With the 2019 hellscape in the rearview mirror, we can now breathe a sigh of relief at the visible end of one year and the fresh beginnings of another. Like the golden era of the past, 2020 brings with it a new decade of promise marred only slightly by the ennui of existential dread.
But before we speed off into the roaring ‘20s, let’s spend a clichéd moment reflecting back at the opinions pieces of 2019. While we covered diverse topics in the section this year, many articles fall under some pretty distinct categories that are important to the campus community.
Advice to students
As a university newspaper, the Sheaf often dishes out advice for students written by students who feel that sharing their experience can be a valuable tool for their peers. Many of these stories involve degree planning, study tips or even pep talks.
Articles like “Doctor, lawyer, engineer” by our layout manager Aqsa Hussain explored the common pressure that is often experienced by children of immigrant parents who feel pushed into career boxes that are seen as a path to success. The article hoped to inspire readers with the courage to follow your dreams and carve out your own path to happiness.
The same sentiment is explored by our copy editor J.C. Balicanta Narag in “Dear first years,” an article that urges first year students to choose a degree path that leads to self-fulfillment, recommending that you know and embrace your limitations and listen to yourself.
Articles like “Back to school with Hope” from Hope N.S. Jeffery explored how to ease back into the school grind after the summer break with helpful tips that are presented in a positive and encouraging light. It may be a good article to revisit as we go into term two.
Issues and politics
There was no shortage of global issues and political analysis this year. Fiza Baloch’s article “Global Climate strike: All for naught?” took a look at this year’s global event and at the overall climate action movement while questioning if our actions will be enough to pull us back from the brink.
This year saw a mess of a federal election plagued with scandals and apathy. Wardah Anwar’s article “Don’t be voiceless this election season” called on young voters to do their part at the polls. Articles like “An ode to accountability” from Ritish Rawat looked at the sometimes troubling and violent landscape of our discourse on the seemingly lawless internet.
Health and food
Pieces that explored health and our relationship with food covered a wide variety of topics, from agriculture to immunizations.
The article “From eggs to pumpkins” written by David MacTaggart took us on a journey through the Agricultural Students Association’s Farm to Fork tour of Saskatchewan’s vibrant food production industry. Cami Kaytor explored meatless attitudes in “The new meat debate is getting old,” looking at the unnecessary antagonistic relationship between beef producers and meat alternatives.
On the health side of things, my article “Play it safe this cuffing season” explored the importance of being invested in your sexual health with an overview of common sexually transmitted infections as well as the testing and treatment options available.
The opinion pages saw some great articles that explored thought experiments looking at our health, our society and the future of arts and culture.
Delane Just explored the idea of authors being replaced by artificial intelligence, looking at a novel written by an AI in “An AI could do it better.” The article “Dystopia now,” another piece from Fiza Baloch, explored our present society through the lens of popular speculative fiction, arguing that we can learn a lot from these literary realties.
“Are we the architects of our mental health crisis?” by Mitch Rohrke argued that our mental health is deeply intertwined with nature, suggesting that the changing climate and destruction of our ecosystems has a deep influence on our growing anxiety and depression.
What is in store for 2020?
As 2020 starts to settle in and a new decade begins to unfold, there will be countless issues both new and old to explore. What’s important to you?
Submit your piece or your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Matthews/ Opinions Editor
Graphic: Shawna Langer/ Graphics Editor