S3 Scribble #24: Live Forever

“Maybe I just wanna fly, wanna live, I don’t wanna die,”

Welcome to the final Song Scribbles with Sydney. It’s a bittersweet time. Two days ago, I graduated from the University of Michigan. Yesterday, I moved back home for the summer. Now, as I write this blog post from my childhood bedroom, I can’t believe how time has flown by. While I’m thrilled to have had such a wonderful graduation (especially after my high school graduation being canceled due to the pandemic), I’m also feeling a sense of loss.

“Maybe I just wanna breathe, maybe I just don’t believe,”

My friends and I are going to go do great things all over the place, which is wonderful, but I’m going to miss living near all of them. I’m lucky to be headed to get my master’s degree in New York City, a city where a few of my friends will also be living, but I know it won’t be the same as Ann Arbor. I’m very excited for my next steps, but I also know that I’ll always look back fondly on my time at the University of Michigan.

“Maybe you’re the same as me,”

I’ve learned and changed so much over the past four years. I’m far more open-minded, vulnerable, and happy than I ever remember being. I’ve found friends that feel like family, and Ann Arbor feels like home. When I started college, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to form this level of friendship, but I’ve formed several friendships that I’m confident will last far beyond my college years. How fortunate am I to have such a fabulous support system? How lucky am I to have had something so great that I know I’ll miss it for years to come?

“We see things they’ll never see.”

My undergraduate years may be over, but the memories and relationships will last a lifetime. I can’t wait until the next time my friends and I get together, and I’m excited to see how gamedays feel as an alum. While I may be leaving Michigan, I know that Michigan will never leave me. As I embark on this next chapter in my life, I will do so with confidence and positivity – the same way I approach every other challenge I face. Thank you for everything, Ann Arbor. Writing these blogs and creating an archive of my college experiences through Song Scribbles is something I will be grateful for for years to come. It truly is great to be a Michigan Wolverine – Go Blue forever!

“You and I are gonna live forever.”

Listen to Live Forever by Oasis here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=485CSGur7YE

S3 Scribble #23: Surrendering

“Self-protection was in times of true danger,”

This week, I gave a speech in front of my sorority. One of our traditions is to let seniors speak about their experiences and reflect on their time at Michigan and in our chapter, and, being a senior, I decided to give a speech this year. When writing it, I looked back on all the special moments that I’ve had with the close friends I’ve made throughout my four years at the University of Michigan. Writing it in my bedroom and reading it in front of the chapter both made me very emotional. The friends that I’ve made here are special and irreplaceable. Even though I graduate in less than two weeks, I cannot imagine my life without being surrounded by these wonderful people. 

“Your best defense to mistrust and be wary,”

Before going to college, I didn’t know I would be able to find such an amazing group of friends. I’ve always been pretty extroverted, but in high school I struggled with being vulnerable around my friends and was scared to open up, lean on them for emotional support, or seem to show them any sort of weakness. Upon getting to the University of Michigan, I started to realize that I would only form lasting, genuine friendships if I was able to show my friends all sides of myself – even the parts of me I was initially scared to show them. Slowly but surely, I was able to practice vulnerability. Now, as a senior, my friends are my second family. It’s a privilege to live among best friends who never judge me, who are there for me even when I’m not feeling like my usual, bubbly self, and who love me for exactly who I am.

“Surrendering, a feat of unequaled measure,”

Turns out, being vulnerable and honest with my friends has its perks – I trust them wholeheartedly and don’t have to worry about them leaving me behind or turning their backs on me in the future.  I will forever be grateful that I was able to open up, because I now realize that the types of relationships I have and value would not be possible if I never showed vulnerability. College has been a time of incredible personal growth, but it has also connected me with some of the most special and treasured people I have ever known. Even though I am sad to leave Ann Arbor after graduation, I know that these bonds will stay with me forever.

“And I’m thrilled to let you in.”

