January is always an interesting month. In the journalism world it is a time of reflection and more so a time to look ahead, with various publication staff in an array of different newspapers and other outlets trying to predict what the following year holds. Music editors try and edge their bets about what people might be listening to throughout 2018, while news editors and political writers are trying to determine how global events are going to shape the year we will have.
2016 was a year we lost many celebrities and we started to see other changes geminate beneath the soil that would not fully bloom until 2017; the rise in nationalism in the Western world and the explosive outcry about sexual harassment, just everywhere. 2017 saw these topics flourish and they were printed and posted on any form of media, from both sides of the ‘arguments’, and people responded critically. Opening up dialogues about these topics as well as allowing platforms for often under represented voices that challenged how people think.
While globally 2017 was on average a terrible year for some people personally it was one of the best. Going in to 2018, I feel that people should be a lot more open to the idea of not thinking of the year as a year. By thinking of it was one chapter that instantly closes come January 1st 2019 people force themselves to surmise the entire year long events as either good or bad.
A rule with some historians is that you should not think of history as a series of events that start and finish for another to start up straight after. Instead think of the ever flowing nature of history, events in the 20th Century led to things happening in the 21st Century and the same applies to individual years.
As people we often see the New Year as a time of change, to become or do something new and to leave certain things behind, however, everything else around New Year does not follow suit. Outside it is still winter so it often cold and overcast. Plus, why wait until a Monday or a New Year to make a change that you want to see, whether in yourself or a more external change? New Year’s resolutions often have a habit of failing because it is seen as something that is not always meant to last. As though so many people have failed their own resolutions and so now it has become an on-going joke to some that they are going to set them in order to fail them a few weeks later.
In university terms I see this on going trend of January being more difficult for staff and students. When asked about this, people seemed to pass it off as; ‘well we just had the Christmas break and now we have to readjust’. I am surprised at how the summer break, which can be May – September/October for most courses, is easy to swing back from but the two weeks we have for Christmas just ruins everyone instantly. I also heard that students tend to think of the work load in to the new year is more intense and serious compared to the start of the academic year.
Rumours are already flying around about the possibility of more freak weather patterns coming in the months to follow. With the Met Office and several news outlets questioning if the United Kingdom is set to see more heavy snow fall in February as well as speculating about the chances of a wet summer. These will obviously have knock-on affects with farming and other agricultural projects must likely leading to another rise in the price of British organic fruit and veg, alongside the prospect of localised flooding again like we have seen in recent years. Globally, we should expect more tropical storms, which in recent years seems to an ever growing trend particularly in parts of Asia and North America. Forest fires in California have mostly been contained and managed, however these are always common during the summer months due to high drought conditions that the state suffers from so this seems more like a break than the end.
Political news will likely revolve around Brexit again here in the United Kingdom as we find out what is going to happen once we leave and what is going to be open to us. Donald Trump will continue to be Donald Trump, unfortunately, and his on going relationship with North Korea will get worse before it gets better. Everyone will just be throwing stones at each others glass houses. Events in the Middle East look to be continuing much of the same as they have been, although Donald Trump (as the representative of America) put his foot in his mouth at the end of 2017.
Entertainment industries are still recovering from the sexual assault whistleblowing that took place in 2017, clearing up all the damage has begun as several institutions make efforts to right past wrongs. Hollywood seems slightly reluctant to act too drastically which may pan out in a very interesting way throughout this year.
The BBC will continue to annoy its license payers with lacklustre content such as the less than dramatic of the Apprentice final. As well as Doctor Who show runner, Chris Chibnall (creator of Broadchurch), having to deliver above and beyond the expectations of the thousands of people who can not comprehend the Doctor without a penis. Over on Channel 4 hopefully this time Prue won’t ruin the final of the Great British Bake Off, while a new series of the Undateables continues to bully people in the name of ‘documentary film-making’ and First Dates will hopefully remain to be equal parts cringe to adorable and finally, with the loss of beloved Leon Bernicoff in December, Gogglebox will have a hole that will prove difficult to fill in the publics heart. In music terms, the summer here will most likely be hit with Latin fever again. Following the success of last summers chart toppers it is likely we will see more pop music reaching for something to make us move our hips. This July we will also see the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (originally published in 1998) which will most likely be met with a republication like the Philosopher’s Stone did. Along side that we will get the fourth Harry Potter illustrated book this October and the new Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them film hitting cinemas in November, so a big year ahead for die hard Potter fans.
Obviously we can not know exactly what 2018 holds in store, some will be much of the same as previous years or at least us dealing with the aftermath of what has come before. However what we can be certain of is personally, for us all individually we can try and make it the best year possible.