BY ASHA SWANN
With Donald Trump becoming president at the end of 2016, many Sheridan students felt like all of 2017 was filled with political turmoil.
“2017 has been a mix of strange, bad, and good,” said first-year Visual Creative Arts student Sam Sedillo. “Bad as in terrible things happening, like all the prejudice, Donald Trump – of course, and racism and shootings.”
According to Gun Violence Archive, the United States experienced a total of 343 mass shootings this past year, killing over 13,000 people.
“You don’t want to be like, ‘Oh 2017 sucked because Trump got elected,’”said Caitlin Rego, a second-year Animation student. “But it’s one of those things where there’s so many crazy things happening.”
Since Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, the world has seen a highly controversial travel ban against Muslims, his declaration of a “potentially major” conflict with North Korea in April, and the lowest presidential approval rate of all time.
But despite the issues, Sedillo finds comfort in the togetherness that comes along with the tragedy.
“Everyone is out here supporting each other,” she said. “And I find that to be the sweetest thing. It makes me feel like 2017 wasn’t completely hopeless.”
Canadian politics also weren’t without conflict. Another issue affecting Sheridan students last year was the five-week long faculty strike, the longest in provincial history.
“That Ontario strike, I feel like that was a defining moment [this year],” said Rego. “When I think of 2017, I think, ‘Oh man, where did my education go?’”
The strike, which began in October, led 10 per cent of college students to drop out, and seek a full refund, according to an analysis done by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
“All the shit that’s been happening has been pretty demoralizing,” said first year Bachelor of Game Design student Charlie Post. “With the strike and everything, it makes it hard to keep going.”
Many students felt helpless during the strike and found that it made the good things last year get ignored.
“I feel like this was the year that I had to fend for myself,” said Rego. “Aside from things politically being unsavoury, I’m sure there were good things that got overshadowed.”
But after such an eventful year, students agree that they want 2018 to go as smoothly as possible, focusing on self growth, new opportunities, and positivity.
“I’d like to focus on inner peace, focus on myself, and self growth,” Sedillo said. “And help others because they’re probably in the same boat as me.”
“If you try to stay positive, it’s the smallest thing that you can think of to emphasize that, like it’s the new year, that means I have so many more opportunities and I don’t know where it will bring me,” said Rego. “If 2017 felt like kind of a free fall, then in 2018 we either grab onto something, or hit the bottom and start running again.”