No, you didn't read the headline wrong, this is a thank you article to President Trump. If there's one thing I'll be able to thank him for, it's how the horror of his presidency has forced me to grow up and stay politically aware. Most can agree that 2017 has been a shit shown, and a lot of that we can thank Trump for, but we've come out of this year less naive and prepared for the worse to come.

1.The World Doesn’t Change When You Do.

As I grew older I became less naive about the world surrounding me. My twitter feed was less meme’s and more new’s headlines. My conversations were less gossip and more about social issues. My thoughts were less about that cute boy down the street, and more about politics. When Donald Trump became president it filled up every conversation in the room. Not just because he is a “spoiled reality star gone presidential,” but because of the fear and anger people felt towards him. The thought of someone as sexist, homophobic, and racist as Donald Trump becoming president seemed far-fetched. After all, it’s 2017, how could we let how far we’ve come slip away at the hands of a bigot like Trump? Well, clearly I was wrong. Just because I wouldn’t let how far we’ve come slip away at the hands of Trump, doesn’t mean other people won’t. There are people out there with opposing views and beliefs than you and that’s ok. The most important thing is that you know where you stand- which leads me to my next reason…

2. Know Where You Stand.

I never took the time to educate myself on what a Democrat or a Republican truly meant. All I knew was that my family was Democrat, so by default I thought I was too. Trump’s presidency pushed me to educate myself politically and officially choose where I stand on my own- Republican or Democrat (or even green party). I can proudly and confidently say that I am a Democrat, not by default, but by choice. Being democratic doesn’t mean that I bash every Republican within a five-mile radius or 100% disagree with all Republicans. It’s important to not only know where you stand but respect where others stand as well.

3. Don’t Take Your Vote For Granted.

Being young is not an excuse not to vote. The things happening in politics today will be the things to affect us 20 years from now. You shouldn’t put the fate of your future in anyone's hands but your own. I remember weeks before the election friends would “jokingly” saying, “I’m going to vote for Trump because my vote won’t actually matter. There’s no way they’ll actually let him into office” or “I’m not going to actually vote for anyone because it doesn’t affect me, so I’ll just do green party”. Those votes that weren’t taken seriously are the votes that put us in the position we are in right now- a trainwreck administration.

4. You Can’t Opt Out Of Being Political.

Politics is involved in every aspect of our lives whether you realize it or not; from the clothing you wear, the food you eat, and the social media you go on. Everything we consume- information, food, energy, and clothing- costs money. These things ultimately boil down to production, distribution, and consumptions of goods and services- aka economics. Your parents may be supporting you now, but there will come a time when these choices will fall on you. Every tax plan and bill made will affect you, and your choice to opt out of politics won't make it any less likely. Now I choose to stay informed and up-to-date with politics for I know how the trump administrations choices will affect me.

5. You Don’t Realize What You Have Till It’s Gone.

Thanks to twitter I constantly see the highlight moments of why Barack Obama was a great president and why we miss him so much. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay politics any mind during Obama’s presidency. I wasn’t aware of how important and comforting it was to have someone like himself in office. Thanks to Trump, I’ve grown to appreciate the past presidents we’ve had and given credit where it’s due.