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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

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GOODBYE 2017

2017 was a year of monumental ups and downs. It was a year of stress and anxiety but also
great joy. From politics to silly trends and memes, here are 17 events to remember in the U.S.
and abroad as we enter into the New Year.

1. We began the year on a somewhat humorous note when some pranksters gave the
Hollywood sign a new look with the use of tarps and markers to create the term:
HOLLYWeeD.

2. Donald Trump, alongside his running mate Mike Pence, was elected to the Presidency of
the United States of America. He ends his first year in office with the lowest average
approval rating of any American President.

3. Social media introduced us to Nusret Gökçe, a Turkish chef who owns Nusr-Et, a chain
of Turkish steak houses. The majority of the world, however, knows him as Salt Bae.

4. On Aug. 21, millions of Americans witnessed the first total solar eclipse in America since
1979. Anyone within the path of totality experienced complete darkness, in the middle of
the day.

5. Protests became violent in Charlottesville, VA when far right members and protesters
clashed after a statue of General Robert E. Lee was not removed. The ensuing violence
resulted in the death of activist Heather Heyer when James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car
into the protesters.

6. Women who had been harassed and assaulted in the workplace stood together, spoke
up and, in many cases, were finally heard. Was this the harbinger of genuine change?
Maybe. At least a serious conversation about reforms and laws may spark change in
2018.

7. Devastation occurred on the Las Vegas strip when Steven Paddock opened fire on an
outdoor concert festival from a hotel window, killing over 50 people making it the
deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

8. The 89th Academy Awards were marred by the erroneous announcement of La La Land
as Best Picture, an error that left Moonlight feeling blue. The mistake was corrected
when one of La La Land’s producers, Jordan Horowitz, announced that Moonlight had
actually won.

9. With music festivals hitting their peak popularity, none were as notorious as the Fyre
Festival failure. After countless social media influencers, including Kendall Jenner, Bella
Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, promoted the festival, thousands of festival goers arrived
to tents and prepackaged sandwiches, not the luxury villas and gourmet meals they had
been promised.

10. One of the biggest fashion trends we leave behind in 2017 is the RompHim. The bold
fashion statement was said to be impractical, but at the same time it provided a valuable
lesson for men- looking good doesn’t always have to be overly-masculine.

11. At the beginning of the summer, swimsuit company Sunny Co. announced a 24-hour
giveaway to anyone who posted an image of a model in a swimsuit and tagged Sunny
Co. in order to receive a code for a free swimsuit. The promotion largely backfired when
over 100,000 people tried to cash in on the free bathing suit.

12. One of the biggest trends of the year, that seemed to die as soon as it became popular,
was the three-lobed, stress relieving toy: the fidget spinner. The popularity of the toy
among children and teenagers led some schools to ban the spinners as they were
considered a huge distraction.

13. One of the biggest trends of 2017 took place in the NFL when numerous players,
coaches and owners took a knee during the national anthem. The trend was started by
quarterback Colin Kaepernick as an effort to raise awareness for police brutality.
Though his intentions were good, many have seen the act as anti-American and
backlash has ensued.

14. 2017 was plagued with deadly natural disasters all over the world. Some of the largest
hurricanes in decades hit: Hurricane Maria, Irma and Harvey. There were also
numerous mudslides in California and Columbia. Bangladesh and Sierra Leone saw
monsoon flooding. Mexico faced one of the deadliest earthquakes- a 7.1 magnitude
strike that killed more than 200 people.

15. 2017 was a year of controversy and that continued when Kendall Jenner tried to end
police brutality with a Pepsi commercial. It was eventually taken down after countless
people pointed out the flaw: Pepsi can not solve all the world’s problems.

16. A major victory for world peace came when, with the help of thousands of U.S. troops,
the “caliphate” of the Islamic State was defeated and destroyed. This, of course, did not
end the threat from Islamist terrorism generally nor the Islamic State specifically. But,
taking away its territorial base removed a potent recruiting tool and put a stop to some of
the most horrific human rights abuses taking place.

17. Monumental progress was made when Australia became the 25th country to achieve
marriage equality, with both houses of the legislature voting overwhelmingly in its favor
following a voluntary mail survey that showed clear public support. Same-sex couples
also will be able to marry in Austria by January 2019.

HELLO 2018

The floodgates of 2017 are finally drawn closed, and hopeful eyes glimmer in the promising light
of 2018. From exciting blockbusters hitting the theatres to new advancements in science, this
year is golden with the potential to be great – of course, on the condition that we let it. As we
wish 2017yy a bittersweet (or perhaps, just a sweet) farewell, here are 18 things to look forward
to in 2018.

1. New Music. ​As per any year, new musical releases are often among the most immortal
facets of the 365-day long party. Among the slew of new releases we’ve become aware
of so far are rap duo Rae Sremmurd with SremmLife 3, Justin Timberlake’s Man of the
Woods, one-man band Owl City’s Cinematic, Rich Chigga’s Amen, alternative pop band

The 1975’s Music for Cars and legend Kylie Minogue’s appropriately titled Golden.
Certified comebacks that are yet to be titled include punk rock group Arctic Monkeys,
One Direction’s Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, Celine Dion and Selena Gomez.

2. New Video Games.​ New year, new ways to procrastinate! Some of the most anticipated
releases of video game history are set to take over our lives this year, including the third
title to the legendary Kingdom Hearts series, and the second installment of
zombie-shooter royalty Red Dead Redemption. Honorable mentions include a new God
of War, Soul Caliber VI, Kirby Star Allies, Far-Cry 5, Detroit: Become Human, and a
brand new Spider-Man adventure series.

