Top 10 things to remember from this year

1. Snapchat

Snapchat may just be the most revolutionary app of our generation. It’s become an art, really. How much duck to give your duck face? How many chins to show your best friend versus how many chins to show the kid you sort of have a crush on? And was that really a five-second video of a bagpipe player who snuck into your apartment? Blink once and you miss them. The beauty of the Snapchat revolution is that everything disappears almost instantaneously. It makes it all fun and games — until somebody takes a screenshot.

2. The alleged ABC dorm raid

Speaking of Snapchat, remember when the app created a rumor that quickly turned into every first-year’s nightmare? As dumpsters overflowed with half handles of Pink Lemonade Burnett’s, flasks full of God-knows-what and the unwashed, beer-stained shirts from two weekends past, everyone and their mother was in a state of pure panic. The real question: should we be impressed at how quickly the first-years could rally around a cause, or concerned this was the cause they chose?

3. Hurrication

Two days of school canceled in the middle of the week was a perfect time to catch up on work, right? That’s what I told my mom at least. Hurrication really just turned out to be a slightly rainier fall break. Bean Boots emerged from the backs of closets and everyone rejoiced to have an excuse to go day-drink on a friend’s porch in leggings and a giant sweatshirt. But, because we are U.Va., time spent going out was paralleled by time spent providing help to relief efforts for areas truly affected by Sandy.

4. Snowquester

Speaking of not doing work when I probably should have been, the Snowquester added to the unprecedented number of weather-related school closings this year. This time, power outages forced the entire student body out of our beds and onto Grounds, where snowball fights and an abundance of complaining ensued. Newcomb Hall bore a striking resemblance to a refugee camp — if refugees had Apple computers. Luckily, midterms were canceled left and right. But really — with spring break only days away and Boylan being the first place to get power back on the Corner, what did anyone expect to happen?

5. When we beat Miami/Duke/Penn State

I will be the first to admit I love sports. I will also be the last to admit I left the Miami football game at halftime and missed rushing the field. My personal flaws aside, U.Va. seems to have mastered the underdog mentality, and coming from nowhere to beat a powerhouse team is a wonderful feeling. The Hill was absolutely nuts after Penn State’s kicker missed kick after kick, and the entirety of JPJ was rocking when we beat Duke. Plus, a happy Joe Harris is a happy Grounds, no?

6. N2

Who could forget N2? It hung out right in the middle of Grounds, nearly impossible to miss. Sure, you’d walk in and feel as if the whole thing might come crashing down on top of you — but that was part of its appeal. If ever at the beginning of the year you were feeling like you didn’t belong, all you had to do was look at N2. It was just as confused and out-of-place as you were. Highlight of my dining experience: the one time I walked in and was greeted by an entire table of Dippin’ Dots. Who doesn’t love Dippin’ Dots?

7. Honor reforms

The University’s honor code has been in place for more than a century and a half. It’s one of the reasons I have so much pride in our school — it’s unique, effective and lays the majority of responsibility with the student. I challenge you to find another school that gives the student body as much power as we do. Needless to say, this year’s proposed honor reforms were a big deal. The implementation of informed retraction marks a huge shift from our previous system, and the University community will be forever changed by this move. Whether it is for better or for worse will probably remain up for debate for years to come.

8. Obama’s reelection

Charlottesville is a hotbed for politics — both President Barack Obama and members of Mitt Romney’s family have spoken here. With such politically active students, the University was an amazing place to watch the events of the most recent election cycle play out. As a first-time voter, it was especially cool to feel like I was playing a role in the outcome.

9. How the world didn’t end

I bought, like, 12 sweaters and three dresses in a single day under the guise that it would be fine because the world would end. I also didn’t study for some of my tests, and may or may not have gone out on a Monday one time. I wore flip-flops when it was cold and ate ice cream for dinner. I embodied “YOLO” — and then the world didn’t end. Having attended enough “end of the world” theme parties to last a lifetime, I’m just hoping we don’t have another scare like this one.

10. “Thrift Shop”

I challenge you not to ride the roller coaster of emotion that comes from listening to Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”. First you’re annoyed, thinking, “Ugh, this song is so overplayed.” Then you’re sorta happy, but don’t actually want anyone to know. Your hips sway; you tap your toes a little bit. Finally, you reach pure euphoria. By the song’s end, you’re nostalgic for days when your year was just beginning and they were playing the song at football tailgates. “Thrift Shop” was this year’s “Call Me Maybe,” inspiring a hate-to-love feeling that will always remind me of 2012-13.

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