Looking back on the year 2017

The year 2017 has ended and 2018 has begun. Quite a mixture of positive and negative things happened this past year, and many trends that made it big. From music to movies to fashion, every year has its popular things, and 2017 did not disappoint in that department.

This year I watched some amazing movies. One of my favorites was “It,” a remake of Stephen King’s classic horror. I found myself literally covering my eyes and looking through my fingers when the film got intense. My heart was racing and my palms were sweating through the entire movie.

I love the feeling of my heart fluttering in my chest, not knowing what’s about to happen. It also had elements of humor, with kids being the main characters, which took some of the edge off.

The antagonist, Penny­wise the Clown, was very well executed. The nightmare imagery from him gives a sensation of an alternate reality you can’t escape.

Taking a turn away from the horror genre, I saw a movie that came out at the end of the year, “The Greatest Showman.” I went into the movie generally excited for Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron, of course, and came out elated and singing every song.

I typically am not the musical type. I find it a bit cheesy how everyone breaks into song that they all just happen to know. But this one I wholeheartedly enjoyed.

The movie tells the story of P.T. Barnum, who emerged from nothing to create something everyone would come to love: the circus. The songs are so good and very catchy, and the movie has an incredible theme: be yourself, and be proud of who you are—which the world needs these days.

Fashion is one of my absolute favorite things. I found myself wearing a lot of floral embroidery, which I love. I think it adds a bit of vintage to a normal T-shirt or dress. Denim jackets were also really trendy. Ironing on some patches or hooking on some pins is a cute way to add a little flare that I think looks quite lovely.

Now, I typically listen to a lot of indie music, which usually is not on the top charts or the radio. I like to find undiscovered artists on Spotify, and I end up finding some really amazing music. But I did find myself enjoying a few artists that are big on the radio and in pop culture.

Two words: Harry Styles. Oh my, was his solo album absolutely incredible. I had it on “Repeat” when it came out and still haven’t grown tired of it. The vibe has an intimate emotional appeal that I love. It has touches of folk music, and is simply timeless. I feel like if it came out 10 years ago or 10 years in the future, people would enjoy it. My favorite song off the record is probably, “Meet Me in the Hallway.” It has a beautiful, twangy guitar part, and his voice is very echoey. It gives me chills every time I listen.

I learned a few good lessons in 2017. The main one was to speak up. I am quite a shy, introverted person, and sometimes social situations are difficult. But this year I really worked up the nerve to say hello to people I had never really talked to, and they have ended up becoming some of my closest friends.

It’s OK to go outside of your comfort zone. The worst that could happen is someone doesn’t want to talk to you, and that’s fine. They’re not worth your time, anyway.

Ten years form now, we may all cringe when we look back at what we wore or listened to, but it’s good to enjoy the present. Wear what makes you feel good, listen to what speaks to your heart, and set goals for yourself even when it’s not January first. So here’s to 2018!

Maddy Daniels is a sophomore at Hillsboro High School.