End of the Decade

Nick Swafford, Staff Writer

The 2010s are officially over, and it has left us with a decade full of fond memories that will live on forever. It has been a wild 10 years that have definitely left their impact in history. From breakthroughs in technology to a major growth in environmental awareness, this decade boosted the world around us and just kept on giving.

The contributions that have been brought to us this decade have been greatly beneficial, such as the very first series of iPads and the rise of social media platforms and along with those, unforgettable moments were made. Hannah Jeon, an author for “Good Housekeeping,” accumulated a list of some of the major events of the 2010s, such as the wild popularity of  “Gangnam Style,” the legitimate fear that the world was going to end in December of 2012, and the hotly debated dress that was either black and blue or white and gold. These events, and so, so many others, are what defined this decade, and while looking back, though many of them are cringey, they made us into who we are today. 

Some memories have definitely been better than others. Senior Abigail Russel said her favorite memories from the decade were “making all of [her] friends in high school and all of the concerts and events [she’s] gone to.” Some of the best memories from the decade were formed with friends and for a lot of high school students, it was simply growing up. Freshman Ava Divine said, “In 2010, I was only 5 years old, so I’ve grown up a lot since then. Looking back on my childhood, this decade has really been my childhood.” The main idea here is that the past 10 years have been a time for growth, not only as individuals, but as a society.

The world has transformed completely since 2010 and the changes can be seen in nearly every aspect of life. The device you are reading this on has so much more computing power than a lot of mainstream devices at the beginning of the decade and the types of music that have been reaching top charts are completely different than what filled the beginning of the decade. A large change also comes with people and their mindsets. Junior Nicholas Lydum shared, “I think people have become more progressive with certain movements and you can kind of start to see there’s been a shift compared to 2010. A lot of things are more accepted now.” This wide culture change has been ultimately for the better, but this decade has not come without its speed bumps. Sophomore Andrew Mattson said, “I feel like mindsets of society have been pushed to money and everything is about money now and people aren’t doing stuff out of the good of their hearts as much” while explaining the difficulties of the past 10 years. Eric Spitznagel, writer for “Popular Mechanics,” recalled a few of the cons of the past decade such as dangerous internet trends, school shootings, and the denial of scientific phenomena such as climate change. Spitznagel talks about internet challenges and the effect they have; “We have no beef with the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was goofy, harmless fun, and managed to do something positive for the world, raising $115 million for ALS research. But not all online challenges over the last 10 years have been so well-intentioned… Some of it was just stupid—like deliberately dropping gallons of milk in grocery stores—but most of the internet challenges of the 2010s were cringingly sadistic, so clearly designed specifically to do the maximum amount of harm.” 

The 2010s were a wild ride for sure with its ups and downs, but it may not be over yet. According to Joel Shannon of USA Today, the decade may not be over after all. She wrote that “because there is no ‘year zero’ in our calendar system, explained [by] Craig Callender, a professor of philosophy at UC San Diego who has studied the physics and experience of time. The lack of a year zero means the only consistent way to measure decades — or centuries or millennia — is to start them in years ending in one.” This means that instead of the decade ending at the end of 2019, the decade really lasts until the end of 2020. A decade is ten years, and because our calendar years started at year one, a decade would not be complete until the year end in a one, such as 2021. Of course, celebrating the end of the decade in 2020 is much easier to keep track of, so it seems the celebrations have begun a year early. 

Even with the actual start of the decade being widely debated, many people are already looking out for what is to come in the next 10 years. Bijan Khosravi, an entrepreneur and writer for “Forbes” described the next decade as one of great innovation and that “the next cycle of innovation will perhaps be the most consequential of all time. Why? The pace of innovation is at an all-time high and the technologies being released have broader impacts than at any time in history.” The next decade will be a record setter for technological advancements, but it will also be a transitional period for many from childhood to adulthood. Lydum said, “It’s my junior year currently, so I have the rest of this year and then senior year and then college, so more or less, I’m just moving forward and following my dreams and goals in college.” Mattson added to this idea of growth by sharing his plans, “I hope to see myself with a job I’m happy with, a house probably by then, I’ll be 25. Or maybe an apartment. Just so I’m in a good position for the future.” 

The future is what people make of it, and the next decade will be one of growth. Who knows what it will have in store, but with enough determination, it will deliver us into a better future. 2010s, thank you for the memories, you will be missed.