Letter from the Editor on 2017: Hope Amidst Devastation

From devastating shootings, to record-setting hurricanes, to momentous boxing matches, everything about the year 2017 was historic. And though much of what made headlines this year seems like it was so far off in the distant land of the news, the implications of this year’s life-changing stories come full circle, even affecting us here in Dripping Springs.

Politics, catastrophes, social movements, sports, and everything in between. But being that this is a year in review, let’s start with the most pressing, constant source of news throughout the year: Trump. The one-man media source that just keeps giving.

Fake News, potential Russian collusion, attempted immigration ban, leaks, etcetera, this year was absolutely filled to the brim with Trump news. From his claims that his inauguration was higher attended than Obama’s (which started his still waging war with the media) to the present, Trump has not failed to grab every headline. Throughout 2017, 21 of the New York Times 50 most read articles of the year mentioned or alluded to Trump in their headline, and many more mentioned him somewhere in the article. And though the extreme over saturation of the commander-in-chief may feel like it is waning on us, the public, its impact is still important. Here in Dripping Springs, at the high school especially, there has been a re-emergence of political involvement with a Young Democrats club sprouting into existence to counter the long living Young Republicans club. Not only that, but we as high schoolers have entered the conversations and have been forced to become more politically involved than ever before. And that is just in Dripping Springs, as the surge of politicism has been nationwide. This massive uptick in involvement can only lead to a better future for all of us.

Along with politics, catastrophes have also been in abundance this year. Harvey and Irma teamed up to devastate Southeast Texas, parts of Florida, and especially Puerto Rico, leaving all three locales bruised and broken. Wildfires ripped through California, increasing the death toll and property destruction. Not only did nature create upheavel, but the United States saw two of its five deadliest shootings in the last few months of this year. Although all of these incidents have been heartbreaking and devastating, they have also showed the resilience in people, proving that the good outweighs the bad. Times feel scary, but even here in Dripping Springs, movements like the food drive for Harvey victims that took place at the high school and the volleyball team donating game profits to Harvey-affected schools shows the power in the people we have here.

However, the most empowering stories of this year, although shrouded in tragedy, have been the most direct in influencing the public. The #metoo movement, the women’s marches, the continued strength of the Black Lives Matter movement and the promotion of good over evil has stayed true throughout 2017. Whether it be Colin Kaepernick putting his career on the line, or the brave-hearted men and women who share their sexual assault and harassment experiences, or the unified strength of groups of people standing up against bigotry in Charlottesville, 2017 has inspired hope in a generation of young people. At DSHS, women’s clubs are gaining popularity and conversations have been started about these mass issues.

What a world it is we live in, and it is important to remember the effects that all these real world events have on our everyday lives. Times may feel unsteady right now, so our only responsibility is to build on and cultivate the hope we can find in the shreds of good between the evil.

Written by Jaxson Thornton, Editor-in-Chief

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