For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jun 23 2015
by Emma Hartley

18 Things That Happened During our Freshman Year of High School

By Emma Hartley - Jun 23 2015

The last time we were incoming freshman it was 2011 and our 14-year-old selves were thinking about a fresh start, new friends and memorizing our schedules. To celebrate our (hopefully) last time as freshmen, let’s revisit 18 monumental events of the 2011-2012 school year.

1. The era of Harry Potter finally came to an end.

Warner Bros.

Technically, the last Harry Potter movie came out over the summer, but entering freshman year we were living in a world without anything new in the Harry Potter universe for the first time since 1999.

2. Kim Kardashian had a record 72-day marriage to Kris Humphies.


This marriage began as we started freshman year and was over before Christmas break.

3. KONY 2012 went viral.


Let’s be honest, we all watched and shared this video.

4. “Party Rock Anthem” and “Rolling in the Deep” were a part of the soundtrack to our freshman year.

Interscope Records

5. “Jersey Shore” headed to Italy for season 4.


Our favorite guidos and guidettes fist pumped their way all the way to Italy in search for the Italian version of GTL.

6. Planking was the new trend.


This fad reached its high point our freshman year. I’m sure there is photographic evidence of the class of 2015 planking at most high schools across the country.

7. “21 Jump Street” debuted in theaters.

Sony Pictures

This movie gave me unrealistic expectations for my senior prom.

8. Super Bowl XLVI was one to remember.


The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17 and Madonna’s extravagant halftime show broke the record for number of TV viewers for any Super Bowl halftime show.

9. The Royal Wedding was live streamed and captivated much of the world.


10. Trayvon Martin shooting starts national debate.


The February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, a black 17-year-old, in his own neighborhood sparked thousands of protests and a national discussion about gun control laws and race in America.

11. “50 Shades of Grey” (the book) was released.

Universal Studios

Four years later there’s a major movie franchise, another book on the way and a movie soundtrack that was better than anyone expected.

12. Snapchat was launched.


Who knew the app that lets you send pictures that disappear within a few seconds would be one of our most used apps going into college?

13. “Occupy Wall Street” protests took over major U.S. cities and college campuses.


14. “Call Me Maybe” was THE song (whether you liked it or not) during the spring of our freshman year.

The parodies were even better than the original.

15. Mitt Romney wins the Republican Nomination for the 2012 election.


Even though none of us could vote, the Republican primaries for the 2012 election took up much of the news in 2011 and 2012.

16. The entire world’s population reached seven billion in October 2011.


17. YOLO.

Young Money Records

As naïve freshman we used “YOLO” as an excuse for everything, good and bad. Not doing homework? YOLO. Asking that upperclassmen you had a crush on to prom? YOLO.

18. The world lost Steve Jobs, one of the greatest innovators of our time, in October 2011.


Lead Image Credit: Flickr

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Emma Hartley - Northwestern University

Emma Hartley is a freshman at Northwestern University majoring in Engineering. When she’s not riding horses, she enjoying traveling anywhere and pursuing her career as an adrenaline junkie. Follow her random adventures on Instagram at @edaltonh.

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