Post- Magazine

how to be someone [A&C]

finding yourself amidst the end

Graduation looms ahead and is all too tangible for my liking. Just over five weeks away—37 days until the end, to be exact. Over the past few weeks, I’ve lost all ability to conceptualize time; I have the date marked on all my calendars, I am receiving far too many emails about applying to graduate, and my mom keeps calling to ask if I’ve picked out a dress yet. I haven’t. 

May 26 does not register as a real day in my frazzled brain. May 26 embodies the idea of leaving a place where I’ve found some of my favorite people. May 26 marks my departure from a safe world that I’ve built for myself. May 26 feels like the end. 


The end can’t be this close, can it?


I’ve never been the biggest fan of winter break. By the time December rolls around I’m always in dire need of respite, but the lengthy break between semesters always feels drawn out just a bit too long. Too long without the chaos of campus, and I start to feel trapped within the four pink walls of my childhood bedroom. Too long without distinguishing my roommates’ laughs among their cacophonous howling, and I start to feel suffocated by the hush of my hometown. It’s a tricky balance that I never really figured out over these past four years.

This January was different. It was my last intermission between semesters; the last time I impatiently awaited the arrival of spring semester, famous for its improved weather and days of sprawling out on the Green. Yet for the first time, I caught myself wanting to postpone my return to Providence.

Sitting at my favorite local coffee shop, I stared blankly at the screen in front of me: Job titles and untitled documents returned my cold gaze. Countless tabs lay out in an array that made it impossible to remember each application. During winter break, I drove there every morning, sat at my favorite window seat each day, begging myself to just start typing. Progress was minimal. 


The reality of figuring out what I will do after graduation, what I am supposed to devote my life to, who I am supposed to be, pummeled me, and I was clueless about how to battle all of it. 

So instead of learning how to cope with my recurring existential crises, I turned to music. I snuck glances around me to make sure nobody was watching as I slowly rid my screen of applications, cover letters, and emails I had originally planned to send out days ago. In their place, Spotify asked me to retitle “My Playlist #53,” a blank screen eagerly waiting to externalize my feelings and confusion through an equally confused amalgamation of lyrics and instruments. Finally, my fingers found themselves effortlessly tapping away on my keyboard: I want to be someone!!


Bad Luck

I listened to an excessive amount of Noah Kahan during my freshman year. A taste of New England enveloped the strumming of his guitar, and I felt seen. “Just know that I’m doing everything that I can.” Blindly entering college in the midst of a pandemic, with eyes as the only recognizable features of my peers’ faces, I was so unsure of how I was supposed to integrate myself into my new life. All I could do was tell myself that I was doing whatever I could to make it work.

I still listen to a lot of Noah Kahan; I still feel like a kid from New England who is weirdly tied to their hometown, constantly convincing herself that she is doing everything that she can. Weeks before I graduate, I recognize many more faces on my walks. I roam around campus, sometimes with a destination in mind and other times without. Smiling at buildings where I’ve spent hours attempting to make sense of problem sets and at trees that I’ve accidentally hurled frisbees into, I realize that I’ve managed to make this campus my own. I see myself in the sidewalks that I’ve imprinted on, and I see myself in the people who wave at me across the street. Perhaps I did do everything that I could, and perhaps I did figure out how to find myself in my new life.

Nothing New

I am a self-proclaimed Swiftie. I have loved the tumultuous journey of changes in genre and style in her music. Listening to her re-recording of Red, I am instantaneously transported back to the fall semester of my sophomore year: the re-emergence into a slightly more normal semester of college, where we shed masks and unapologetically invited people into our much-too-small rooms. We played that album on our communal speaker for weeks on end. “How can a person know everything at 18, but nothing at 22?” I never thought twice every time I belted it from the top of my lungs.

I am now 22, and I know nothing. I understand her. Though previously unsure of how I felt like I had a stronger grasp on my world four years ago than I do now, I’ve finally realized that it’s because my world has grown and, hopefully, I’ve grown with it. I’ve learned how to ask questions. I’ve learned how to be curious. I am learning how to be okay without knowing everything. So yes, I might know nothing, but I’m excited to keep expanding my own world and realize that there is even more for me to know nothing about. 

Perfect Places

I rediscovered Melodrama during my final winter break. Itching for new music to overcome the noise, I instead returned to old music and let Lorde reason through my jumbled thoughts for me. “Trying to find these perfect places.” I yearned to find the perfect places that already existed in my life. My childhood bedroom? My favorite desk at the library? My go-to spot for a late-night sweet treat? No matter how hard I pored over the places I devoted my time to, I couldn’t label any of them as perfect. 

I still don’t know if perfect places exist. In these last few weeks, as I leave my footprints scattered throughout Providence, I’m invited to remember the memories that have made my time at Brown so unforgettable–the moments that I still carry around in my back pocket, ready to be looked back on at any given second. As someone who enjoys dwelling on the past a little too much, these remembrances are what fuel my love for this space that I’ve created in just a few years. Perfect places might not be real, but perfect moments certainly are. They remind me that even if I’m still a little unsure of who I might want to be, I’m still someone no matter what.


Graduation is 37 days away and it is real. 

I want to be someone!! can be found under the “Recently played” section of my Spotify. Clairo and Ethel Cain have now joined my entourage on this journey of coming to terms with graduation; I’m sure many other artists will soon join the ranks in these upcoming weeks as I rely on their words to help me scramble to the Van Wickle gates. 

I still don’t know what I’ll be doing after May 26, and I don’t know what I’ll be doing five years later. I do know that I’ll be figuring it out with my headphones on, cultivating soundtracks for each moment of uncertainty along the way.  

May 26 will be a day of celebration. May 26 will be a day of holding my friends and realizing how proud I am of them. May 26 will not be a day of leaving somewhere that I’ve learned to call home, but instead will mark the start of building a new world for myself. May 26 will feel like the beginning.

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