The Art of Storytelling

At the beginning of my college career, I was struggling to take interest in something that I felt passionate about. I was not sure what direction I wanted to go in and didn’t feel connected to anything I thought was meaningful. This time was also the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, so just like everyone else, I found myself at home with not much to do. Surprisingly, doing “nothing” was exactly what I needed. While the world was paused, I was lucky enough to have found myself reconnecting with parts of myself I had forgotten about. I had more time to watch movies, read books, and actually enjoy these things without the pressure of feeling like I needed to do more. I realized these were all things I loved, but never found time to really embrace.

The highlight of this time for me was when Taylor Swift released her eighth studio album folklore. I was immediately captivated by the detailed imagery and poetic lyrics. The songs on this album make me long for experiences I’ve never even had and let me reminisce about how I’ve felt at different times in my life. “I can change everything about me to fit in” and “When you are young, they assume you know nothing” are lyrics featured on folklore that made me realize I am not alone in feeling a little lost sometimes. Swift’s words are powerful and validate the different emotions I face. I aspire for my work to have that same impact, even if I don’t have as big an audience as the eleven-time Grammy award-winning artist. Even if it’s just for myself.

My folklore vinyl.

Listening to folklore encouraged me to start journaling because Taylor Swift continues to demonstrate the significance that every moment, no matter how big or small, can hold. Writing allows me to remember all these moments and keep them close to me. This was a big step for me, especially at a time when I wasn’t feeling motivated by anything. I began appreciating and romanticizing instances in my life that I might have taken for granted, whether it meant days at home, the laughter that fills the air when I’m with people I love, or the peace I feel when I’m in the comfort of my room. The job of all writers is to pay attention to what is going on in the world, even if it’s the world you’re experiencing through your own eyes. It’s important to take inspiration from what’s around you.

Taylor Swift’s folklore consists of multiple stories based on fictional characters that narrate her own personal thoughts and experiences. I decided to create my own story and begin the life I always dreamed of in New York City. I transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology because I knew I wanted to be in an environment surrounded by creative and influential individuals. While being here, I’ve had access to opportunities that allowed me to discover more of what I’m passionate about. By writing for multiple school publications and immersing myself in my English and journalism classes, I realized I love being able to convey my ideas through my words.

I am forever grateful that Taylor Swift sparked a light in me that no one else was quite able to do. Her dedication and the way she can bring her own unique perspective to all situations encourages me to do the same in my everyday life. Swift can share her own personal thoughts and moments to millions of people around the world and make us feel like we are right there with her. Her emotions are her work and she continues to show how special written words are.

By Jacqueline Rappa

Jacqueline Rappa is a rising senior at the Fashion Institute of Technology studying Advertising and Marketing Communications with a minor in English. You can find her aimlessly walking around New York City while drinking an iced coffee and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.

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