Written by Emma Jones
This time of year is, in my opinion, the best for listening to my favorite album by my favorite band: “I And Love And You” by The Avett Brothers. This album covers several themes, from moving to a new place, to teenage romance, to adult friendships, but there are three songs on the album that have really been speaking to me during this season of my life — that season being, of course, my senior year. Being home for Thanksgiving break and having all my family members ask what I’d be doing after graduation really made it sink in. In May, I will be leaving and will not have the consistent routine of school that I’ve depended on for so long. And that’s scary.
The third track on “I And Love And You” is “Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise,” which I think is a good metaphor in itself for senior year. I am doubting many things about life right now: Am I in the right major, do I have all my credit hours, where will I work after graduation, etc. But I have so much to look forward to after next May; the road is truly full of promise. As the narrator sings, “There was a dream and one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage, I broke in and demanded that somebody free it.” I’m not quite sure what that dream will be after graduation, but I hope that I can achieve it when the time comes.
In the sixth track, “Ten Thousand Words,” the narrator confesses how badly he overthinks and gets caught up in his own head about things, to the point where he feels he has an expert opinion on overthinking. But he says, “Ain’t it like most people? I’m no different. We love to talk on things we don’t know about.” It’s human nature to want to be viewed as someone who is knowledgeable, so we often give our opinion on everything, regardless of how much we actually know. Ironic to make this point in an opinion column where I’m free to write about whatever I feel like each week, and that my column is named after this very song. (I liked the irony, though I try to stick to talking on things I do know about.) As a senior, I sometimes feel entitled to give my opinion on everything because I am older and thus wiser, but it is just as important for me to be the one listening and learning from others and appreciating what I can still learn from people while I am still here.
The 13th and last song on the album is titled “Incomplete And Insecure,” in which the narrator feels as if he has done everything in his life halfway, but realizes that maybe he needs to change. He starts by saying, “I haven’t finished a thing since I started my life. I don’t feel much like starting now” but later in the song says, “But watching you makes me think that that is wrong.” Much like the “head full of doubt” sentiment from earlier, I sometimes feel as if I’ve done things halfway or not well enough, and I’m insecure as I’m facing the end of my college career. But going into my last semester makes me want to finish strong and put my all into my last few months of school — here’s to hoping you join me in doing so in the spring.