough. It was a year of transition, pain, difficult decisions, moving forward, and a whole lot of binge watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix to help me through the rough patches. Here's 17 things I learned from Dr. Cristina Yang in preparation for 2017:

1. Every Woman Should Be Known For More Than Just Her Good Looks

There are more important things in life than what you look like. At the end of everything, when lots of years pass, beauty fades, and brains remain.

2. Sometimes You Just Have To Be On Your Own.

Sometimes the only person you can count on is yourself. That's when you can become a force of nature.

3. It's OK To Keep Some Things To Yourself.

Not everyone needs to know your business, and not everyone that you're really close to has to know every detail of your life. Choose what you share with people very carefully.

4. It's OK To Not Need No Man!

Being a "strong, independent woman who don't need no man" is an important first step in becoming a better you. After all, you can't love anyone else unless you love yourself first.

5. You Set The Standards For Yourself, So Raise The Bar High.

Greatness can only be achieved if you push yourself to new levels. So, forget being average, and strive for greatness.

6. Sometimes You Can Only Handle Focusing On One Thing At A Time.

Don't bite off more than you can chew, especially if you're going through a difficult time. Focus only on what you can handle in any given moment.

7. In This Life You Get What You Accept, So You Just Have To Stop Accepting Crap.

Along the lines of, "you are who your friends are" falls the idea that what you accept is what happens to you. So, stop accepting crap from yourself and others, and crappy things will stop happening to you.

8. Pain is a real thing. You will feel it, and it will hurt.

Life is hard. And sometimes very painful. But you have to allow yourself to feel the pain as it comes, otherwise it'll only hurt worse later on.

9. Sometimes The Best Things Happen After We Hit Rock Bottom.

Many of us know what it feels like to hit rock bottom, but only a few of us know what it feels like to pull yourself up out of that. Choose to be like the Phoenix, and rise from the ashes.

10. You Have To Put Yourself First, And That's OK.

You have to choose what is best for you. If you're constantly doing things for the approval of others, or to help others and neglect yourself, you will burn out and face more difficult times. It's OK to put yourself and your needs first.

11. The Most Painful Experiences Are The Ones We Learn The Most From.

The most painful experiences we endure are also the ones we learn the most from. We have to find the strength within ourselves to learn from those mistakes and to choose to never let them happen again.

12. It's OK To Be Dedicated To Your Work.

There are worse faults to have than being a hard-worker.

13. A Little Bit Of Competition Is Healthy.

Healthy competition is a great way to relieve stress, keep your body healthy, and your mind focused. Shoving as many hot dogs as possible down your throat may not be the best choice, but hey, to each their own!

14. Even The Strongest Of People Need Someone They Can Count On.

Everyone needs someone to be their person. You've got to find your person and never let them go.

15. You Can't Fix Your Problems If You Let Them Cripple You.

"The first step is admitting you have a problem." Well, if that's true then the second step must be working towards fixing the problem is the only way you'll overcome your problems.

16. It's OK To Let Your Guard Down With The Right Person.

Often times after we endure traumatic experiences we put up walls and never trust anyone again. This can actually do more harm than good. It's OK to tear those walls down for the right person.

17. When All Else Fails...You Just Have To Dance It Out.

Sometimes you just have to get out of your own head and let loose for a little while. Take a break, throw on some uplifting, upbeat music, and throw yourself a mini dance party...even if you're dancing alone!

Cover Image Credit: Fanpop

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This Year, I Will Stop Worrying About Situations That Have Not Happened

Worrying about every negative outcome is a dreadful way of protecting yourself.


I remember crying in the airport, ridiculously anxious and scared of a horrible situation that had not even happened, for one instance. I typically make myself sick over the fear of a bad outcome in the future, but this toxic way of thinking is no way to live a healthy life.

In short, it is anxiety, but instead of just classifying it as anxiety, I have found that most of the times I am upset or worried is when I am depicting a horrible outcome in my head of what life could spin in to. It is my way of protecting myself, thinking of every upsetting scenario and going through the ways of how I will handle it in my head prior to it happening. It can sound somewhat logical, but my mind got carried away with it.

It didn't end up being a thought-out method with plans of reaction for negative outcomes, I would end up worrying about things so bizarre and so unlikely to happen and it would completely consume me. It robbed me of happiness. Worrying about unreal and unlikely situations sent me into spirals of crying and anxiety, and not for any real or plausible reason. I would spend the whole day staring at the wall, unable to speak to anyone because my worry was so consuming, or finally meet my breaking point and just erupt in tears and have to explain to the people around me that I am basically crying for no reason.

There is too much life to live to live every day by the lingering thought of "What if something bad happens?" I have too many good days ahead of me to be spent worrying, and a handful of bad ones that should not be made worse by worry or fear. Life is good, and it is almost frightening because it has been very good for a while, perhaps this is why my mind wants to prepare for the worst, as the daunting thought of things being "too good" comes into play.

Even when bad days come, and they will, I will handle them. I have noticed that when life is so hard, I get through it, and I look back thinking "Damn. How did I ever get through that?" I take pride in the fact that when bad days, situations, and periods of life do occur, I always, always handle them. But, in the meantime, I would like to savor my good days instead of worrying about not-yet-existent bad days.

So, this is a big step for me, but I am going to try and do this. I know it will bring peace to me, and a lot of people who surround me. This year, I will stop worrying about situations that have not happened.

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