2018 in Review
2018 is coming to an end so it is time to take a look at important things that have happened this year. From bizarre internet trends to heartbreaking deaths that shook the country, the past 365 days have been like no other.
This past year had so many new albums released, that fans of any genre of music were satisfied.
In the pop world Shawn Mendes, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Camila Cabello all had new albums and songs that neared the top of the charts.
Mendes’ self-titled, third album was a success, which did not surprise anyone after the great reaction to his pre-release of some of the songs, such as, In My Blood, Lost in Japan, and Youth, an anthem in support of the March for our Lives Movement.
5 Seconds of Summer’s new album, “Youngblood” hit number one on the Billboard Charts and the band even performed their new album in Columbus, in June.
Although Camila Cabello had a self-titled album release as well, her biggest success was a specific song off of the album. “Havanna” was the 2018 song of the summer that was also the longest run that a female singer’s song had had at the top of the Billboard Pop Charts, in five years.
Cardi B, Juice Wrld, Travis Scott, and Post Malone all made their mark on the rap industry with the release of their albums “Invasion of Privacy”, “Wrld on Drugs”, “Beerbongs & Bentleys”, and “Astroworld,” respectively. One of the biggest albums of the year was also a rap album, entitled “Scorpion”, and it was by Drake.
Finally, one of the biggest and most influential names in music this year, was Ariana Grande, who was even named Woman of the Year by Billboard. Grande released her fourth album, entitled “Sweetener”, as well as several singles that broke the internet. “No Tears Left to Cry,” “God is Woman,” and “Breathin” were all pre-released songs off of her new album, and the 25 year old singer just released yet another single on December 14th, called “Imagine”. Her most iconic release was her single, “Thank u, next”. This song was inspired by the all of her past relationships, but specifically by the death of Grande’s ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, as well as the ending of her engagement to Pete Davidson.
Similar to the music industry, there were lots of different movies in theaters this year.
Marvel had two big movies early in the year, “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War”, as well as a few others, although not quite as big as the two mentioned.
One of the biggest animated movies that hit the big screen in 2018 was “Incredibles 2”, the sequel to Pixar’s “Incredibles”, which came out in 2004.
Another new movie that was also a seqal was “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”. Similar to its prequel, this summer movie incorporated music from ABBA.
While it was not a sequel, as much as it was a spinoff, “Ocean’s 8” hit theaters in the spring and was the female version of “Ocean’s 11”. With its powerful cast of Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, and many others, the film was a great action/adventure/comedy.
For those who prefer horror movies, John Krasinki’s “A Quiet Place” was a huge success that left views on the edge of their seats.
Not all big movies from 2018 were in theaters. Netflix had quite a few originals released, but one of their most successful among young people, was “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’, which is based on Jenny Han’s novel of the same name.
Social media has become even more present in everyday life, and with that has brought along a whole new sections of news. Instead of it being about elections, the economy, and foreign policy, it is surrounds the scandals, relationships, and daily lives of celebrities.
What many believe to be the biggest internet scandal of 2018, occurred on the first day of the year. Popular YouTuber Logan Paul filmed and uploaded a video of him and his friends finding the body of a man who had killed himself in Japan’s Suicide Forest. Paul took down the video after the immediate backlash, and then proceeded to go on a one month hiatus from social media. Although losing monetization from his videos for a brief period of time, Paul ended up gaining followers during his break, and has reasserted his presence on the video sharing platform.
Another YouTube event that ended in a complete failure was creator Tana Mongeau’s convention “TanaCon”. Mongeau wanted to have a free creator convention for fans who could not afford to go to VidCon. The weekend ended with the whole event being shutdown after many attendees got third degree sunburn and and almost passed out from dehydration.
However, one good thing did come from TanaCon, and that was Shane Dawson’s three part series which looked into the truth behind what happened at this convention. Dawson has created a massive following on YouTube over the past nine years, where his content is mainly known to be conspiracy theories. This series about Mongeau’s convention was a big success, and that led to two more mini series that broke the internet. The first was a three parter which followed the life of beauty guru Jeffree Star, and the second was an eight-part series entitled “The Mind of Jake Paul”. As the title states, the series looks into the mind of fellow YouTuber Jake Paul, and looks to answer the question of whether or not he is a sociopath.
Finally, although many people guessed it, one of the saddest moments on the internet from 2018 was the official breakup of YouTubers Liza Koshy and David Dobrik. After two years of dating, the couple ended their relationship, and announced it on the internet six months after the fact. As two of the most popular influencers on this site, the ending of this power couple shook the internet back in June.
