The Student Pocket Guide | 2012: What We’ve Learnt
By Stuart Robinson

2012 was a big year – no one can deny that. From pop phenomenons and box office hits, to our little island hosting the world’s grandest sporting event, we’ve barely had time to stop! To celebrate the end of such a great year, we’ve taken a look back at the past 12 months and picked out just a few highlights to see what we’ve learnt.

K-Pop can dominate the charts
If music in 2012 is remembered for one thing, it will be Gangnam Style. South Korean singer, PSY, became an unexpected international super-celebrity after the video for his single went viral back in July (although Gangnam Style didn’t reach the number one spot in the UK for another two months). The video has been parodied by everyone, from school kids to soldiers, and even YouTube in their official 2012 Rewind video. Nightclubs and parties the world over have been full of people riding imaginary horses on cue, and with the K-Pop hit still sitting inside the UK top ten, it seems safe to say that we will be dancing to PSY’s number one for a long time to come.

London can do a good job of the Olympics
Seven years in the making, the London 2012 Olympics were the highlight of the Summer, if not the year. With incredible preparation and organisation leading up to, and during, the games, they went as smoothly as could have been hoped. From Danny Boyle’s incredible opening ceremony, to the Coldplay led closer, we saw two weeks of incredible sporting achievement, with Team GB taking away an impressive 65 medals, including 29 golds!

Having a swim can get you sent to jail
Trenton Oldfield was sentenced to six months in jail back in October after disrupting the 2012 Oxford vs Cambridge University Boat Race by swimming into the path of the two competing teams. The 36 year old east Londoner, who claimed he was demonstrating against elitism and social inequality, also had to cough up £750 as a result of his morning dip. From the sounds of it, he probably could have found a better way to protest…

You can never have too many superheroes
2012 saw the release of the final Dark Knight film, the first outing of the Avengers collective, and the debut of the new Spider-Man. The Avengers Assemble became the highest grossing film of the year in the US, whilst The Dark Knight Rises came in at second place both here in the UK and The States, making the two of them the highest grossing superhero films ever made. From this, it is pretty safe to say that superheroes were a popular choice for 2012. With Man of Steel, Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, all set for release in 2013, we’re not expecting the superhero boom to finish anytime soon.

Nick Grimshaw knows how to run a breakfast show
Taking over from the previous Radio 1 Breakfast Show host, Chris Moyles, it is safe to say that Nick Grimshaw has fitted in well. Playing twice as much music as Moyles, who helmed the flagship show for over eight years, and bringing with him a heap of celebrity friends and crowd-pleasing features, Nick seems to be giving listeners what they want. However, Nick’s only been in the job for a few months, so we may have to wait a little longer to see exactly how his new role will pan out.

The might have once been water on Mars
NASA’s latest Mars Rover, Curiosity, landed on the red planet back in August after a nine month journey. Just over a month later, the self-propelled robo-astronaut beamed back photographs of what appeared to be a dried-up riverbed, complete with pebbles and sand, showing that water may have once flowed across the planet, and could still be today. Good going, Rover!

James Bond is most popular when he’s not very James Bond
There was little doubt that Skyfall would be a hit, but it was unexpected just how well it would go down. Despite lacking ridiculous gadgets and outlandish action sequences, Skyfall has become the highest-grossing film of all time in the UK. Whilst it has become known for being the ‘Bond film for people who don’t like Bond’, 007’s latest romp seemed to suit pretty much everyone. It’ll be interesting to see how Daniel Craig fairs in his next outing as the super-spy, after signing up for another two films.

Written by Stuart Robinson