Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

Using Phoebe Bridgers’ Lyrics to Describe My Thoughts on Senior Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

“Summer’s end is around the bend, just flying.”

To start off this article, I’m actually using a lyric that Phoebe Bridgers didn’t write. It’s from her lovely cover of John Prine’s “Summer’s End,” but I wanted to kick things off with this lyric. Naturally, the end of summer is a tough time for everyone. Summer represents relaxation, more freedom, and for me, typically boredom. However, I wasn’t bored this past summer; relaxation came occasionally but overall, this past summer felt different. I was so happy to come back to Amherst — to kick-start my senior year and be together with all my friends again — but now that I’m here, things just feel weird. 

Did I wish summer away too soon? I don’t know, but as a senior, even with amazing friends and involvement in many activities and clubs, the start of this fall just has a weird taste to it. I’m so grateful for the life I’ve created in my little community on this big campus, but it just hasn’t felt like school yet. I feel like since it’s my senior year, it’s all going to come so quickly. 

“Driving out into the sun // Windows down, scream along.” 

The beauty of “I Know the End” from Phoebe’s album Punisher can be found in the juxtaposed complexity and simplicity of this masterpiece. I saw Phoebe live in Maine back in June and it kicked off my summer. My anxiety was pretty high at the time and the concert forced me to step away from my own mental state and fully dive into the Phoebe Bridgers experience. These two lyrics always stick out to me because oddly, they remind me of peak friendship. 

When the beat picks up and Phoebe sings “driving out into the sun,” and a few lines later, “windows down, scream along,” I always picture exactly that. The back roads of Hadley, right off campus, driving at sunset with my friends and probably singing Phoebe Bridgers’ songs. This act isn’t unique to senior year, but it’s one that I will always cherish. This might be the last year I’m in one place with the people I love most, and potentially the last time we can just go driving with the windows down, screaming along to songs whenever we want. Like Phoebe says in the song, the end (of college) is near…

“Said she knows she lived through it to get to this moment.”

I struggled with what to say about this lyric because it means a lot to me and describes various moments in my life. I’m typing this while listening to this song, “Graceland Too,” from Punisher. If I look back on everything that’s happened these past three years, I’m really proud of myself for being where I am right now. There are certainly specific events that I could attach this quote to directly, but at this point, I don’t want to view graduation as a moment to be proud of; I want to view my senior year as one big moment. If I put so much focus on the end of senior year, I’ll forget to celebrate and cherish everything between now and the end. 

Phoebe Bridgers is one of my favorite musicians because of her deep, dark, sad lyrics. They move many people, and they certainly move me. While senior year is filled with so much joy and excitement, it’s also okay that it will be filled with confusion, anger, and sadness. I have to cherish the good and the bad, the great people around me, and the life I’m living. I must remember that change, though scary, is always necessary. 

“And if I could give you the moon / I would give you the moon.”

This lyric from “Moon Song” off of Punisher is an ode to my loved ones, my friends, and those who made me the 21-year-old I am today. I could never say “thank you” enough, but I am so grateful for those around me this year. If I could give you the moon, I most definitely would. 

Can’t get enough of HC UMass Amherst? Be sure to follow us on Instagram, listen to us on Spotify, like us on Facebook, and read our latest Tweets!

Lulu Kesin

U Mass Amherst '23

Lulu is a senior double major in journalism and communications. Some of Lulu's passions include wearing patterned pants, dancing in the grocery store, watching coming of age movies and advocating for female equality in the sports industry.