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Many important events happened in 2012, and with the help of many people of both genders and all ages, I’ve come up with a list of stories – a mix of news, sports and social/pop culture – and asked the people I polled to help rank them. They are:

10. Boy bands make a comeback. We all remember when ’N Sync and the Backstreet Boys were the most popular groups in the late ’90s and early 2000s. But once these two groups split up, there weren’t any boy bands. We heard from many single male artists but no groups. But 2012 gave us One Direction, the Wanted and Big Time Rush. Many teen girls have become obsessed with these groups during their rise to popularity.

9. Emma Stone is youngest to make People’s best dressed list. Emma Stone made her first major appearance in the movie “Superbad,” and after watching her in “The House Bunny,” “The Help,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and many other films, we fell in love with her funny and sweet personality. But it wasn’t until 2012 when we started really paying attention to her style as she looked amazing on many red carpets.

8. YOLO. The saying first appeared in Drake’s “The Motto” featuring Lil Wayne. Drake told his fans YOLO stood for You Only Live Once. Shortly after, people started seeing Zac Efron’s YOLO tattoo and it became a popular hashtag on Twitter. Soon, we were hearing it from everyone about every crazy adventure they had.

7. Instagram becomes the newest social network. We’ve gone through technology so quickly. Remember when AIM and MySpace were the popular networks. We soon got hooked on Facebook and Twitter. And then came Instagram, a common photo-sharing app on phones, iPods and tablets. People like the idea of posting a photo and editing with different backsplashes, crops and borders. Today there are around 2 million users. This is definitely a cool social network.

6. Summer Olympics 2012. This past summer we spent a lot of time watching the Olympics. The events were very interesting and we liked cheering for our country. The “Fab Five” gymnastics team, which included Jordyn Weiber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney, won the Olympic team title. We will definitely be seeing these girls again. The U.S. women’s soccer team also showed its strengths in the championship game where they took the gold. It was a successful Olympics for the U.S.

5. Strikes and lockouts in sports. Hockey fans were disappointed after finding out there is another NHL lockout. It was believed the lockout would be short, but it still continues, with fans upset and the hockey season in jeopardy as the players and owners battle over money. The National Football League began its season with replacements for its striking referees.

4. The legalization of gay marriage and marijuana. The gay marriage issue got the backing of President Obama and many states are now recognizing it as a legal union. Marijuana also became legal in 2012 in Colorado and Washington.

3. Acts of violence. On July 20, many fans went to see the new Batman release at midnight at a theater in Aurora, Colo. A masked gunman fired into the crowded theater; 12 died and more than 50 were injured. On Dec. 14, a man went into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and killed 20 students and six adults.

2. Hurricane Sandy. In late October a storm hit the northern East Coast. There were billions of dollars worth of damage, more than 100 died, and millions lost power in 17 states. Families were devastated. The New York Stock Exchange was closed for two days because of the weather, which hasn’t happened since a blizzard in 1888. The American Red Cross continues to accept donations.

1. Presidential election. President Obama wins the election for a second term.

Lizzie Kozoduj is a junior at Orchard Park High School.