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21 things to be grateful for this year


When future generations ask you about the year 2021, it'll be difficult to know where to begin. The textbooks will only graze the surface of this year's challenges, progress, tears and joy, and we are so proud of you for making your way through it all. As this year is coming to a close, we wanted to look back on some of this year's blessings. This is by no means a comprehensive or definitive list, so please tweet or tag @girlslifemag in an Insta pic to let us know what you're grateful for this year!

1. Not one but *two* re-recorded studio albums from the queen herself, Taylor Swift. And 15 "From the Vault" songs, a cinematic masterpiece of a romantic drama, a TikTok account...


2. Increasing accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines. From hospitals to pharmacies and college campuses, there has been growth in the vaccine's availability. And for the unobtainability that still remains, we'll let environmental activist Greta Thunberg's Instagram caption from July speak for itself: "The vaccine distribution around the world is extremely unequal. According to New York Times; '84 percent of shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.3 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries.' No one is safe until everyone is safe. But when you get offered a vaccine, don’t hesitate. It saves lives. #VaccineEquity"


3. Virtual sleepovers. Friends who Netflix Party and play Jackbox Games together stay together.


4. Kamala Harris assuming office as the first female, African American and Asian American vice president. Kamala, you dropped this *insert crown emoji*


5. Every Marvel film release—Natasha Romanoff finally getting her own movie, Marvel's first Asian-led film and the second MCU film directed by a solo female director... need we say more?


6. Season 2 of HSMTMTSBSC and the Saved by the Bell reboot. Binge-watch marathon in 3, 2, 1...


7. Reunions with besties and the fam. Cue the emotional music as you drop your bags and jump into each other's arms.


8. Juneteenth National Independence Day becoming a federal holiday. A day of celebration as well as a day to reflect and recognize the work that needs to be done. 


9. Going back to school in person. Even the little things like turning to chat with the people around you before the bell rings, sharing snacks at lunch and seeing how tall your classmates are now precious experiences of excitement.


10. Taking relaxing walks. After a whole year indoors, standing in the sun feels like heaven.


11. Acquiring new hobbies. If there's anything quarantine gave us, it was the time to try new things like baking, knitting, scrapbooking—take your pick!


12. Delicious holiday Starbucks drinks. It's that time of year again. How could you possibly say no to cozy winter in a cup?


13. BookTok. Finding your next read has never been *this* easy.


14. Seeing artists perform live again. To whoever was able to go to "Love On Tour" or "Permission to Dance On Stage," how does it feel to be God's favorite?


15. Dressing to up and celebrating with friends at prom. It's not just the flowy, bedazzled gowns but the fact that it's the last night all-together as a graduating class, a night that will be remembered for a long time.


16. Finding that one fit that always gives you a confidence boost. You don't need a fairy godmother—your great style always has people wondering how look fire in head-to-toe brown.


17. Having family to walk through the ups and downs together. Living together in the same space can be a struggle, but at the end of the day, your family has your back.


18. Your *person.* Maybe it's your best friend, S.O. or BFF-sibling, but they seem to always have the right words to say, are down for another episode of Parks and Rec and can pull out a meme on demand to bring a smile to your face. This year may have had its challenges, but this person makes sure you never walk alone.


19. Six new issues of Girls' Life mag with six talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, showstopping, spectacular cover stars—huge shoutout to Hayley LeBlanc, Sofia Wylie, Pressley Hosbach, Shay Rudolph, Mckenna Grace and Jayden Bartels!


20. That tomorrow is always a new day. Sometimes there are days that are just not it. And it's okay to have an off day. You did so well this year, and you are still doing so well. Tomorrow is a reminder that things will be better and that you have so much to look forward to.


21. Every single person who is doing their best to protect people from the virus. From the nurses and doctors who are confronting COVID-19 face-to-face to those who wear face masks and social distance, we are so thankful for everyone who has been striving to restore our world to a healthy and thriving one.


What's something that you are grateful for this year? Let us know by tweeting us @girlslifemag!

Slider image: @peytonelizabethlee
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by Elizabeth Huang | 12/20/2021