Our best moments of the past decade

Students share their defining moments of the 2010s

These students reflect on the moments that made the decade for them.

When the clock struck midnight this New Year’s Eve, the world not only said goodbye to the past year, but to the past decade. 

To say a proper goodbye to the last 10 years, The Journal asked students to share their best moment of the decade. From unintentionally meeting celebrities to getting into their dream school, these students have a lot to thank the 2010s for. 


“In the past decade, I unlocked a secret realization that has saved my life, cleared my acne, and generally made me a better man: I thrive when Missy Elliott thrives.

My devotion to the rapper and producer exploded after her guest appearance in Katy Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl halftime show. Despite spending a decade out of the spotlight while quietly managing her Graves’ disease, Missy tore through a medley of hits with energy so infectious I found myself involuntarily krumping hard enough to pop a blood vessel.

Quantifying how much I've listened to Missy's music since that performance is an impossible task akin to walking on the sun. Her inventive raps soundtrack my workouts, parties, and even one particularly well-received class presentation. I knew I could always count on her sex-positive and lyrically innovative songs to put me in a good mood, even as the decade saw me progress from a bed-wetting child to a bed-making adult.

After a new EP and collaborations with Ariana Grande and Lizzo, I foolishly figured Missy was out of surprises for the decade. Then, like a gift from hip-hop heaven, she descended from the clouds to bless me with a Twitter follow after I wrote an article celebrating her comeback.

Through all the life changes the 2010s brought me, I will forever look back at it as the decade I got Missy Elliott's seal of approval.”

Josh Granovsky, ArtSci ’20


“In 2015, I got to complete my first year of study at the Bader International Study Centre, otherwise known as ‘The Castle.’ First year at the Castle had its own memorable moments and shenanigans, like any other first-year experience, but I didn’t really know how unreal life abroad could get until we went to Liverpool for our midterm trip in October.

While there were many educational moments, the highlight of the trip was far from academic. My friends and I were strolling around Liverpool, and we were vibing with a bunch of people bucket-drumming and dancing in the streets.

Then, some of my friends claimed to see A-list actress Shailene Woodley.

I thought there was no chance of it being her, but I still (speed)walked up to her and asked, ‘Excuse me, has anybody ever told you that you look just like Shailene Woodley?’ She smiled and warmly replied with, ‘That’s because I am Shailene Woodley.’

We freaked out, and she politely talked to us about what we were doing in Liverpool. After we asked for a photo, she kindly explained that she doesn’t take photos with fans, and the tall man with her asked us to delete any photos we took that featured them. As Shailene and the man were leaving, I realized the man was none other than actor Ezra Miller. I shouted after him, ‘You were so good in The Perks of Being a Wallflower!’

So, sure, the Castle was an enriching academic experience, but as we all know, fame is more important than academics.”

Pravieena Gnanakumar, ArtSci ’20


“The highlight of the decade for me was winning the 2016 Student Yachting World Cup in La Rochelle France with the Queen's Sailing Team. The event was the culmination of three years of training and competition in which our team campaigned hard in the Canadian and American Collegiate Sailing Leagues.

The amount of work that went into training, qualifying, and fundraising for this competition was extraordinary, and our whole team gave 100 per cent to represent our school and our country on the world stage.

As the new captain of the Keelboat Team that year, I personally overcame huge obstacles to be able to compete in this event, and those challenges helped define who I became through my Queen's career. The event itself was closely contested, and after five days of racing we finished ahead of the California Maritime Academy by a single point.

Crossing the finish line of the final race brought an overwhelming feeling of elation and gratitude as we realized that all our effort had paid off. The crew was made up of Will Jones, Clifton Kartner, Sam Thompson, Denby McDonnell, Adrienne Gaudreault, Claire Boileau, Connor Mackenzie, and myself. To them and all the people who supported us along the way: I can never thank you enough. Cha gheill.”

Daniel Sheedy, ArtSci ’19


“Sitting in Grade 12 chemistry class, it felt like my teacher was speaking a different language to the class. Knowing that the rest of my peers only spoke English, I was convinced that they were all pretending to understand her complex scientific language.

Although I could have pushed myself to succeed in chemistry, I felt out of place in the class in a way I knew I shouldn’t. So, without much deliberation, I raised my hand, asked to leave for an ‘appointment,’ and dropped chemistry and biology to pick up drama.

This was my decision of the decade. While I usually overthink things, this taught me a valuable lesson: impulse decisions are not always poor ones. Sometimes, your heart will tell you how to feel in the moment. And when you feel like you’re in the wrong place, don’t hesitate—run as fast as you can to the right one.”

Samantha Fink, ConEd ’20


 “The most amazing moment for me over the past decade would have to be the day I got accepted into Queen’s. Every day has its wonderful moments and its terrible moments, but this day for me was pure joy.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get in, and as much as I tried to act like I didn’t care, I knew that I wanted admission to Queen’s more than anything else. I was excited, scared, and had never been prouder of myself in my life once I found out I had made it.

Accepting my offer ended up being the best decision I ever made because it brought me so much more than just an education. Little did I know that in 2016, I would be starting my journey to making friends, memories, and building the foundation for my future endeavours.

Not to mention that I could not imagine living in a city that makes me happier than Kingston. I have dug my roots in deep here and plan to stay here post-graduation. Out of everything I’ve experienced over the past decade, I would definitely have to say the day I was offered admission to Queen’s was one of the best days of my life—so far!”

Emily Elliott, ArtSci ’20

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