As the year comes to a close, we can’t help but reflect. We all just spent time with families and friends thinking about what we’re thankful for and now it’s time to think back on what we’ve gone through this year.

Even though we may have similar day-to-day lives here on campus, we’ve all had vastly different experiences that we consider important. The end of the year is a good time to look back on these important things and consider what lessons we want to take into next year.

We started off the year with an inspiring display of feminist resistance at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. to protest the Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald Trump.

This was the first defining moment of political protest this year, a movement that continued with a swell of activism from people on all points of the political spectrum.

Some have hit close to home, like the ongoing DACA rescission crisis and the potentially life-altering changes that immigrants may have to face, or the potential ramifications of proposed tax reform bills on students’ financial aid and loans.

This year has also been marked by several catastrophic events that we’ve had to weather together. 2017 has been plagued by terror attacks across the world, including the May suicide bombing during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, and the more recent shooting in Las Vegas.

These attacks weren’t the only ones, though.  Closer to home was the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey, which personally affected a lot of Trinity students.

As depressing as all this is, there’s still something to be gained from our experiences as a community. The growth we’ve experienced and the new bonds that were forged all over campus are some unexpected-but-positive side effects that make these hardships easier to deal with.

People are now more aware of where to find support on campus, whether it be with their friends, classmates or trained professionals like those at Counseling Services. In addition to these existing resources, some students have also extended their network by making new connections with people who share their strife.

Since we’ve reached the end of a trying year, it’s time to shift our focus to 2018. As the new year approaches, it’s important to carry forward the things that have meant the most to you personally this year. Whether they are lessons learned, new friendships or newfound passions, be sure not to forget about them.

Starting fresh is great, but having a good starting point means that you have an initial direction for the new year.

The lessons that we’ve learned this year will be essential to our development and our commitment to bettering ourselves in 2018, even if we don’t necessarily stick to our new year’s resolutions.

Whether or not we’re writing resolutions, the best thing we can do to make the most out of our struggles this year is to learn from them. Even though it’s cheesy, try to nail down what’s been most impactful this year and carry that forward not only this year, but in the years to come.