2017 In Review: Was it really that bad?

Markell Braxton-Johnson

Markell Braxton-Johnson

As 2017 ends, it’s only fitting to look back at the year that was.

To me, this year has been plagued with joint hardships. After the inauguration of President Trump, there has been an ever-present, often embarrassing, cloud hanging over this country. In 2017, discourse, decency and moral clarity have atrophied on both sides of the political spectrum. This is not to mention the Trump Administration’s dubious (at best) policies. Another unfortunate aspect about this past year was the massive destruction rendered by multiple natural disasters. Mother Nature’s unrelenting hand ravaged people’s lives with hurricanes throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, wildfires across the US west coast, and major earthquakes in Mexico.

If those natural disasters weren’t bad enough, this country suffered another year of senseless mass shootings. Gun violence and heated debate around it is not new. However, in 2017, there seemed to be a shift where Americans collectively accepted that not only were mass shootings – like the ones in Sutherland Spring, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada – normal, but even worse, these types of mass shootings would continue to happen without cause. Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the untimely death of fellow student, Robert Grays. I could continue to go on, but the list would seem endless.

I mention these unfortunate episodes to highlight just how bad 2017 was. Month after month, this year was soaked with melancholy. In retrospect, the brightest part of the year was when the moon literally blocked out the sun during the “Great American Eclipse.” But despite this year being dreadful, there’s a few reasons to believe 2018 will be much better.

If you are politically-minded, 2018 will be an especially refreshing year. Most of the year will be dominated with political campaigns from scores of local and state candidates. Next year Texans will get to vote on several local offices, a Senate seat (Ted Cruz’s), the governorship (currently held by Greg Abbott), and 36 seats from the House of Representatives – including North Texas/13th District representative, Mac Thornberry. 2018 is the year to make significant political change, so don’t be complacent. Sports lovers will be happy to know that in early February, the Winter Olympics will commence in South Korea. Additionally, during the summer, Russia will host the best national soccer teams during the month-long FIFA Men’s World Cup tournament. On a personal note, 2018 will be the year I make the celebrated transition from being in college to entering the “real world.”

This year was dreadful, but we ought to be optimistic that 2018 will be significantly better. These things may seem unique to me, but I think everyone will be able to find something to enjoy in the new year. Regardless of what’s coming up in 2018, we ought to happily bid farewell to 2017. Remember it for all its despondency, then shed it from your memory as you bring in the new year. Enjoy the holidays and have a happy new year!