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The Maastricht Diplomat

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How to cope with 2017

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

It’ not often you can look back on a year and say with confidence that the world as we know it has fundamentally altered. I wish that I could say that it was for the better.

So much has been said about the tumultuous year that was 2016  that there seems little point in reliving those both ground and heart-breaking stories. Instead it is time to look ahead to 2017.

For many the prevailing view of 2016 was that the integrated, liberal and accepting world we as millenials  had grown up and so naively regarded as an unchallengeable norm, crashed around us and was replaced by racism, hatred, euroscepticism and fear. 2016 will have repercussions for years to come and that makes it  difficult to face the new year with too much excitement.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole “new year, new you!” philosophy. It’s always seen a bit contrived and pointless. I mean what is the new year? It’s just us changing the numbers so that we can have a simple and functional system to measure time. However, this year I’ve decided to change my attitude. This isn’t because the headlines and beach body images of the mainstream media have finally gotten to me, but rather the black in my wardrobe was running dry after having been in mourning since Brexit (a period annoyingly elongated by Trump). So with this in mind I’ll try and take a more cheerful tune (although no promises that I won’t break whatever I’m holding when I hear the name Farage).

With Trump taking office, Brexit negotiations and elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany, 2017 is undoubtedly set to be another ‘interesting’ year. The key is to watch these events without a drowning sense of misery and foreboding that the world really has gone mad. So I’ve devised a few tips to keep in mind throughout the year.

1) keep a sense of humour

No matter how mad things seem there always is a funny side to things and one of the most important ways of staying happy is to find that. Even if we are on the brink of WW3 with whoever trump decided to offend, just remind yourself the finger on the red button has the worst fake tan in the history of fake tans . Orange and red would be an awful clash.

2) keep popcorn at the ready

Political drama is absolutely inevitable so make sure to have some kernels ready to start popping. Forget the new season of Game of Thrones, Westeros has nothing on Washington this year

3) stay informed

Make sure to keep up to date with the latest news because with the way things are going, the juiciest and most scandalous gossip will be coming from news sites. Nothing beats a well-deserved gossip session when revising is just getting too much. The only difference is that it’ll now be “Did you hear what May said to Merkel!? The claws are out” or ” Did you see what Putin tweeted last night??? Honestly, has he no shame!”

4) make the most of EU passports whilst you still can

To Europeans, it’s a wonderful exchange rate to the Pound at the moment and London is lovely at this time of year. Although if you see any pubs with Union Jacks hanging from every available spot and signs saying “no remoaners“, maybe give that part of the quintessentially English experience a miss. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to watch some youtube videos on how to adapt your accent so that you don’t get chased down the road by some UKIP supporters shouting “Go back to where you came from you damn *fill in the derogatory name for your nationality*” (although do be careful, if the youtube video says to sound British you need to start saying ” alright guvnor” or ‘tally ho old chap” you might want to look elsewhere ). To Brits make the most of interrial whilst you can. Also, now might not be a bad time to start researching if there was some long long great aunt who can secure you a new passport.

5) to quote my favourite comedians ” Always look on the bright of life”

Monty Python did have a wonderful philosophy which I feel is relevant now more than ever. As naive as it sounds, life does have a funny way of sorting itself out.

With a bit of luck, loud political commentary and ticking sensible ballot boxes, in time our world might just recover. Until then we’ll live in interesting times.


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