Great article, my first ever taste of Linux was back in 2009 (during elementary school) with Ubuntu 9.10 and VirtualBox. After that, I read a post about another venerable distro known as Fedora and installed it (version 12)
First real Linux experience, that was in 2012 (during junior high school years) with Ubuntu 12.04 in my old laptop. During this period I've distro-hopped with Debian, Fedora, Bodhi, Sabayon, OpenSUSE, and finally settled with Manjaro Linux in 2013. https://www.vidmate.software/
Using Manjaro was a huge step in my Linux experience beyond the realm of APT and Yum. Pacman is the beast and you can add the AUR for even more great software. I love rolling-release which is always up-to-date.