Our Hopes and Fears for 2017

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Hopes and fears? For 2017? What are we not fearing for the coming year? I hope that things change for the better in our political discourse. I hope that Trump is impeached. I fear that Mike Pence would be even more diabolical and having Satan himself might be worse than Satan’s orange-faced, infantile right hand. I hope that every woman I know gets an IUD immediately. I hope that we get some better music. – Taia Handlin


Well, other than the fear of my life going to shit now that Trump’s in charge, I’d say I’m most terrified of hitting my quarter-life crisis. That’s right. The big 2-5. I know this is going to annoy everyone older than me, BUT SRSLY WTF TWENTY FIVE?! Omg, I’m going to be so freakin’ old… – Elena Childers


I don’t know if I have much hope for 2017. Maybe that sounds too cynical, but I think it also might be realistic: Donald Trump was elected president (a terrifying thought for a number of reasons); Climate Change is a serious issue that majorly powerful people are to this day denying the legitimacy of; populist nationalist discourse all throughout the European nations is resulting in increased visibility of xenophobic and racist ideals; and Westworld won’t be back until 2018!

The prospects for 2017 are slim. I suppose that if I had to choose one, my main hope would be that the sheer ludicrousness and danger of the administration and policies that we may face here in the US would finally lead to some sort of political revolution. That, perhaps Donald Trump’s presidency would upset the status quo in such a massive and terrifying way that we citizens would have no choice but to stand up and demand a more egalitarian society (a change that would’ve been necessary under a Clinton presidency as well, but that the urgency of which likely could’ve lain dormant under her politics as usual approach).

My main fear is that the literal apocalypse will come. That Trump’s inflammatory and offensive rhetoric will lead to civil war, worldwide nuclear war, etc. The threat of apocalyptic weather events is on the horizon as well—with Climate Change increasing the likelihood and intensity of extreme weather patterns. Oh well, call me deterministic but if the world ends at least all of our problems will be solved. – Rebecca Chodorkoff


My firmest and sincerest hope for 2017 is that Donald J. Trump will emerge as an impressive politician, one with uncanny acumen for elected office, a knack for making tough decisions with conviction and reason, a penchant for international diplomacy while representing our country with the respect and dignity we expect from our allies, the transparency of a person whose goal is to serve the American people to the best of his abilities, and communication skills robust and polished enough to bring the people of these United States together with the aim of bettering ourselves and our country. My fear is that he might fall a little short. – Joe Virgillito


I practice and study Buddhism, a religion that encourages the dismissal of both hopes and fears, for they are signs that you are living in the future, the Buddha said (I’m paraphrasing). The path to Enlightenment is in the present, and I spend much of my time forcing my thoughts into that moment. Last month, though, I failed the Buddha. I felt a real and genuine fear about the country that stands for me, that represents me as a woman. I feared not exclusively for myself, but for the disproportionate amount of people in this country who place money and greed higher on the hierarchy of importance than the basic human rights of their fellow man. My fear for this upcoming year specifically is that we, as citizens, stop fighting and become couch potatoes who are as accepting with the status quo as the Buddha is with what is. – Kimberly Ruth


In 2017, I hope that strides for equality aren’t reversed, I hope that we find a way to curb terrorists acts, I hope that schools develop a stronger government education program, I hope we find a way to become more tolerant of others whose opinions differ from our own, I hope individuals continue to believe in the good we have in the world and find a way to pay it forward with the good we have been blessed with. I hope we find a way to bring our divided country together. – Cassidy Colarik