S3 Scribble #11: These Days

“All the people gather, fly to carry each his burden,”

I’m back in Ann Arbor and having a very eventful start to the semester! I have had a shocking lack of free time after an incredibly relaxing and low-commitment winter break, but after submitting my grad school applications and settling into the new semester, I am looking forward to more relaxation time in the near future.

“We are young despite the years,”

Winter break was very rejuvenating for me. It was phenomenal to spend some quality time with my family after not being home very often for the past year. It also gave me the opportunity to once again listen to some albums from my parents’ CD collection. For years, my mom has raved to me about R.E.M.’s Lifes Rich Pageant, but it wasn’t until this winter break that I was able to fall in love with the album and recognize it as the masterpiece it is.

“We are concerned, we are hope despite the times,”

As a young person with hopes of changing the world and contributing to a more just and equitable society, I feel inspired by the songs on the album – songs about a desire to stay hopeful and be a part of positive change. Even though the album was released in 1986, the messages of many songs are still relevant today. “These Days” is just one of them. I encourage anyone who feels as if they are losing hope for a better future to listen to this album, because we must stay hopeful when working toward a better world.

“All of a sudden, these days, happy throngs, take this joy,”

The album makes me feel hopeful, of course, but it also makes me feel a special connection to my mom, since I know it is one of her favorites. For me, music often serves as a connector – connecting me to important people, places, and moments throughout my life. With its hopeful and passionate messages coupled with the association that I make between the album and my mom, I am thrilled to have discovered Lifes Rich Pageant this winter break and I look forward to turning to it throughout the semester whenever I need a pick-me-up.

“Wherever, wherever you go.”

Listen to These Days by R.E.M. here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vgEWp7Voyk

Sydney Braun

University of Michigan Class of 2024. Pronouns: she/her. Double Major in Environment and Communication & Media. Huge fan of 80s/90s music, not a fan of single-use plastic water bottles. Be sure to check out Song Scribbles With Sydney, where I use my favorite music to help analyze my emotions and experiences at college, posted every Wednesday!

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