Listen to Surrendering by Alanis Morissette here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1JmZHHkqME

S3 Scribble #22: Everybody Wants to Rule the World

“Help me to decide,”

At a virtual Festifall student organization fair a few weeks into the first semester of my freshman year of college, I decided to join a student organization called MUSIC Matters. I was brand new to the University of Michigan and I knew that I should try my best to get involved, so I went out on a limb and joined a student organization that sounded like fun. As a lover of music and concerts and as someone who believes that music is a great tool for bringing people together, MUSIC Matters’ mission stood out to me: “use the unifying power of music to drive social impact in our community.”

“Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure,”

I’ve remained a member of MUSIC Matters over the past few years and have held various leadership positions, including Head of Social Media and Head of Public Relations. This semester, I stepped into a role on the organization’s executive board: Marketing Chair. Over the past few months, I’ve worked with the rest of MUSIC Matters to market our annual music and lifestyle festival, Springfest, that took place this past weekend. After dozens of meetings and hours of work, Springfest was a huge success. We had over 7,000 people come to our daytime music festival with student bands and performers, and had a phenomenal night show at the Michigan Theater headlined by Alexander23, who covered the song for this week’s blog. To see MUSIC Matters’ hard work pay off so wonderfully made me feel accomplished like never before.

“Nothing ever lasts forever,”

I went from being a general member of MUSIC Matters going to meetings that were exclusively on Zoom in Fall 2020 to the Marketing Chair at an in-person Springfest enjoying live music alongside thousands of others in Spring 2024. Not only did I get to bring some musical joy to Ann Arbor, but I got to do it alongside many friends who I likely would have never met had I not joined MUSIC Matters. Who knew that what seemed like such a small decision to get involved would result in such a defining part of my undergraduate experience? Freshman year me would hardly believe it!

“Everybody wants to rule the world.”

Listen to Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awoFZaSuko4

Learn more about MUSIC Matters here: https://umichmusicmatters.com/

S3 Scribble #21: BODYGUARD

“They couldn’t catch you and they never will,”

This past weekend, I went to Cleveland, Ohio to see the solar eclipse in totality. In 2017, my family and I traveled to Columbia, South Carolina to experience totality, and it was such an amazing experience that we agreed to see the next solar eclipse that crossed the United States in totality as well. This year, in 2024, we fulfilled that promise and met up in Cleveland for the weekend to experience the awe-inspiring event once again.

“Sometimes I hold you closer just to know you’re real.”

I drove there from Ann Arbor with one of my brothers, who is a huge fan of Beyoncé. She just released a new album entitled Cowboy Carter, and I promised my brother that I would wait to listen to it until we were in the car together so he could tell me all about the album and various songs. Not only was this a great bonding experience for us (music is one of my favorite ways to get to know someone better, even someone I’ve known for the vast majority of my life), but it was love at first listen. I’ve had songs from Cowboy Carter on repeat ever since, but none make me feel as happy and ready to get up and dance as “BODYGUARD.”

“Tell me your problems, I take how you feel,”

Clearly, I’ve chosen a happy song for a happy blog detailing a happy weekend. Getting to spend time with my whole family all together was rejuvenating and fun, and the eclipse did not disappoint. For me, I don’t think experiencing totality will ever lose its appeal. Even though I experienced it back in 2017, my sense of wonder during this year’s eclipse was unmatched. To be able to witness the eclipse alongside those closest to me made it all the more special.

“I show you an exit,”

After a chaotic and traffic-filled drive back to Ann Arbor, I felt nothing but gratitude and love. I’m thrilled to have had such a wonderful and rare opportunity to have seen a second total solar eclipse, and I’m happy to have made such fun memories with my family. I’m also incredibly glad that I’ve got a new, amazing album on rotation – perfect for the fast-approaching summer!

“When you’re restless, I take the wheel.”

