The best: I will remember 2008 as the year of the Superthread. On the 22nd of February, if you'd told me that the mad thread of non-stop posting I was enjoying that evening would be still going strong at the end of the year, I wouldn't have believed you. Even when it survived its first night and kept going into the next day, I thought it'd soon peter out and we'd all go our separate ways; business as usual would resume on the forum. Over 270,000 posts later, it is essentially a forum unto itself - the bastards of the year, the pricks who launched the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein upon an unsuspecting and astonishingly gullible U2 fan forum, the pack of lefties who manage to out-FYM FYM at times, the cynical and jaded U2 fans who want Larry Mullen and possibly the whole band to quit, and the weird bastards who like trains, planes, rocks, ancient Greece, and everything in between. I've made a lot of friends there, including some who are now friends offline as well as online.
I also finally met another trainspotter my age, and a fellow albino to boot. This in turn led to me finally having the reality of my legal blindness acknowledged, and now I have an incredibly useful - not to mention convenient - cane. Railfanning has led to the development of photography as a serious hobby of mine, one that is expanding beyond rail corridors, and in the next week or two, I am going to pick up a DSLR. I'm making expensive purchases lately, but ones that are quite worth it; it's certainly been positive closing the year with a new laptop. And "new" nasal passages; I'm breathing so much better after my operation, and my sense of smell is heightened. On a completely different note, as a recent entry of mine suggested, 2008 has been enjoyable for music, and the year in which I saw more concerts than any previous year. I plan to see even more gigs this year. If I can find people who want to go.
The bad: Grandpa died. Then I parted ways with my closest friend of the last few years, the one person who had been a constant in my life during years of change. Then one of my uncles burnt a bunch of bridges. My mother's been in and out of hospitals and doctor's offices. I've felt a bit lost without having a really close friend in my life for the first time in a decade. In many ways, 2008 was a "welcome to the real world" kind of year.
The mediocre: University. I really feel like I could have done better. I know that this comes across a bit badly when you get marks as consistently high as I do, but I know I could have performed much better, and I certainly haven't done anything to advance a future career like submitting articles to academic journals or even establishing a good range of contacts. But the university content itself was so agonisingly mundane that it didn't challenge me or really push me to do exceptional work. I felt like it was just more of the same from 2007, PolSci wore me down mentally with the harsh reality of just how fucked the world is, and wanky academia has caught my ire. At least I am looking forward to what's to come in my Honours year.
What a year.