Taylor swift has infiltrated FHC and has impacted the lives of many staff and students


Taylor Swift

Photos of Taylor Swift from many of her tours.

Senior Val Garza remembers exactly when she believes she became a true Taylor Swift fan.

While she grew up listening to “Mean” on repeat on her iPod Nano and Red on CD in her family’s minivan, she did not consider herself a “Swiftie” until Swift’s album Reputation was released.

“I remember when ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ came out,” Val said. “I wasn’t a fan then, [but] not because I thought she was canceled. I didn’t even know she was ‘canceled’ because I lived under a rock. I just wasn’t the biggest fan of hers. And then, that music video came out, and the [line], ‘[The old Taylor] can’t come to the phone right now,’ hit me so hard.”

Ever since that moment, Val hasn’t looked back. She has fallen under Swift’s spell and is thriving within her enchanting lyrics and mesmerizing vocals. 

When Val started avidly listening to Taylor Swift, she began to listen to Harry Styles more, too. She explains this to be when she began to truly feel strongly about music and specifically with Swift; Val believes that she is learning about the world through each of her songs.

“I guess in her documentary, [Miss Americana], in her music, and the way that she speaks about things, she’s so wise and so very smart,” Val said. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘oh, she knows so much.’ And then, by being a consumer of that, [you] know so much. She taught me. I feel very smart and very understood. She impacted the way that I think about a lot of things.”

Since Swift has dabbled in many musical genres, Val believes that there is something for everyone. Val explains that Folklore, which was released in 2020, has pushed her through a variety of hardships while other albums are simply comforting. This wide variety within her discography allows many different people to be able to relate to her music.

With ten studio albums, it is clear that Swift has gone through her fair share of obstacles. Because of this, Val cherishes her music even more.

“There’s something in her music, and I think it’s coming from a woman who’s gone through it all,” Val explained. “[It’s] really comforting. And, [it] helps because not all of her music [is negative]. She doesn’t have a pessimistic view of things. So, although she’s gone through all of these bad things, it’s kind of uplifting.”

Recently, Swift has been re-recording some of her older albums and releasing them under her ownership. This way, she is gaining the rights to her music back, along with showcasing some of her unreleased songs that are “from the vault.” The last album such as this was Red (Taylor’s Version), which was released in Nov. 2021. 

Since it has been so long since a re-recorded album, many of her fans are starving for more. They are picking up all of her Easter eggs—which Swift has admitted she loves to leave for her fanbase—and the signals they are receiving from her are very mixed. Val has put a lot of thought into which album could be next and feels very strongly about her predictions.

“I think it’s hard because she’s already re-released songs [from] 1989,” Val said. “So, I feel like that would make a little bit of sense as far as it would come out with [them] already. But, I think next is going to be Speak Now because there’s been so many Easter eggs, so many hints. Throughout the ‘Bejeweled’ music video, there’s Speak Now songs in the background. There’s too much saying that it’s going to be Speak Now, but also Reputation. I think I want Speak Now to come out the most, but I’m okay with [that] or Reputation.”

Senior Lydia Bolger, a fellow certified Swiftie, has also put some serious thought into which album she thinks Swift will re-release next. While her thoughts about the hints Swift has been dropping and what logically makes sense to be released next are similar to Val’s, her preference slightly differs.

[Swift] taught me. I feel very smart, very understood. She impacted the way that I think about a lot of things.

— Val Garza

“Honestly, I hope she does 1989 next,” Lydia said. “[But], I think she might do Speak Now, which I would be happy with, but [there’s] 1989; I love it so much.”

Lydia cannot pinpoint when exactly she became a Swiftie since it was so long ago. However, she knows for sure that it was before the release of Red in 2012. Since then, Lydia has been to two of Swift’s concerts, one from her 1989 tour and the other from her Reputation tour. Lydia described her experience at these shows as far different than any other concert. She said that Swift’s voice sounded crisp and beautiful live—two unforgettable nights.

Because of her adoration for Swift, Lydia noticed that she has been able to create lasting relationships. Through a shared interest in a specific artist, Lydia has made connections and memories with people that will last a lifetime.

“I feel like I have grown closer to people through [Swift],” Lydia explained, “because my friend Erin and I [have] always loved her music, and so we always talk about it, and we were able to go to her tours together.”

It is a widely known fact that Swift has a way with words. Each of her carefully crafted lyrics leaves an imprint on every one of her fans. She has been able to impact and change the trajectory of many lives through the words that she sings.

This is the same for Lydia. She loves the hidden messages and lessons that are ingrained in the musicality and poetic lyrics that Swift writes. 

“[There is] one [line] from ‘New Year’s Day’ that I like,” Lydia said, “and it [goes like], ‘please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere.’ That’s the one that I always think about because it’s showing how much you care about someone [and] that you don’t want to lose them and [have them] become a stranger. I always think about it.”

Math teacher Tracy Will, much like Lydia, has memorized a specific lyric from one of Swift’s lyrics that has stuck with her through all these years. 

“I love [Swift’s] songwriting,” Will said. “So many of her lyrics I’m like, ‘yep, that exact feeling, that exact zinger.’ There’s a lyric that is from [‘Cold As You’]: ‘I start a fight cuz I need to feel something and you do what you want cuz I’m not what you wanted.’ And I’m like, ‘ugh.’ How many times as a kid dating someone would I start a fight because I wanted some attention? And no one ever put that into words before.”

Will has been a raving Swiftie since the beginning of her upbringing. Will remembers seeing her at the Muskegon Summer Celebration, and she described the venue as even smaller than the one at Frederik Meijer Gardens. It was then that Will fell in love with Swift’s classic country music of the early 2000s.

Since then, Will has become one of the fans who stay up until midnight for the newest albums. She has parties with Taylor Swift themes and has been to all of the tours except for one. She, like Val, has noticed all the Easter eggs, such as the capitalized letters throughout her lyrics that make hidden messages. Most of all, Will loves watching her perform her music and feels at home as her favorite lyrics ring throughout the stadium.

“I felt really proud of her,” Will said. “I feel like a proud mom fan; so proud and amazed, and I love all the little surprises.”