3. New in Television.​ A new, all-inclusive wave of entertainment is set to explode this year
with groundbreaking series that are both stimulating to watch and informative of
important, hard-hitting issues. Among the most anticipated is The Assassination of
Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX), from the creators of the famous American
Horror Story series and Grown-ish (Freeform), from the creators of the hit show
Black-ish. Also on the television radar for 2018 is the afrocentric superhero drama Black
Lightning (The CW), a Grey’s Anatomy spinoff (ABC), Krypton (Syfy) and Unsolved, a
series about the murders of The Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur(USA Network).

4. New in Cinema. ​The blockbusters set to drop this year have earned a spot as king of all
new releases in entertainment, as so many of the upcoming flicks have been anticipated
with a tangible elation. Among the VIP list is Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of
Grindelwald, Avengers: Infinity War, The Incredibles 2 (14 years in the making), A
Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther, Deadpool 2, and Venom.

5. Vine 2!​ Our days of binge-watching 20 minute vine compilations on YouTube are
numbered, now, as the creators of the well-loved and well-mourned Vine app will attempt
to right their wrongs this year. A brand-new continuation of the six-second video platform
is set to launch this year, and while there is fierce division as to whether it will live up to
its predecessor or flop terribly, many Viners have already expressed an interest in
returning to the new app.

6. Winter Olympics and the World Cup.​ Despite these events not being unique to 2018,
this year is set to bring jaw-dropping new advances in both massive sporting events. For
example, North and South Korea have promised one another to compete in the Winter
Olympic games under one flag for the first time since the post-WWII split, and this year’s
World Cup will be the first without the United States on the bracket.

7. Frozen: The Musical and the Return of Hamilton. ​It’s been five years since “Do You
Wanna Build A Snowman?” first looped treacherously in our heads, and now, we’ll get to
do it all over again as Elsa and Anna make their Broadway debut. Frozen is the
highest-grossing Disney film of all time, so it will surely be interesting to see how the
story of two sisters transitions from screen to stage. Also on the Broadway ticket, though
it’s only a well-believed rumor at this point, is the return of Alexander Hamilton in his
self-titled musical of rapping patriots. We’ll have to see if the US’s first treasurer will give
Olaf a run for his money.

8. New Paths to Sainthood.​ Pope Francis I has, by now, established himself as quite the
game-changer in the Catholic Church. Not only has he reinvented the process of becoming a saint, but since his installment in 2013, he’s canonized well over 200 of them. Next up on his list is a surprisingly diverse and inclusive bunch, including Teresio
Olivelli, Lucien Botovasoa, Hanna Helena Chrzanowska, János Brenner, Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, and several others.

9. A Groundbreaking Royal Wedding. ​Many were shocked to discover the engagement
of Prince Harry of the United Kingdom and American (not to forget, half black) actress
Meghan Markle. As this will be the first time a non-white person has joined the British
royal family, mixed emotions color the spectrum of the island-nation, though Prince Harry
has made it clear that he won’t tolerate any racist remarks toward his future wife. Many
in and outside of the U.K. are curious to see how the Queen will take to her grandson’s
fiancée.

10. Return to the Moon?​ It’s been almost fifty years since Neil Armstrong took one giant
leap for mankind, and brought about the end of the space race. Now, it seems everyday
people will be able to experience what Armstrong did half a century ago, as the US
government has revealed a precise implementation of a program to put everyday
Americans on the moon. The process itself is still under wraps, but who knows, maybe
the next person to leap over a crater over 238,900 miles away will be you!

11. HIV/AIDS Advances. ​A cure is still on the horizon, but easier living for patients afflicted
by the HIV/AIDS is a reality. An organization known as CHERUB (Collaborative HIV
Eradication of viral Reservoirs: UK BRC) has conducted diligent and extensive research
into treatments to reverse HIV and therefore prevent AIDS, with a team of trained
clinicians, virologists, immunologists, molecular biologists and mathematical modeller.
They aim for a cure in the next five years.

12. Cooler Chemo.​ Chemotherapeutic measures are a popular solution to minimizing the
death sentence Cancer can bring. However, it’s known to be as destructive a process as
it is helpful, as most patients lose their hair, experience extreme fatigue, and
uncomfortable heat. But with new advancements in technology, now Chemo-patients
can have their scalps cooled to lessen the discomfort.

13. WWI Centennial. ​Nov. 11, 2018, will mark the one-hundredth year since the devastating
conflicts of World War I came to an end. This Armistice Day will certainly be a one of a
special caliber, so don’t forget to thank all veterans for their gallant efforts to reduce the
chances of such a large-scale war shaking the world once more.

14. Women’s Rights Advancements. ​It’s been 98 years since the 19th Amendment was
signed into effect, which finally granted women the right to vote in the United States.
Since then, women’s rights have progressed to heights that certainly would have been
unimaginable back then – and yearly women’s marches only seek to expand the work of
pioneers of this issue until a true state of equality is reached.

15. #MeToo and #TimesUp. ​Speaking of the treatment of women in the US, the #MeToo
movement of 2017 has blossomed into a more active and serious force to be reckoned
with: the #TimesUp movement. As hinted by its name, this movement insists the
“cancellation” of big-wigs in Hollywood taking advantage of actresses (and actors, too)
under their iron fist. It aims to end sexual assault and harassment, as well as abuse
carried out by these cinema giants, and to bring them to justice.

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