It seems as though trends and fads can last anywhere from three days to three months, however, there are a couple that helped shape 2018 to be such a unique year.
The first, and probably most embarrassing trend was the Tide Pod Challenge. If you would even call it a “challenge”. The entire premise of it was that people were supposed to eat Tide Pods, which is toxic. That’s it. This led to many grocery stores needing to lock up this detergent, in order to keep teenagers out of the hospital.
Another challenge this year was the In My Feelings Challenge, which is is where someone dances next to a moving car to Drake’s song “In My Feelings.” This challenge was far more entertaining than the Tide Pod Challenge, as well as safer, assuming the challenge was completed in a parking lot or empty road.
Back in 2015, everyone was arguing about whether the dress was white and gold, or blue and black. No one expected to go through this again, however, in May, the internet exploded with a grand new debate of similar nature.This one however, was an audio clip of the world “Laurel’, except when some people listened to it, they would hear yanny.
Like any other year, there were lots of big moments in sports, especially the championship games in each league.
In Super Bowl LII, the Philadelphia Eagles took on the Patriots and beat the reigning champions, earning the Eagles their first Lombardi Trophy.
2018 was also the year for the Winter Olympics, which were held in Pyeongchang. Norway went home with the most medals at an astounding 39, and the U.S. earned a fourth place showing with their 23 medals.
In March, the number one seeded Villanova University’s Men Basketball Team won its second NCAA National Championship in three years. The Wildcats played against the Wolverines from Michigan University in the finals.
Similar to the Eagles, another professional sports team won their first championship in 2018. The NHL’s Washington Capitals faced off against the Vegas Golden Knights in the final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Although the Golden Knights had a great season and playoff run, especially with it being their first season in the NHL, the Caps ended up taking home the Stanley Cup.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors rivalry has become infamous, as the two teams have faced off in the last four NBA finals. In the 2018 finals, the Warriors beat the Cavs, earning the Franchise it’s third championship title in the past four seasons.
Shortly after the defeat, Lebron James, the face of the Cavs, signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the Fall, the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, earning the team their first pennant in fourteen years.
2018 has also been filled with tragedy and panic.
During this year’s wildfire season, California was faced with more destruction than it ever had in the past. According to the Washington Post, at least 85 people were killed and over fourteen thousand residences were destroyed as a result. Thankfully, the flames were finally contained by the end of the November.
In June and July, the world held their breath as they worried for the safety of twelve young boys and their soccer coach, as the team was stuck in a cave in Thailand. The boys were finally saved after spending two weeks trapped in the darkness.
Although this country is as divided as ever, there are still a few moments where everyone can come together. Unfortunately, that only seems to happen in times of loss. The best example of this unification in 2018 was on October 27 when a man shot and killed eleven people, and injured six, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The city, as well as the whole country, came together in this hard time and coined the motto “Stronger than hate”, in support of all those affected by the shooting.
However, despite tragedy having the ability to blur party lines, it can also cause an even greater divide.
On February 14th, 2018, a former student of Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland FL, brought a semi-automatic rifle onto campus and opened fire. The perpetrator injured shot 34 people, killing 17. It was the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history and rocked the nation to its core. There were copycat threats across the country and led to mass fear among students. The other effect of this shooting was unique. Instead of condolences and prayers, people began to demand change, especially the students. The change they wanted to see is in this country’s gun control policies, and became known as the March For Our Lives movement. High schoolers were tired of being scared in school and wanted to stand up for their own safety, instead of having to hope that change will maybe happen. This is only the beginning for March For Our Lives and based on the intensity with which they started, it looks as if they will not stop until there is change.
In 2018 the country was also forced to say goodbye to some big names.
On April 20th, the Swedish DJ known as Avicii took his own life. He was 28 years old and known for his work on several songs, especially “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother.”
Three days later, former first lady Barbara Bush passed on at 92 years old, from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She is survived by her five children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Barbara was married to President George H.W. Bush, who also died in 2018.
George H. W. Bush died on November 30th, at age 94. Bush was the 41st President of the United States and served in the Navy during WWII. Political affiliations aside, the county came together to pay tribute to his life.
Another impactful man who died was Stan Lee, who is credited with having a big hand in creating the Marvel comics and movie and franchise. Lee passed away on November 12th, at 95 years old. Many actors and actresses in Marvel Movies paid honored Lee on their social media.
2018 has been full of highs and lows. The movies we will be rewatched, the songs will stay on our playlists, and those who have lost will never be forgotten. 2019 has big shoes to fill if it wants to live up to its predecessor, and I for one, am excited to see what happens.