This year has been a wild ride, for better and worse

A student’s recap of the highs and lows of 2017 and the impact of news


Written By Lauren Ortego, Co-Copy Desk Chief

This year has been a ride.

Between the president’s mere existence, the influx of sexual assault/harassment allegations, the ever-imposing threat of North Korea and Vine being deleted. There’s been the rise of white supremacy, Adam West dying and the current administration being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.

The press’ poor treatment of those marginalized and praise for those committing marginalizing acts, the insufferable amount of mass shootings and lack of action taken to try to slow them, a pedophile running for office being shown sympathy all have had their hand in this doomsday of a year. And, now, the possibility of the way we use the internet being changed for the worse.

Did I mention Vine was deleted?

But you and I know all of that stuff already. This year has been, in a few ways, a success for news and media outlets. People are interested in the news. It’s not just journo-junkies that know what’s going on in the world anymore. It’s everyone from your mom, to your barber, to your neighbor, Tim, with questionable night-time activities.

That’s good for me, someone whose future employment depends on the success of news, maybe not so much for you, someone just trying to live a stress-free life.

And I could do what I normally do in my pieces for the Opinions section of this great student newspaper and pick one of these hot topics, make some witty comments, use too many commas, argue my case in 1,000 words to the dismay of the editors and pat myself on the back for being “woke.”

But I won’t (you’re welcome).

Instead, I’m going to give you some peace of mind, and remind you that it isn’t all bad.

Democrat Danica Roem, the first openly transgender state lawmaker in the country, was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, beating out a man who proposed a bill restricting which bathrooms trans people could use. While this doesn’t mean the battle for trans rights is over, it’s certainly a step in a promising direction. 

Earlier this year, a group of swimmers on a beach in Florida were pulled out to sea by a strong tide. Other beachgoers, after notifying police, created a human chain from the sand to the swimmers and brought them to safety.

Chance the Rapper, a 24-year-old rapper from Chicago, won three Grammy’s despite not being signed to any label and having a streaming-only album. He is one of the first independent artists to do so, and has proved that you don’t need to be signed to be successful. Chance has used his rising fame to give back to his community and has started a youth empowerment charity in Chicago called SocialWorks.

Kim Kardashian recently took interest in Cyntoia Brown, a woman from Tennessee serving a 60 year sentence for shooting and killing a man who paid to have sex with her when she was only 16-years-old.

She was tried as an adult, and inspired a change in the state’s law. Now, anyone under 18 cannot be charged with prostitution, but rather as victims of sex trafficking. Kardashian hopes to hire lawyers to help get Brown free.

Look, I know the world seems like it’s falling to pieces. And I’m not here to say that you should ignore it because you have the privilege to do so.

You should absolutely face as much of it as you can head-on, and do something about the injustices you see happening every day.

Whether it’s your cousin Chad who just pledged Alpha-Phi-Phi Omega making rape jokes or your school treating students of color unfairly, you should 100 percent do something about it.

But don’t wear yourself out. Don’t let it consume your life until you’re just a shell of a person with the weight of the world on your back.

Don’t forget to have hope. Because hope is the fire that fuels a better reality.

And don’t we all want to see that?