Years go by, but rating things never dies

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of “when did we get so old?”. 

     As many of us are used to hearing by now, our decade is over. That is, the decade when we all were living out our childhoods and therefore living our best lives. 

     But a decade is a long time, and some years rank higher than others in the epic time that has been our childhoods. Thus, it only seems fair that among the lists ranking songs, movies, sports, and just about every other aspect of life in the 2010’s, the years themselves should receive a ranking. Without further ado, I present the years of our decade, ranked from best to worst. 


Topping our list is the innocent, joyful 2012. 2012 pokes at the very beginnings of our specific memories, and it’s great. We had some amazing music spilling over from the 2000’s and some new styles as well. 

Our songs of the summer were “Gangnam Style” and “Call Me Maybe”. We had the first Avengers movie. And just like 2016 had the best summer, 2012 will always be remembered as the best holiday season of our childhoods. Maybe that’s because people thought the world was going to end, but still. 

          2012 was a simple year, but it was good that way- nothing was overly complex. We can let it fade into the backs of our minds knowing that it was probably the best year of our childhoods overall. 


2016 and 2012 were incredibly close, but 2016 barely missed the number one spot because of the sheer madness of that year. 2016 was the year of I-don’t-even-know-what, but it was wild. 

More dangerous than anything was Pokémon Go, which caused an estimated 130,000 traffic accidents. Oh well, gotta catch ‘em all, right?

     2016 also introduced Spider-Man (and Tom Holland) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War, and a big Netflix favorite, Stranger Things, premiered, just to name a few cinematic successes. We can also credit this year with a meme evolution, starting with Harambe the Gorilla.

     One more thing- it doesn’t matter what we were doing, but for some reason, the summer of 2016 will never be beaten for any of us. It just won’t. I don’t know exactly why, but summer 2016 was unbeatable. 

   2016 was a ridiculous year, but it remains at #2 because nothing about that year could bring us down. We took the crazy, embraced it even, and vibed our way through ‘til the end. 


 In a word, iconic. Seriously, 2013 was a year full of iconic new things and, for a lot of us, is around the time our early Gen Z culture started to take shape. 

     The song of the summer- “Thrift Shop”. An absolute bop that also represented what for many of us was a shift away from listening to our parents’ music and finding our own styles that didn’t always match up. 

     The movie of the year- “Frozen”. Do not try to tell me you didn’t like “Frozen”. Maybe now it’s annoying and we’re all sick of it, but that movie was incredible and we all know it. 

     The app of the year- Vine. Our collective childhoods gathered in six second videos on an app that lasted for three years. #vinesnotdead


2019, for a lot of us, has been very unproblematic. Obviously, problematic things happened, but we seem to be rolling with it pretty well at this point. 

     We were lucky enough to be alive for the premiere of Avengers: Endgame, the highest grossing film of all time, we had some fantastic memes, and we finally accepted TikTok as the stupid yet effectively best way to avoid doing all of our homework. 

          Now, we’re all getting ready to enjoy the last stretch of our decade, and nobody really feels like ending this year on a bad note. Keep on keeping on guys- we’re almost there. 


Entering the top 5, we have some great years, and 2015 is one of them. I consider 2013-2015 to be our evolutionary years in terms of our own culture, and 2015 had plenty of new things for us to get hooked on. 

     Drake shot to superstardom with “Hotline Bling”, and Zayn left One Direction, which hurt, yes, but to be fair, One Direction released a great album even without him. 2015 was also the year that the main characters in the hit movie Back to the Future traveled to, which was a fun nostalgic moment for young and old alike. 

     Really, kudos to 2015- it was a fun year all around. 


I’ll make this quick. 2010 is at number six because we have absolutely no memory of anything that would have been considered important in this year. We, as students, ranged from four to eight, maybe nine, and the only things from 2010 that matter to us is as follows: Usher, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears. Thank you, and goodnight.


Ah, 2014. Maybe the most “meh” year of our lives. At the time, everything that happened in 2014 seemed ground breaking, but can anyone actually name an important event or movement from that year? Nope. 

     To its credit, 2014 gave us some incredible movies- Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, American Sniper, and of course, the LEGO Movie. But that’s kind of… it. Other than movies, nothing else really happened. 

    Also, 2014 marks the very end of what most of us consider our “Disney Channel phase”, and plenty of other shows we grew up watching were either ending or ended. 

    Really, 2014 was our evolution in screen culture. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not enough to put 2014 beyond #7 on the list.


The late teens are not doing great in terms of ranking. 2017 is one of those odd, fever dream years that feels like forever ago but really was only two years ago. It was a good year for pop culture- we got our only good season of Riverdale when it premiered in 2017, as well as movies like IT, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Spider-Man, Homecoming. However, the Oscars were pretty controversial that year, and kind of put a damper on a year of great cinema. 

       2017, you threw a lot at us, and if I had to give a word to the year, it would be controversial, at best. 


Part of the reason 2011 falls so far down on the list is because it’s hard to remember many aspects of pop culture due to the fact that we, as students, were anywhere from around six to 10. Pop culture didn’t really apply to us yet.

     Yes, Captain America and Thor were introduced to what would later become the MCU we all know and love, and Snapchat was born. Plus, 2011 meant we were all jamming out to Katy Perry, Adele, and Taylor Swift. 

     However, 2011, for our parents and the adults of the world, was pretty awful, and didn’t mean anything to us students, so I banish it to sit at number nine on this list. 


2018 just felt… off. Everyone was in a slump, even if we did get some decent music and Infinity War out of the movie industry. 

     Let’s all be honest, 2018 was for some reason, just awful, and the only saving grace was Ariana Grande giving us the perfect way to say goodbye to the dumpster fire that was 2018- thank you, next. 

     And there we have it. No matter which years each of us considered the “best” or “worst”, we can all remember this decade as our moment, the decade that raised us. As a Disney Channel veteran, Swiftie, Vine quoter, Marvel fan, and certified Gen Z from the ‘00-‘03 group, I can truly say it has been an honor. See y’all next decade.