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“Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo? More like “Time to Drive Around Crying” by Olivia Rodrigo

I won’t be the first to admit I’m absolutely obsessed with Olivia Rodrigo. Not only is she an incredibly talented actor (Ahem, I’m calling all my High School Musical: The Series stans) and a wonderful singer, but she appears to also be an incredibly funny, genuine person to be around. 


So when she released her first single, “Driver’s License”, I was immediately partial to it. The song documents her heartbreak with an ex-lover through the journey of driving alone, without someone who used to always be by your side.


No. No. No. I don’t think you understand. I’m obsessed.


I’m not one to feed into gossip, so this will be the only time you see me do it, but rumor has it that Olivia’s ex-partner taught her how to drive. Knowing this, I can scarcely imagine what it must’ve been like, actually receiving your driver’s license and being heartbroken by the person who taught you how to drive. The song starts soulfully with, “I got my driver’s license last week/ Just like we always talked about.”  It’s clear from the first line that Rodrigo won’t hold back on imagery at all in this song.


But that’s what makes this song so good.


Since Rodrigo was so incredibly vulnerable in this song, listeners get a very vivid image of what Rodrigo has been going through these past few months. We can feel her pain in the tone of her voice and we can hear her story in the lyrics. It’s poetic, beautiful and everything we needed in this pandemic.


Moreover, Olivia Rodrigo just created an anthem for Generation Z (Gen Z). The song bears the soul of the collective Gen Z demographic.


There are two primary reasons why Rodrigo’s song is an anthem for Gen Z. First of all, Gen Z-ers are known to delay getting their driver’s license until the last moment. For me, it was because I liked being driven around and frankly, driving sounded terrifying. For others, I know it’s simply not a necessity. Some public transportation systems are so sophisticated that getting a driver’s license seems pointless when you can just as easily, and more safely, take the bus. So Olivia’s lyric of “I got my driver’s license last week” is very relatable to those of us who have delayed getting our license for a long time. Olivia was seventeen when she got her license, representing the general collective of Gen Z with delaying getting her driver’s license. 


Secondly, Gen Z kids like to mindlessly drive around singing along to music. Some popular songs that also illustrate this trend are “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift and “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove. These songs are known for their intense, emotion-provoking feeling they produce, and “Driver’s License” perfectly fits into this category. Some of my favorite moments in the car have been driving home with my windows down, singing my heart out to some of my favorite songs. You will catch all of Gen Z driving down the highway, belting “Driver’s License”, regardless of whether or not they’ve gotten their heart broken recently, it’s just that good of a song. 


So if you’re looking for a song recommendation, Her Campus UCSC strongly recommends listening to Rodrigo’s new single. You won’t be disappointed. 

My name is Ashti (she/her), I am currently an undergraduate History of Asia and the Pacific major with an Education minor at UCSC.
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