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Last updateThu, 20 Apr 2017 10am

Opinion

2017: New Year, Same Stuff

A new calendar year has started and almost everyone has been working on being a better person this year. We either join a gym, vow to be a nicer person, or promise to do better in school. Whatever it is, every year we all decide that the month of January seems like a good time to restart our lives in one way or another.

In the world of news and entertainment, 2016 was a pretty crazy year. Every person who had influenced our lives greatly, from David Bowie to Alan Rickman to Carrie Fisher, and everyone in between has been taken away from us way too soon. We also have a new president coming to power who isn’t exactly conventional. We may not be able to compare him to our past presidents that we’ve learned about in history class or experienced ourselves. The world is changing—A LOT—and 2017 seems to be one of the most unpredictable years in our lifetimes.

Many people are uncertain about the outcome of the most recent presidential election and what this year has in store for us under the guidance of our newly inaugurated president. People are scared, frustrated, and confused—everyone wants to start this new year off fresh and with better intentions than the year before. We saw posts everywhere about how excited our friends were that 2016 was finally over and posts about how this year is going to be a year of great change. This attitude seems to occur every year, and every year we wonder, “Has there actually been change?” How do we know if we just keeping hoping for the year to be over by the end of it every time?

The answer is, we don’t (for the most part) have actual change. A lot of the change we want and the frustration we have for the year is all just talk. How can we expect any significant change if we aren’t out doing anything to make that change happen? Every year people hope that somehow the change in a calendar year is some miraculous thing that will make everything better.

There are so many opportunities to make positive waves in society and foster the change that you want to see. For example, here at Monmouth there are plenty of opportunities for service trips abroad or even local outreach programs. So many of our clubs and organizations are looking to make stands for what they believe it. It isn’t hard to find a group that you can stand with.

While, many Facebook and many other social media feeds were flooded with posts along the lines of “Thank God 2016 is over,” we are looking ahead at what can be done because what is going to be different in 2017 if our attitude leads us to blaming a calendar year for all of the world’s problems? This year certainly has some crazy things in store for us and it will be a year that will go down in history. But, if you’re upset with something or don’t like where 2017 may be going, then go out there and make a change!

Get involved with groups and issues you believe are worth fighting for! There is so much opportunity in this world, it would be a shame to sit back, complain, and watch the world spin in what you may believe is the wrong direction without having taken any kind of step in the direction you see fit. Don’t let 2017 pass you by without taking a step into the future you believe in.

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Monmouth University
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