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Penn State Sophomore Chosen As ‘The Lucky One’ For Taylor Swift Private Listening Session

Summer vacation for most college students entails internships or summer jobs, going on vacation, and recovering from the last nine months of partying schoolwork. But for one Penn State student, the break included meeting her childhood music idol.

Sophomore Julia Celio was handpicked by Taylor Swift to visit her Nashville home for a private listening session for her new album “Lover” and also met Swift in person.

Celio has been a Swift fan for the last 12 years and first saw her in concert during the Speak Now tour in 2009 at Gillette Stadium. At a young age, she was drawn to Swift’s music but became more appreciative of her generosity toward fans.

“As I grew up, I got to see how she takes care of her fans and see the generosity she has towards them,” Celio said.

According to Celio, when Swift finds a social media account from a fan she’d like to invite to a session, she’ll screenshot the account and send it to her management team who contacts the fan.

That’s how Celio was selected for the listening session. It all started with the Taylor Swift fan Twitter account she’s curated since 2017.

Celio began tagging Taylor Nation, Swift’s management team, in her Twitter posts until she finally caught the artist’s attention with a picture from Swift’s concert at Gillette Stadium during her Reputation Tour last year.

On July 24, Celio received a DM from Swift’s team inviting her to a confidential event at Swift’s Nashville home.

“I’ve been hoping that this would happen for 12 years now,” Celio said. “But I didn’t think it was going to happen, so when I got my message, I freaked out.”

Celio traveled from her home in New Hampshire all the way to Swift’s residence in Nashville. She was one of 113 “Swifties” who attended the secret session, which lasted ten hours.

Prior to the Nashville session, Swift held private sessions in London and Los Angeles. She’s previously held secret sessions for both her “1989” and “Reputation” albums.

She spent her time at Swift’s home listening to the entire “Lover” album, interacting with fellow “Swifties,” and, of course, meeting Swift herself. Celio and the other Swifties were allotted roughly five minutes to talk with Swift one-on-one.

Celio said Swift spent time meeting fans from 4 p.m. on August 4 to 5:15 a.m. the next day. At 2 a.m. on August 5, she finally got to meet Swift in person, noting that it was surprising how personable she was so early in the morning.

“The thing that surprised me the most about Taylor was the fact that she felt like my best friend and had a real conversation with all of us, rather than just taking a picture and moving on to another fan,” she said.

During their conversation, Celio was surprised that Swift knew certain details about her, specifically knowing that she attends Penn State.

Surely, this is an experience Celio will remember “All Too Well” for the rest of her life. But she wants to let others know that an opportunity like this is plausible.

“I finally got to meet my role model and the person who I have been looking up to since I was nine,” she said. “Always remember that nothing is impossible.”

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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