Listen to BODYGUARD by Beyoncé here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9qjKyMk9iI&list=OLAK5uy_lirsolI4HUPN3Uvmxylc6v1wlR5OXUONQ&index=8

S3 Scribble #20: The Wire

“You know, there’s no rhyme or reason for the way it turned out to be.”

My friends and I were talking a couple of days ago about how busy we are going to be from now up until graduation. We’ve had exams and papers due this week, and in just a few more weeks, we will have to take final exams for the last time as undergraduates. Attempting to stay on top of schoolwork and extracurriculars while also trying to fit everything else in before I leave Ann Arbor while graduation is fast approaching means that my days and weeks fill up very quickly. This week has been no exception – I am currently writing this at a time where I was supposed to be busy, but my plans got canceled at the last minute – (disappointing, but my writing, both for this blog and for a paper that I’m working on that is due on Friday, will surely benefit from it).

“I didn’t go and try to change my mind, not intentionally.”

Bittersweet is a word that has been on my mind a lot recently. That’s what led me to the song for my blog this week: “The Wire” by HAIM. While the song is about a breakup, I see parallels between the lyrics and my current situation as a senior. It’s hard to know that the end of an era is near, but it’s comforting to be reminded that I’m going to be okay regardless. While I know this to be true, with such mixed emotions in the air, I’ve felt undeniably overwhelmed this semester, and not just because I’ve been busy. 

“I know it’s hard to hear me say it, but I can’t bear to stay in.”

Finishing up my undergraduate degree and moving into a new future means I have a lot to think about, a lot to worry about, and a lot to be excited about, all at once. It’s not surprising that I’ve been abnormally emotional these past few weeks. After this post, I will only have four Song Scribbles blogs left before I officially graduate, and I’m starting to feel a natural ending in sight. Although I’m going to miss writing these blogs, living among all of my friends, and taking classes in Ann Arbor, I’ve also got a promising future on the horizon that I can’t wait to experience.

“I just know, I know, I know, I know that you’re gonna be okay anyway.”

Listen to The Wire by HAIM here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vh0iP5BziQ

S3 Scribble #19: Modern Love

“(Modern love) walks on by, (Modern love) gets me to the church on time,”

My parents visited Ann Arbor this past weekend, and it was great to be able to spend time with them for the first time since January. I’m lucky to be able to have had some rejuvenating family time to help me recharge for the last stretch of the semester. I have a lot coming up: exams, papers, senior events, student organization commitments, and, of course, graduation and moving out of my house in Ann Arbor.

“(Church on time) terrifies me, (Church on time) makes me party,”

It’s finally starting to hit me that my “lasts” are fast approaching: my last undergraduate assignments, my last tour I give as a University of Michigan Tour Guide, my last club meetings, my last nights staying up late in this college house with my friends. Being able to have these “lasts” is a luxury that I did not receive in high school: due to the pandemic, everything in high school was cut off in mid March of 2020. I had all of my high school “lasts” without even realizing it: my last lacrosse game, my last class, my last test, my last lunch in the cafeteria. I’m realizing that this bittersweet feeling about experiencing my University of Michigan “lasts” is a new one for me, but after the way my high school experience ended, I am well aware that being able to know when my “lasts” are going to be is a blessing.

“(Church on time) puts my trust in God and man,”

Even though it may be sad to knowingly have my “last” experiences, I am grateful to  be able to have these “last” experiences in the first place, since I know firsthand they are not to be taken for granted. I will approach each “last” with enthusiasm and gratitude, and I will be thankful for every “last” I am able to experience.

“(God and man) no confession, (God and man) no religion,”

While my ending to high school was less than ideal, I can appreciate what it taught me: be grateful, take nothing for granted, and make the most of every moment I have, whether or not it is my “last.” This year, in these next few weeks, I have the privilege of experiencing my “lasts,” and I will not let a single one go unremembered or unappreciated.

“(God and man) don’t believe in modern love.”

Listen to Modern Love by David Bowie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHzVjGBxOJs