One year ago today, HuffPost Teen celebrated our first day of school here at the Huffington Post, and we were like:
But in all seriousness, a lot has happened in the lives of young people since our 2011 launch. We saw college become a key issue in the upcoming election, we watched in horror as gun violence hit too close to home, we stood together against bullies, we cheered on as the "Avengers assembled," we watched the word #OneDirection trend on Twitter for the first time (and every day after), we fell in love with The Fab Five, and we met a new teen heroine of this generation on the big screen: the one and only Katniss Everdeen.
And, obviously, when we heard the first lines of "Call Me Maybe," we knew our lives -- and YouTube -- would never be the same again.
We had a blogger who went from homeless to Harvard, a blogger whose writing caught the attention of the First Lady herself, and a blogger who shared the story of a simple act of kindness that touched the lives of millions of readers. We also reported on a troubling community of teenagers on Tumblr that sparked a national conversation about eating disorders -- and a change in guidelines across social media platforms.
On our first day of school, we were armed with 50 teen writers between the ages of 14 and 19. Today, we have 1,500 (!) and rising. Our blogging team writes for us whenever they want, about whatever subject they want -- the only rule is that they must feel passionate about it.
So, instead of the mythical "sophomore slump" we've heard so much about, we'd like to pre-emptively celebrate another year of our bloggers teaching us everything we need to know about life (click through the slideshow below for 24 incredible lessons we learned from them this year), teens pwning the interwebs and beyond, and a whole lot more of this, every day:
Love you like a love song,
Liz and Carolyn
HuffPost Teen Editors