Only the Good Things: 2021 Wrapped

I did a Wrapped last year to end 2020. That year was honestly unbelievably stressful, and we all really did need a reminder of something, anything good that happened.

2021 has thankfully been better. But, with a global pandemic not over yet and social injustices clouding our news feeds, another reminder of some great things that happened can’t hurt.

So, this yearly Wrapped is just that. Just like a wrapped present, 2021 Wrapped contains things you may not have expected, but things you’ll enjoy nevertheless. Instead of stressful things you’ve heard thousands of times, we’re bringing you some uplifting news to boost your spirits.

Here are 25 good things that happened in 2021:

News:

  1. Minorities succeeding in politics was a recurring theme this year. Across the country, from mayors and representatives to district attorneys and judges, there was a significant increase of gender and racial minorities taking places in government.
  2. Maryland became the first state to participate in the Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge and hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% over the next ten years. Read more about the pledge here.
  3. As of December 15, almost 70% of eligible Marylanders are fully vaccinated (at least two shots) against Covid-19.
  4. The US plans to stage a diplomatic boycott at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, a step towards increasing global awareness for the ongoing Muslim genocide happening in China.
  5. In August, the final US troops left Afghanistan.

Arts:

  1. Taylor Swift took the initiative of re-recording some of her best selling albums in order to own the rights to her own music after being deceived into losing ownership of her own content. These “Taylor’s Version” albums hit the top of the charts once again.
  2. Adele returned to the spotlight after seven years with the release of her new album 30 and… wow. Just wow.
  3. Marvel released Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, its first film with an Asian lead, Asian director, and majority Asian cast. Of course, it was a box office hit.
  4. Squid Game. That’s it, that’s the tweet.
  5. Ariana Grande joined the most recent season of The Voice as a host and has blessed ears with her performances.

Sports:

  1. Blake Varsity Football won its first ever playoff game with a 16-0 win over Magruder.
  2. Allyson Felix solidified her place as the best US Track and Field athlete, male or female, when she received her 11th medal at this year’s Olympics. She stands only one medal behind Paavo Nurmi of Finland, who holds the all time record with 12.
  3. Momiji Mishiya, a THIRTEEN year old from Japan, won the first gold medal in the inaugural year of women’s street skateboarding at the Olympics.
  4. Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles made big strides in the mental health space, after both athletes removed themselves from their Olympic competitions in support of their own mental struggles. Simone Biles also won TIME Magazine’s Athlete of the Year recognition.
  5. In July, the NHL welcomed its first openly gay player, Luke Prokop.

Pop Culture:

  1. Britney Spears has been officially released from her conservatorship and will now have complete control over her own social media, finances, and other aspects of her life for the first time in over 13 years.
  2. Although she did not win, Mj Rodriguez became the first transgender person to get nominated for an Emmy in category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
  3. This year’s Met Gala theme of ‘American’ brought up some beautiful tributes to some of pop culture’s greatest icons. Notably, Billie Eilish graced us with her interpretation of Marilyn Monroe and Nikkie de Jager (NikkieTutortials on Youtube) paid tribute to trans activist Marsha P. Johnson.
  4. JoJo Siwa was one half of the first same-sex pair to perform on season 30 of “Dancing With The Stars.”
  5. This month, Megan Thee Stallion celebrated her graduation from Texas Southern University with a BS in health administration.

Global:

  1. Barbados completely cut their political ties with their ex-colonizer Great Britain and have officially become an independent republic.
  2. Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Tanzanian writer, became the first Black person since Toni Morrison in 1993 to win the Nobel Prize for Literature
  3. Norway introduced a law that would legally require social media influencers to indicate when their images have been photoshopped, helping to combat youth insecurities.
  4. The UAE chose its first female astronaut ever to be take part in a program collaborating with NASA
  5. New Zealand began offering free period products in all levels of schooling for any students who need them.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stressful year we’ve experienced. So, as 2021 comes to an end, don’t forget to reflect on the good things. Let 2021 Wrapped be a summary, not a definitive list. There has been too much progress made this year for us to throw it all down the drain without a second look. 

Find some good things that happened in your life this year and don’t forget to acknowledge them. 2021 may have been uneasy, but we had some good experiences that lit up the way.

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