Taylor swiftly moves with us as times change

The other day, a friend of mine said that Taylor Swift is basically a crazy ex-girlfriend.

Despite this, I must confess, on Oct. 24, the day “Speak Now” was released, I was quick to click ‘purchase’ on my iTunes account a few minutes after midnight.

As a senior in college, I was mildly embarrassed to be this excited about a new album filled with dozens of songs that reflect coming of age experiences and crushes, but I quickly noticed I was not in a minority.

Teenagers like to sing along to her catchy lyrics about teen angst, boys like her because she is beautiful, parents like her because she plays instruments and always says “please” and “thank you” to her fans. But what is her appeal to college students?

In the spring, Auburn University students began a mission to get hugs from the singer by starting the website A Hug from Taylor Swift. The website was filled with videos asking for her to come to Alabama and give hugs to these adoring fans. She told them she would visit, but they had to work first. She asked them to post videos of themselves doing good deeds and helping their community.

The Bostonians, an a cappella group of Boston College, added a rendition of “Love Story” to its repertoire. A group at Rochester did a version of “You Belong With Me.”

Bars on campus like Brothers and Joe’s are known for getting Taylor’s songs constantly requested. “Mine” the first song on her new album is the new go to song to belt out in the car or at a party.

Her new album seems to be mirroring the lives of college-aged students more than her previous ones. She talks about the more serious sides of growing up like standing up for ourselves, taking criticism, moving into a first apartment, being in an adult relationship and being haunted by past experiences. The songs about the football quarterback and school dancers are long gone — just as they are in our lives.

“Speak Now,” the title of her newest album, is in reference to the infamous line from a marriage ceremony. In an interview with USA TODAY she states, “That moment is a metaphor for a lot of situations we find ourselves in, where we wait till it’s almost too late to say what we actually feel.”

Taylor’s newest album is up front and personal. Her songs are not loosely based on a situation, but they are almost word for word narratives. The stories that Taylor describes are her personal ones from growing up. Throughout each song she leaves certain clues about who each song is about.

We’ve all conjured up the perfect thing to say long after the fact. Maybe it’s an e-mail we never will actually click “send” for or a voice message we’ll never be brave enough to actually leave. But Taylor does it. She clicks “send.” She follows through.

We all need to speak up about the things that are important to us. Holding in what we believe and hoping it will pass is the wrong solution.

While Taylor’s songs might be about running into an ex at a televised award show, our stories might be seeing someone on the quad. The characters change, but the feelings stay the same.

Clearly, people are responding positively to her perspective. Taylor is our friend who’s crying about a breakup, the girl who’s venting to us about an ex, or an ex-girlfriend who did a few crazy things. We all know a girl like her — and so we keep listening.