Things to look forward to in 2017 (that won’t totally suck)

I don’t think I need to recap how tough 2016 was for many people and, to be perfectly honest, it looks like 2017 has the potential to be the same. Our current political climate is very divisive as it’s now tough to find middle ground, and this year will most likely be the hottest year on record when it comes to Earth’s rising temperature. The clowns are likely to come out of hibernation and some huge celebrity breakup is bound to happen. At least one of the celebrities we love has the probability of dying. Our situation going into 2017 may be less than ideal, but there are some things we can appreciate in 2017 as well. Here are six of them:

1. The upcoming total solar eclipse

Even if the human race wouldn’t be able to make anything tremendous happen for you this 2017, the universe has you covered. Mark your calendars for Aug. 21 if you haven’t already, because on that day you’ll be able to experience a total solar eclipse in Oregon. For a couple minutes on this day, around 10:15 a.m., you’ll be able to watch the sun be completely covered as you catch a glimpse of the sun’s corona.

Total eclipses are extremely rare—the last one happened July in 1991—so I would highly recommend jumping at the opportunity to see this one if you have the chance. If you stay in Portland the eclipse will not be total for you. The good news is that to witness the full effects of the eclipse, you’ll only have to drive about an hour away.

2. Baby Groot

Have you seen the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 trailer yet? Although it won’t be the pleasant surprise that the first one was, James Gunn and Co. look to keep the weird, retro, and humorous tone of the first one that so many of us loved. Plus this one includes Baby Groot, who I think we can all agree is pretty adorable. Guys, the trailer looks really good, and honestly Baby Groot is what we all need right now.

3. Hamilton goes on national tour

Don’t pretend you don’t know what Hamilton is or that you haven’t listened to at least one song from the soundtrack or mixtape. The critically acclaimed show is going on a national tour and will be in many American cities. Namely it’s coming to California, which is significantly closer to Portland than New York. (Now I just have to get money for a ticket…)

4. Netflix’s crazy-good lineup

I think it’s safe to say that one of the undeniable winners of 2016 was Netflix. Netflix produced a lot of really good content, from Luke Cage and Stranger Things to The Crown. This year looks to continue that trend of great content, with newcomers such as A Series of Unfortunate Events and Bill Nye Saves the World, along with new comedy hours for Dave Chapelle, and returning programs like Master of None and, yes, Stranger Things.

5. Nature is still around

Netflix’s 2017 lineup may look pretty great, but that doesn’t mean you should stay glued to your TV/laptop the whole time. Don’t forget to get outside and go hiking and exploring! Did you know being in the outdoors helps improve your concentration and relieves stress? Get out there and enjoy the outdoors while you still can!

6. The benefit of hindsight

I think it’s safe to say that we learned a lot from 2016 about ourselves, our culture, and the discussions we need to have. I found Stephen Colbert to have said it best: “How did our politics get so poisonous? I think it’s because we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison. You take a little bit so you can hate the other side, and it tastes kind of good. And you like how it feels, and there’s a gentle high to the condemnation.”

We all have a lot of conversations we need to have. I greatly look forward to having them with you all.

Happy 2017, everyone!