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  • Alexandra Hillenbrand


Taylor Swift is releasing 1989 and she's doing it for me - well, for all of us young adult, postgraduate individuals desperate for something that understands them. For those who had this album in our early teen years and who need it even more now that we are in our early twenties - which is how old Taylor was when she wrote it. It's an album that came out in October 2014, when I was 13 years old. Ah, the tragic memories of 8th grade. If 13 year old me thought she knew exactly what she doing with her life, 22 year old me is a mere mess of confusion. That's okay, that is what this album is for.

Before even noting the lyrical component of 1989, the sound itself is so uplifting and dynamic that it never fails to improve my mood. The first time I heard the single "Shake it Off," I thought Taylor Swift had permanently cured any insecurity and self-doubt I had ever had. Which lasted about half a day, obviously. Even "Blank Space" taught me the importance of self-awareness and laughing at yourself so that other people don't beat you to the punch line. Taylor Swift really said - you think I'm crazy, well maybe I really am? Oh well? You can't destroy somebody who understands themself.

"Clean" was the first song that ever made me feel really seen. I mean, when you are 13 years old, everything is the end of the world and everyday feels painful, vulnerable, and performative. A lot of the times, I have interpreted Taylor Swift songs to be about friendships, family, or myself, ignoring any romantic pretenses (Unless it is an obviously romantic song, hence, You Are in Love.) I have always been anxious and I knew I had experienced depression long before I even understood what that meant. "Clean" to me, was an expression of working through the really tough parts of being alive, and just being proud of yourself for all that you have endured and still managed come through on the other side. "I think I am finally clean" are seriously some of the most cathartic lyrics I have ever heard. Coincidentally, "Clean" ended up being my surprise song during Night 3 of Metlife.

I wish I could implant you into my brain and make you understand how this album feels to me. It is bright, fun, lively, and utterly representative of how it feels to be young. Especially if you live in or have ever visited New York. I feel like I am walking across concrete sidewalks, in a plaid blazer, crunching on the leaves. A sense of independence that feels new and exciting. Through crisp air in the late fall.

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