As much as the year 2020 seems like a made-up number, it’s now a reality. The turn of the decade is here, and it’s a great time to reflect on the highs and lows the 2010s brought.
Best: Löded Diper
Diary of a Wimpy Kid was a series that unified anyone born between 2000-2004, and Löded Diper was a defining point of this childhood unity. At some point, we all wanted to be in Rodrick Heffley’s band or even just be friends with Heffley.
Quinn Tegenkamp, junior, said the band is, “better than Queen.”
Junior Nicola Rikand is “personally not into the screaming part” but believes the lead singer, Heffley, to be very attractive.
Worst: Justice clothing brand
Many girls in the fifth grade were seen wearing the signature glittery monkey shirt or matching track suits from Justice, and to put it simply: horrendous.
Justice’s tracksuit trend came at least five years after the peak of tracksuits, which was made popular by Paris Hilton in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and likely ended with Amy Pohler’s “cool mom” portrayal in 2004. Justice hopped on this trend after it was already dead in 2010, and the elementary age girls followed, donning bedazzled pink and neon turquoise sweatsuits that loudly claimed which sport one played.
Other popular choices were the peace sign embellishments and mustache decorations. It is still a mystery why anyone bought into this trend, but it can’t be forgotten that Justice clothing was there at the beginning of these trends, and is still here long, long after they have ended, still corrupting the minds of young elementary age girls. At least Limited Too, a similarly glittery brand, went out of business.
Best: ‘What Makes You Beautiful’
One Direction’s 3 minute and 18 second gift to mankind came out in 2011. The song changed music for the better. The song brings back memories of summer, happiness, and life before high school. The song represents simpler, happier times. It’s nostalgia– it is the definition of the word.
Worst: Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’
2011 was musically all over the place. There were highs, and there were lows and basically no in between. ‘Friday’ is one of those lows, and even Black agrees.
“I would love to say that I knew what a good song was at that time, but I didn’t,” Black told Billboard in an interview this year.
Black was only 13 when she asked her mom to record a song. According to Billboard, the song wasn’t even hers; ARK Music Factory wrote two song options for her to sing and record, she chose ‘Friday’ and the production studio released the auto-tuned song and the corny, facetuned video that went along with it.
There was one good thing that came out of this, though: a Youtube rendition entitled “Friday but everytime she says friday it gets bass boosted”.
Best: U.S. Women’s Gymnastics summer Olympic team
This iconic team, dubbed the “Fierce Five”, won the overall team gold medal, and four individual medals. The team was made up of Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber.
Not only were these women outstanding because of their talent, they were all between 15 and 18 years old.
They were not only America’s sensation that summer, but also an inspiration for long after they returned from London.
December 12, 2012 was the rapture that never happened. A manifested state of worldwide, apathetic panic– over nothing. It was this generation’s version of Y2K.
Everything anyone does is based on Vine. The English language at this point is about one third Vine quotes. People quote Vines on a daily basis.
Worst: What Does The Fox Say
Not much needs to be said about this. Everyone was there for this. It was fun for a day, and ever since then it continues to decrease in tolerability. It is simply the worst earworm to exist.
Best: Pharrell’s big hats
In a year filled with events like Jay-Z getting attacked by Solange and Nicki Manaj’s Anaconda video, Pharrell’s big hats were a fun, refreshing breath of style. One that people were able to laugh at.
Pharrell paired his big brown high-topped fedora with a gray cardigan for a layed back look. He also paired it with a red adidas jacket for a more suave style at the 2014 Grammy’s.
The oversized fedoras made people happier than his song “Happy,” released the previous year.
Worst: Old Webster
Middle school was a time for embarrassing iPod touch selfies, trying out horrible trends, and making generally questionable decisions. Old Webster was representative of all of this and more.
At the time, nothing felt cooler than walking down to Panera or Fizzy’s (now Sushi Station) on a Friday after school. Looking back, it can be agreed that some of the worst memories were made on these
Best: Barack Obama
Aside from his politics (or including them if you lean that way), Obama had a great year in 2015. He marched on selma with Rep. John Lewis, laughed at a kid dressed as the pope, took a selfie with US Women’s National Soccer Team, was awesome at the correspondents’ dinner with Keegan-Michael Key, among other things. He really peaked as a public figure, and really provided a bright, smiling face that represented most of America at this time.
Worst: Cultural appropriation
Although Zayn left the band in this year, which was a defining point in all of our lives, it can’t be ignored that 2015 was the year that cultural appropriation became a fashion trend. Many cultural styles became “trendy,” like Katy Perry’s gelled baby hairs. According to an Elle article from 2015, Perry created a “new trend,” but the style was actually created in the 1970s by black women and worn throughout the decades by black women.
