There are many times in one’s life when one would prefer to blank out embarrassing moments. Human nature dictates that we all make mistakes and we all would choose to either ignore their consequences or blank out the events in a productive manner. In the humble opinions of many individuals, 2016 was a year which people would prefer not to discuss. Some would even go so far as to render this year one that simply did not exist. We went from 2015 to 2017 and the blank space in the middle is simply a matter of perspective. 2016 was, without a doubt, a very trying year. So many events occurred that caused the year to be a very dismal time for many people.

Incidents such as the mass extermination at PULSE! Nightclub in Florida shocked the world. It was a crime towards gays and its event synopsis shall never be forgotten. On a seemingly calm night, a man shot and killed 49 individuals and wounded 53 others. The individuals were all at the gay nightclub to enjoy themselves and have a fun night but many ended up dying due to the efforts of one individual. Said individual may have had ties to ISIS but whether that is true has yet to be determined. It was a highly traumatic event and the fact that acceptance for all walks of people has yet to be fully extended is an issue we must serve to overcome in the very near future.

A man looks over an impromptu candle-lit memorial set up in Sydney, Monday, June 13, 2016, following the Florida mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando nightclub where police say a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle opened fire, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the Orlando mass shooting was “an attack on all of us — on all our freedoms, the freedom to gather together, to celebrate, to share time with friends.” (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Worldwide news was also very much aware of the incidents in Syria. The Syrian war and refugees who were impacted by the destruction of their country were shipped out of that country and some of these refugees were even sent to Canada. They were welcomed into the country by Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Many cities across the nation have set up living quarters for these refugees so they may have a safe place to live and prosper within. Canada has gained much publicity from this event but the generosity and kindness have no match for any type of media coverage that Canadians could ever accumulate. This kindness was extended as a small token towards a vast improvement of the world.

In other news, however, the United States also gained traction for its presidential election as the majority vote winner, Hilary Clinton, failed to rise to victory on account of the country’s electoral college system. Irregardless the world watched as people protested and vilified Donald Trump’s victory.

As well, the many celebrity deaths of 2016 have simply proven to the world that this year is in fact the 2012 apocalypse we all suspected would never happen. As is well known, the Mayans predicted that the world would end in 2012. When that did not happen, the world exhaled and seemed to think that year would never come.

Unfortunately that year seems to have manifested itself within 2016 and this year was very hard on many of us. The celebrity deaths of Prince and David Bowie shocked many fans around the world. Music itself turned on its axis as two of the greatest sensations met their fate. Two individuals who were in their 60s and seemed the picture of health seemed to take away a major chunk of the music industry. It was like when Michael Jackson died. The whole world wept and the world seemed to stop.

As well, the death of Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) was a major shock to fans of the ever lucrative Harry Potter fanbase. Professor Snape, whom many people adored as a silent, unpraised hero, was no longer alive and part of the franchise itself died with it. Of course, Mr. Rickman was cast in many other movies such as Love Actually, but he was best known for his portrayal of the surly teacher of potions recipes at Hogwarts. The man himself was also a very big fan of Rowling’s work and consistently praised her writing and her person.

Most recently, however, was the downfall of Carrie Fisher. The beloved Princess Leia of the Star Wars franchise met her fate due to a horrific heart attack experience. This wonderful woman was full of spunk and feminism and hilarity and even took to writing her own obituary. She was a pillar of strength for many young women all around the work and her strong demeanour will be forever remembered.

This year has been insanely depressing. Too many traumatic events have occurred this year in order to label it a legitimately enjoyable year. This year may be rendered as one that simply did not exist, but the matter is that it did. The year has been engraved within the memories of those who suffered and lost loved ones and it’s important to turn that around for the future. Let’s make 2017 a new year; a year of hope and love and let’s band together to make our world more united than ever.

We’ve been given a fresh slate so let’s use it to our advantage. 2017 is a shining beacon of hope and let’s use it to lead us into an ever brighter future.