In a few days, 2018 will be over. But let’s be honest – this one year has felt more like a century. In fact, the past couple of years have been pretty rough overall. But every once in a while, something happens and gives us hope for the world. We’ve pulled together a list of 38 things (in no particular order) that have happened this year, as both a reminder that there is good in the world and as a motivation to make next year even better.
1. The U.S. House of Representatives elected a record number of women. At least 90 congresswomen are expected in Washington in January.
2. In a historical upset, Alexandria Osacio-Cortez became America’s youngest woman ever elected to Congress. At just 29 years old, she defeated 10-term congressman Joe Crowley.
3. Krysten Sinema became the first openly bisexual senator, as well as the first female senator from Arizona.
4. Democrats Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids became the first ever Native American women elected to Congress.
5. Sharice Davids is the first openly LGBT person to represent Kansas in Congress. (Also, she’s an ex-MMA fighter!).\
6. Rashida Tlaib is also the first Palestinian-American congresswoman as well as one of the first Muslim congresswomen.
7. Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American in Congress, as well as one of the first Muslim congresswomen.
8. Ayanna Presley is the first black Congresswoman from Massachusetts.
9. Michelle Lujan Grisham became the first Latina Democratic governor in the United States.
10. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the U.S. He’s also the first openly gay governor in Colorado.
11. South Korea shut down its largest dog meat slaughterhouse.
12. North and South Korea vowed to officially end the Korean War.
13. And during the Olympic opening ceremony, they united under a single flag.
14. Mirai Nagasu made history as the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition.
15. Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win gold in Olympic snowboarding.
16. For the first time, a woman – Becky Hammon – interviewed for an NBA coaching position.
17. For the first time in 40 years in Iran, women were allowed to attend male sporting events.
18. In Saudi Arabia, women are finally permitted to drive.
19. In a landmark ruling, India decriminalized gay sex.
20. Laverne Cox was the first transgender woman on the cover of Cosmo. (And she killed it!)
21. Lena Waithe attended the Met Gala in a pride flag cape.
22. Troye Sivan released his second studio album entitled “Bloom”.
23. Ariana Grande dropped her fourth studio album, “Sweetener“.
24. Also, Ariana Grande’s “thank u next” broke records everywhere.
25. Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for “DAMN.” He is the first winner in the music category who is not a classical or jazz musician.
26. Childish Gambino released “This Is America.” It debuted at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song addresses gun violence in the United States and the discrimination against African Americans.
27. Parkland survivors took a stand against mass shootings. They’ve already had success convincing statehouses and large gun retailers to change their policies.
28. “Black Panther” happened. A film with a black superhero, a mostly-black cast and a black director turned out to be one of Marvel’s biggest blockbusters. Making over $1 billion in theaters, “Black Panther” empowered millions worldwide.
29. “Crazy Rich Asians” became the first Hollywood film to feature an entirely Asian cast and an Asian-American lead in over 25 years.
30. Sarah Bareilles and Josh Groban hosted the Tony Awards. It was awesome.
31. Netflix rebooted “Queer Eye“, and we all fell in love with the new Fab Five.
32. A gigantic statue of Jeff Goldblum appeared in London.
33. SJ Clarkson became the first female “Star Trek” director.
34. With A Wrinkle in Time, Ava Duavarney became the first black female director to make a film that generated a profit of over $100 million.
35. Princess Kate had her third baby with husband William in April.
36. Prince Harry married Meghan Markle.
37. And they’re already expecting their first child!
38. Finally, Michelle Obama wrote a book. Selling over 1.4 million copies in the first week, it quickly became the best-selling U.S. book of 2018.
2018 has had its ups and downs. It’s also had its fair share of beginnings and endings. Thankfully, not all of them have been bad.
Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that 2019 is the best one yet!
Featured Image via Twitter