This year was a year for the books. There were ups, there were downs. There were moments where I was crying with laughter. There were moments where I was just crying. I turned 20 this year, and as I head into this new decade, I have many memories to take with me from the topsy-turvy year that was 2017.
2017 was the year that Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Everyone always says that whatever the current election is happening is the most controversial election of all time.
It’s usually not true, but this time I feel confident in saying people characterized this one correctly. This election came off the heels of the first black president of this country, and featured two incendiary candidates, one of them a woman, one of them a business man.
Nothing was expected, and everything was a harsh battle, filled with stress and disbelief. There were protests and shows of activism that I was amazed to be seeing and to be a part of. It gave me hope for the future as we showed that we the people of America are strong and could overcome such a president as this one.
2017 was the year that we saw the most active hurricane season of the decade. One of the strongest, deadliest, and costliest hurricane seasons. It included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. There was terrible devastation from these category 5 storms, and most islands are still trying to recover, months later.
It was a storm season that no one expected and that no one will forget. It was a sign of changing times and a changing atmosphere that these storms were able to develop the way they did, giving us our longest category 5 storm on record.
2017 was the year that set the new record for deadliest shooting on US soil. The Las Vegas shooting replaced the Orlando Pulse shooting that happened just last year for the top spot in casualties. The issue of gun control was thrown into the light again…and again it was ignored. These people died in a terrible and preventable way. Nothing was done to help prevent it from happening another time. There was sadness, there was questions, there was forgetfulness and ignorance.
It was not all bad.
2017 was also the year someone on Twitter got the most retweets ever, and landed himself a year’s worth of nuggets from Wendy’s in the process. He showed that literally anything is possible, especially with the help of the internet. Wendy’s, which has arguably the best Twitter on the whole media platform, bowed in defeat to him as the whole Twitter world watched in awe.
2017 was the year that Israeli scientists found a cure for ALS, using money from the ALS Ice-bucket challenge, giving hope to those who have the disease.
2017 was the year that this nation saw a total solar eclipse. Eclipse glasses sales skyrocketed and excitement was at an all-time high for this event.
2017 was the year that high school students in south Florida started a club to make sure kids at their school never had to sit alone at lunch again.
2017 was the year that scientists discovered a new type of aurora lights….and they named it Steve. You go, Steve.
2017 was the year that sexual abuse in mainstream industries was brought to light, and survivors began to receive justice.
2017 was a year where people drew together in the midst of division and hatred. There were many lights in the dark, and that gives me hope for 2018.
2018, I look forward to you. This past year has made us all stronger and has prepared us for the future. We have survived some messed up things, we have seen messed up things, but we also overcame them. 2018 has so much potential for good. Let’s make it our mission for these next 365 days to make them as loving and productive as possible. Let’s live with the good of others in mind. Let’s make a change this year. Let’s cause a difference. Let’s make this year count. Let’s do it together.