The Wave: Our Editors Pick The Wave’s Top 16 Posts of 2016!!!

Another year has come and gone here at The Wave, and with it a huge amount of art, music, video, stories, essays, and more! With a bit of space before our Spring 2017 cycle officially begins on 1/17, (oh, by the way, we still have a few more slots available here), we thought we’d take a few moments to look back upon our last year’s worth of work. With that in mind, The Wave‘s brilliant editorial staff (pictured above) stowed away in a bunker for seven days and seven nights, combing through every last piece of glorious content Sunset Media Wave dreamed up over 2016, running sophisticated algorithms, engaging in spirited shouting matches, and even consulting the stars for guidance in selecting the top 16 posts to appear on the website this year. (Okay, we actually ended up with 17, but can you really blame us?) It was hard to narrow the field since we truly believe in all of our columns, but the posts below delivered something above and beyond. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have, and we look forward to delivering more beautiful creations to you, our dear readers, in the new year.

The Wave: Election Reflections
November 9th hit The Wave like a stack of bricks. The unthinkable had happened, and with it the future suddenly changed overnight from something that was wide open with hope to something far more unclear and menacing. What’s worse is that many Wavers had no say at all in this sudden rerouting of their future—too young to vote, they had to find other ways to make their voices heard. Which is exactly what we did with our at-times-inspiring, at-times-heartbreaking Election Reflections.

Preschool Philosophy: The Dog Philosopher
Philosophy is an endlessly deep and ever changing focus of study, one that can feel complicated and even intimidating to some. Unless of course you are learning about it through Hiroya Gojo’s Preschool Philosophy column, where he dives into the history of philosophy with fun and informative animations. His first video, The Dog Philosopher, focuses on Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, a cynic who tried to live more like a dog and constantly mocked authority—all of which made for quite an entertaining animation.

Heart-to-Art: Sketchbook Tour 2012- 2013
Now off exploring her artistic potential in a place of higher learning (a.k.a. college), during her time at The Wave, Lily Young was our resident illustrator. A natural artist, we asked her to help us design fliers, help other contributors create images for their posts, and to every so often just draw us something really cool—and she always did. Lily’s video Sketchbook Tours were just a wonderful way to dive further into the artistic vision of the young artist, and she even found some cool music to match!

Musique Nonstop: Let’s Talk Female Representation in Electronic Music
Through her Musique Nonstop column, Elise Mills explored some more esoteric ends of the musical spectrum: breathtaking modern compositions, experimental pop, fearless electronics, and beyond. For her final post on The Wave (before heading off to college in Minnesota), Elise blessed us with this 20-minute manifesto on female representation music. If you haven’t, we suggest you give it a listen, your mind, your ears, and your spirit will thank you.

Jenn’s Jams ♪: Like Stars (Original)
It’s hard to run a one woman band. There are songs to write, lyrics, melodies and harmonies to sings, autographs and contracts to sign, bookings, roadies, fans, managers, tour busses, guarantees, hotel rooms, international interviews, sponsorships, reality tv appearances, and the list goes on. Listen to the song that began the empire.

Yellow Crybaby: Chapter 1
Yellow Crybaby is a six-part story from The Wave‘s Michelle Chu (who is also behind the No Monet column). No spoilers, but this tale takes a number of twists and turns as it unfolds. Really, it’s too good for us to even start explaining, so we suggest you just set aside a few minutes and dive in! And what better place to start then Chapter 1?

Cotton Candy Melodies: Bumper Cars
Every few weeks, Angel Arada’s Cotton Candy Melodies column would grace us with another beautiful little ditty. One of her last one’s before heading off to college, her cover of “Bumper Cars”—a duet with her good friend Edmund—is just the kind of sweet and simple song that makes us wish we could still get a steady diet of Cotton Candy Melodies.

Looseleaved: Reading #4 (Alivia)
In these uncertain times, it’s good to have a fortune teller in your midst. Reading the tea leaves and divining futures from the bottoms of glasses, Ella has spared many Wavers from the pain of decision-making and vacillation. Surely her talents will be even more needed in the days ahead, as we hurtle toward a dubious administration, the great unknown, and a new world disorder.

Wandering on Cloud Nine: Italian Food Guide
Janelle Paredes may be one of the newest contributors here, but she really hit the ground running with the first full post from her travel-guiding Wandering on Cloud Nine column. A culinary tour—through pictures and words—of Italy, Janelle’s first Wave contribution left our mouths watering and realizing we couldn’t book a trip to Italy soon enough!

Find Your Voice: Gal Pals (The Reckoning)
High school is rough. Dating is a public sport. Gossip columns steal the headlines. Rejection lurks around every bend. Uncertainty and questioning is a way of life. Soothe your soul with a song that captures all of this, and more, as Hannah puts all her cards on the table and reaches out to her crush.

Earth to Belle: Why I’m Vegan
The Earth to Belle column explores the wide range of experiences that come as part of a vegan lifestyle, covering fun recipes to tips for eating vegan, and much more. But Belle’s Why I’m Vegan series (split into two parts) may be one of her best yet: informative, compelling, and insightful, the two posts proved well worth an in-depth read.

Dessert Pervert: The Battle of the Cheesecakes
Between her Dessert Pervert and Come With Chloe… columns, Chloe was one of the most prolific contributors The Wave has ever had. All of which made it hard to choose just one post from the filmmaker/artist/bakeologist. But when push came to shove, it was Chloe’s The Battle of the Cheesecakes video that stuck with us the longest, and not just because we were able to try not one, but two cheesecakes during the making of this one!

The Builder’s Block: Part 3 – The Final Reveal
Who hasn’t dreamed of a career in lego building? Sadly, for most of us, the years dash our hopes of becoming master builders. After all, it takes a special soul and a bright mind to elevate legos from them to the realm of childhood to architecture-inspired art. Enter Jasmine and her remarkable column, The Builders Block.

Post-It Kid: (Un)eventful Summer Day!
Though Amanda now oversees the D&D-obsessed Dungeons and Doodles column, she got her start at The Wave this summer reliving some warm-weathered adventures in comic form. In (Un)eventful Summer Day, Amanda perfectly captures the kind of gloriously aimless summer day we pine for in during these cold months.

Soy: Mission’s Manifest Destiny
Soy was longtime contributor Andrea Hernandez’s final project here at The Wave. A column that explored Andrea’s own Latinx experience and identity, her Mission’s Manifest Destiny piece was a tour-de-force on some pressing issues in the Bay Area: gentrification, cultural appropriation, and the fast-changing neighborhoods and culture of San Francisco.

Here’s the Dish: Super Cue
Food is difficult to capture in any medium but the mouth. Fortunately, we have the discriminating words and tempting photographs of Jennifer’s Here’s The Dish. This column has cost us thousands of dollars and hours of leisure time, as we’ve chased her culinary recommendations across the city, but throw in a boba review and you know you’re going to get on our Best of the Year list.

Learning My ABCs: Chinese Folktales 101
Wenting straddles two cultures and heritages, as many Americans do. What sets her apart is an openness to exploring the richness, questions, and conflicts that such a life entails. While most of us either abandon our roots in pursuit of a nebulous American identity or cling to traditions from our past, she explores what it means to be attached to both. Wenting’s column reveals an active and beautiful understanding of being ABC/American Born Chinese.