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Taylor Swift\'s \"Speak Now\" album
Taylor Swift\'s \"Speak Now\" album
Original photo by Anna Baugher, Her Campus at SLU

How Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” Album Helped Me Grow Up

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

One afternoon last fall, I sat in the backseat of the car. My parents and I were on the way upstate to visit my brother at school. It was one of those moments when all at once, I realized that I’d grown up—my younger brother was in his first year of college, my dad’s retirement date wasn’t too far into the distance now and I myself was in a new decade of life. Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” was on shuffle in the background. 

Though it’s nearly impossible for me to rank Taylor’s albums, “Speak Now” is always up there for me. It’s the first Taylor Swift CD I ever received, the album I listened to constantly on my MP3 player, the first concert I ever attended and in my opinion, it just sounds classic. I’ve loved Taylor throughout her eras, but “Speak Now” just retains a sparkling, childlike magic for me

One of my favorite things about the album is how Taylor begins to deeply explore themes of adulthood and growing up. When she was making the album, she was crossing over into her twenties from her teenage years, which is probably another reason why I feel so connected to this record at this phase in my life. I avoided listening to “Never Grow Up” when I moved into my first apartment this fall because I knew it would cause me to feel too sad, but I still love listening to it when I’m in a more stable mood. Being in my early twenties and knowing how difficult it can be to understand other people’s perspectives and actions, I have an additional appreciation for Taylor’s open-mindedness in “Innocent.” “Back To December” showcases the mature ability to admit when one is wrong and say sorry. 

But “Speak Now” isn’t a perfect representation of having it all figured out. Though it’s a great song, “Better Than Revenge” proves that sometimes, emotions in the wake of heartbreak can be misdirected. “Haunted” is sung with an air of confusion and desperation. Moments like this give the album a more human side, one that acknowledges that we can have weaknesses and low moments. 

The “Speak Now” era epitomizes some of the things that make Taylor Swift so beloved. Throughout its album artwork, tour and promotion, the album contained lots of theatrical imagery. The tour was a grandiose production, complete with scenes that helped illustrate the songs beyond just choreography and live vocals. Taylor’s affection for glitter, ballgowns and antique shops during the early years of the 2010s shone through on this album as well. “Speak Now” is unabashedly girly and whimsical, characteristics Taylor has prided herself on not giving up, even as she has moved on to different eras.  

“Speak Now” is an album that reminds me of love, family, friendship, home and most of all, my admiration for Taylor and her music. It’s one of my favorite albums of all time, and I can’t wait to see how it’s reimagined as “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).” 

Anna Baugher is a communication student with a focus in journalism and media studies at Saint Louis University. She is a big fan of hiking in the woods, listening to Taylor Swift, and having late night talks with friends. She loves writing and has thoroughly enjoyed creating a collection of Her Campus articles.