With the end of the year comes everybody and their mother’s year in review lists, and as a compulsive recorder, here I am contributing. A lot of the things I was interested in this year weren’t necessarily new, so I have a mix of Actual 2017 Things and things I just happened to love this past year. This isn’t a list of the Best Things of 2017; it’s just the things I was into and enjoyed in 2017. This year also marked a huge transition for me-- moving out of state for college-- so actually compiling this list was weird because March feels like it was a universe ago.
For whatever reason, I didn’t watch many movies this year, but I did fall in love with Baby Driver, and if you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now! Like the rest of the world, I watched the second season of Stranger Things when it was released in October and was a big fan. My roommate and I bonded by watching lots of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia together, which was sadly just taken off Netflix. Chewing Gum is a hilarious Netflix Original about a British girl who was raised in an extremely religious family exploring the world of sex. SKAM is a Norwegian teen drama, and it’s the best thing any of us could have asked for.
Especially once I started college, most of my reading was for my classes, but I still got some independent choices in. I enjoyed most of what I read for classes, so I’m including some of those works in here. For my Major British Writers 2 course, I read Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and loved its unique style; it is stream of consciousness but shifts narrators throughout. Another class favorite was East of Eden by John Steinbeck, which I read for my AP Literature class senior year. It’s a fantastic, classic long novel that covers multiple generations of families, and I can see it sticking with me for life. I never got into the Twilight or Harry Potter crazes when I was younger, but this summer I watched the first Twilight movie with some friends then devoured all four books. Now I understand. I loved Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys so much that I immediately reread it after finishing it. The Self Unstable by Elisa Gabbert is a cool kind of poetic short read. Finally, if you haven’t already, read Cat Person by Kristen Roupenian, an absolutely wonderful modern short story.
Luckily, I got to see half of my music favorites in concert this year, so that definitely aided their cases because they were all phenomenal shows. The xx has been a longtime favorite of mine. I had their most recent album in constant rotation in preparation to see them in May, which was the best concert I’ve ever been to! Seeing Bleachers in November was another favorite because their show was full of energy, and I got to watch Jack Antonoff work his magic. I randomly stumbled across Terror Pigeon when going through the New Releases tab on Spotify and fell in love with them and their cool song titles like “Life’s Pretty Tight and You’re Alright” and “Come on Ride the Pain and Ride It, Wooawoo.” I listened to a ton of Bright Eyes this year, which helped deal with my existential dread surrounding my complete questioning of self (being 19 is fun!!!). About a week after my last day of senior year, I saw Conor Oberst in concert with one of my closest friends, so that was an incredibly emotional experience. Phoebe Bridgers opened for him, and she also put out a great album this year. My number one favorite of the year, though, is Lorde’s Melodrama. I’ve listened to it nonstop because each and every song is a work of art that contributes to a universe when it’s put together.
I’ve continued to love podcasts this year, especially while driving and taking walks. I’m still a huge fan of Eliza Starting, especially hearing her talk about the confusing and difficult transition to college. As an Oprah fan, I enjoy Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, in which she talks to influential people about their lives and spirituality. Rolling Stone Music Now is fun and easy to listen to, especially all they have done about Taylor Swift this year-- as you know, I love that analysis. The Rookie podcast was new this year, and it’s absolutely phenomenal, with guests like Lorde, Winona Ryder, and George Saunders.
Within my personal life, lots of exciting things have happened this year. Primarily, I’ve loved starting college and all of the fun associated with that life. Tied to that, graduating high school was also a pretty good momeny. It was extremely fulfilling to win Newspaper Editor of the Year at Arkansas’ state journalism convention in May of this year. While I’ve been slacking on Outfits and Observations since starting college, this summer was a great time for it. Some of my incredibly talented and creative friends contributed posts, which added awesome variety to the site. Go back and check some of those out if you’re needing something to do over break!
It was also a decent year for traveling. My family went to Los Angeles for Spring Break. This summer, I travelled without adults for the first time and spent time in New York City with Jenna. We had so much fun shopping and hitting as many museums as we could.
I'm wishing everybody a lovely 2018, and as always, I would love to hear your favorites as well!