7 Ways 2017 Was Actually Better Than 2016

As we say boy, BYE to 2017, it’s time to reflect on what this last year has done for us. By December it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the weight of all the things that went wrong. I mean, I don’t blame you — 2017 certainly wasn’t wonderful. However, in the interest of optimism, we need to acknowledge that some things have gotten better since the dumpster fire that was 2016. Check out these seven ways that 2017 one-upped its predecessor.

1. We got Riverdale

Riverdale is a huge part of pop culture now, and we’re not mad about it. It’s hard to imagine what life was like before four oddly mature-looking 16-year-olds with very, very complicated lives graced our screens, but I heard it was more stressful.

2. There were fewer celebrity deaths

In 2016, we lost many so many celebs who made a significant mark on this world. Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, just to name a few. Although loss is a fact of life that occurs every year, 2017 felt a little less heartbreaking (thank goodness).

3. The Women’s March kicked the year off strong

On January 21, people all around the world came together to call for an equitable and tolerant world, addressing issues of gender, race, class and the environment.

The Independent reported that the Women’s March was the largest and most peaceful day of protests in U.S. history. The movement’s impact transcended borders, with 673 marches occurring globally, according to the Women’s March website. Now THAT is a huge win for women in 2017.

4. Scientists proved that dogs are good for your health

Possibly the best news of the year, Swedish scientists proved that dogs are good for your health and I finally feel seen. Their study found that owning a dog can decrease a single person’s risk of death by 33 percent, VICE reported. Add that to the never-ending list of reasons why your doggo is the only good boy you need in your life.

5. It was a generally good year for music

2016 was hard to follow after blessing us with new albums from Beyoncé, Solange, Chance the Rapper and Rihanna. But then Lorde and Ke$ha made their long-awaited returns, SZA dropped one of the best debut albums in the history of music and Kendrick Lamar released DAMN., which speaks for itself.

6. This guy got free chicken nuggets for a year

Carter Wilkerson proved that the internet is not just a black hole of bad memes. After breaking the record for the most retweeted tweet (3.6 million), Wendy’s bestowed the young fellow with enough chicken nuggets to make a person (possibly) a little tired of chicken nuggets.

7. North America collectively fangirled over the solar eclipse

On August 21, people across the continent all stopped to take a look to the sky and witness the moon pass between the sun and the earth. The last time we witnessed a solar eclipse was 1991, according to NASA, making this ~kind of a big deal~. But even if you didn’t catch the eclipse, at the very least we can all laugh-cry together about that one photo of President Trump trying to stare directly at the highly dangerous and potentially blinding phenomenon.

At least he did something worthwhile.

From endless chicken nuggets to permanent retinal damage, 2017 took us on an interesting journey. Let’s hope that we continue on this semi-upward trend and that 2018 brings even better memes, scientific phenomenon and significant cultural moments. Maybe next year I can even come up with eight points.