Kylie Jenner wore fake dreadlocks and cornrows, Miley Cyrus wore dreadlocks, Khloe Kardashian wore a headdress to Coachella, and Bindis were sold as a “costume.” Taylor Swift filmed her “Wildest Dreams” video in Africa but featured an all-white cast dressed in colonizer clothes. The list goes on. Not okay, 2015.
Best: Harry Styles’s haircut
Styles was a popular favorite member of One Direction, but when he began growing out his hair in 2014, fans were unsure. This haircut was long awaited, and well worth the wait.
Styles, a true sweetheart, donated the chopped hair to the Little Princess Trust, a U.K. charity dedicated to providing real hair wigs to children with hair loss and funding childhood cancer research.
Worst: The election
No matter which side of the spectrum, the 2016 election was the end of common sense politics, and the rise of a new era in American history.
Not only did the electoral college fail to represent the public, but an outrage erupted when it was thought that it represented Russia’s population instead.
Actual issues didn’t seem to matter. Instead it was parties defending their own parties, without regard to common sense issues, and a blindness to scandals, racist remarks and implications of sexual assault.
Best: Women’s March
The women’s march began a massive social movement. It brought an estimated 3.3 million to 5.3
million people across the nation, according to Britannica. That means that a little over 1 percent of Americans felt empowered to mobilize for social change on January 21, 2017.
Not only was this movement huge in attendance numbers, but also in the support from organizations. According to the Women’s March website, the march was backed by American Civil Liberties Act, NAACP, National Domestic Violence Hotline, and more.
Man buns embodied the entire hipster movement that took place. Microbreweries, handlebar mustaches, Crosley record players, and “listening to that band before they were cool” can all be categorized under the umbrella of the man-bun.
Preston Haney, senior, and frequent wearer of the man-bun, believes trends like this don’t matter.
“When it comes to trends, you shouldn’t care. Just do what you want and never worry about what others say,” Haney said.
Man-buns, as many trends do, seemed to be rubbed in people’s face towards the end of 2017. Trends don’t matter, but trends like this one seemed to come with a superiority complex. Please, 2020s, never replicate the man-bun attitude.
Best: Emma Gonzalez
2018 was a year without a lot of hope. There were in total 340 mass shootings, according to Business Insider. 373 people died, meaning more people died in mass shootings than there are days in the year, and over 1,300 more were injured.
America was broken, but Emma Gonzales represented this angry, lost, desperate hope many Americans were feeling. She channeled the hopelessness and turned it into strength in her speech at the February 2018 gun control rally, where she said “We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.”
She showed this generation how to start a movement, and look what we were able to do. We continued the gun control movement, started the climate crisis movement, and continue to protect our future.
Thank you, Emma Gonzales.
Worst: Dr. Jon Clark retirement
As much as Irvin has done his best, Webster will always remember and love Dr. Jon Clark, who served as principal from 2003 until 2018.
“He was pretty great. He was the heart of the high school,” senior Mary Claire Wolk said.
Best: Stanley Cup
Obviously. This was the coolest thing to happen to St. Louis since the World’s Fair. From partying with the players at O.B. Clark’s to seeing Tarasenko’s baby in the cup to eating toasted ravioli out of the cup on the hill, St. Louis celebrated hard.
St. Louis deserved to celebrate hard. At the beginning of the season, six months before the championship, the Blues had a losing record, and were dead last in the league.
But after a winning streak in February that topped the franchise record (11 games) and some injury recovery in March (Tarasenko was out for 10 games, Schenn for six, Perron for 24), the Blues made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 49 years.
On June 12, St. Louis became home to the Stanley Cup for the first time in history, and St.Louis couldn’t be prouder.
Worst: Saying “goodbye”
The world says goodbye to the 2010s, and Webster says goodbye to the class of 2020. This is the end of childhood. Despite its lows, no decade could ever top the ‘10s. The generation that grew up in the 2010s truly changed the world, and is continuing to change the world. This generation will continue to change the world long after attending Webster Groves High School. Freshmen were only entering Kindergarten when this decade began, and faster than they know it, high school will fly by, just as the decade did.
The senior class is realizing their time here was brief, their childhood was brief, but reflecting on the memories makes it seem like a lifetime.
So much has happened in this decade, and for most high schoolers, more than half of life was spent in it. Here begins grown-up life. Here’s to making the most of living in the ‘20s.
This will be Elise Keller’s third year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.
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