Penn State References You Didn’t Catch In ‘Midnights’

Welcome to a new Taylor Swift era, folks!

The princess of pop released her newest album, “Midnights,” last week, which details thirteen sleepless nights in Swift’s life, which college students can certainly relate to.

Whether you’re all too familiar with sleepless nights or getting emotional over your time in Happy Valley, there are more references to Dear Old State than you might’ve realized.

For the sake of this analysis, let’s call it “Midnights (Penn State’s Version).”

“Get it off my desk (Get it off my desk.)” — Lavender Haze

Every student has had this thought at least once, especially during midterms and finals week. After endless days of studying and writing papers, it’s hard to not want to sweep every paper and notebook off your desk like a dramatic movie character. Whatever helps, right?

Next time you feel overwhelmed with exams, homework, and classes, take a page out of Taylor’s book with this one and take a well-deserved break.

“Midnights become my afternoons.” — Anti-Hero

This lyric holds two meanings.

On one hand, studying late into the night and ruining your sleep schedule in the process is practically a rite of passage. We’ve all been there at some point, where being wide awake in the pitch blackness of the early morning hours starts to feel normal.

On the other hand, many Penn Staters are familiar with how downtown bustles with life on the weekends as partygoers and bar-goers enjoy their time off from classes. Who cares how late it is when you’re having a good time?

“I don’t remember who I was / Before you painted all my nights / A color I’ve searched for since.” — Question…?

White Outs, Stripe Outs, and even regular home games hold important places in Penn Staters’ hearts. Wearing Penn State’s iconic blue and white and seeing Beaver stadium painted in the same colors is enough to leave fans longing for the feeling forever. The sense of community and unity is unbeatable. So much so that plenty of alums come back each football season.

Whether it’s a night game or a noon game, nothing tops the Penn State football experience, plain and simple!

“Rain soaking, blind hoping.” — High Infidelity

Sticking with the theme of football, this is another lyric that depicts a classic Beaver Stadium scene. How many Saturdays have Penn Staters spent in ponchos cheering for the Nittany Lions while the State College weather does its thing? How many times have students walked home drenched, but still smiling from the fun time they just had? A lot.

Not to mention, the fans’ faith in the team to succeed shines at every game, whether the desired outcome is promised or not!

“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye / You were bigger than the whole sky / You were more than just a short time.” — Bigger Than The Whole Sky

Grab your tissues, seniors, because this one’s for you.

For most graduates, the time spent in Happy Valley is so much more than just a measly four years of college and some swirling words on a diploma. Attending college is an impactful period of a young adult’s life. From making lifelong friends to discovering your entire life path, the Penn State experience is an emotional one, and Taylor clearly aimed to tug at the hearts of our soon-to-be 2023 graduates.

Plus, it’d be a great caption for a graduation Instagram post.

“Did all the extra credit, then got graded on a curve.” — Bejeweled

For anyone who’s had a tough class or professor, this line hits too close to home. You do all the extra work to try and bolster your grade just for it all to mean nothing in the end. It happens to the best of us, folks.

The good news is that you can always bounce back. That’s what the late-drop deadline is for!

“I regret you all the time / I can’t let this go / I fight with you in my sleep.” — Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve

Whether you ate too many slices of Canyon pizza or failed to notice that you scheduled a class across campus from where you live, life as a Penn State student can be filled with regrets. Sure, Taylor Swift is most likely referencing a monumentally toxic relationship, but our struggles matter, too.

Hiking up Shortlidge every day because you live downtown, going out on Thursday night when you have an 8 a.m. on Friday, taking too many classes, spending the last of your meal points on Cow & Cookie instead of an actual meal — the list goes on and on.

“It’s fine to fake it ’til you make it / ‘Til you do, ’til it’s true.” — Snow On The Beach

This pretty much sums up the entire college experience!

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About the Author

Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty is a senior majoring in English and an associate editor at Onward State. She loves making music, consuming the maximum daily amount of coffee recommended by the FDA, and overanalyzing Taylor Swift lyrics. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @meganedougherty and forward any (free) The Eras Tour tickets to her email, [email protected]

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