The Heights newsroom is the center of many inside jokes. One such joke comes from copy editor Meadow Vrtis, who claims to be the best Heights editor in the office—at annoying me.
Out of respect, I will neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of this statement.
Rather than feeling bothered by Meadow’s iEdit, though, I instead found an introspective side of The Heights’ enthusiastic Minnesota representative.
Meadow’s opening track, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” by Taylor Swift, laments the regrets in our lives and how we move past them. The next track, O.A.R.’s “Shattered (Turn the Car Around),” describes a man who always finds his way back to a bittersweet love.
“Give me a break, let me make my own pattern / All that it takes is some time but I’m shattered / I always turn the car around,” O.A.R.’s lead singer Marc Roberge sings.
Meadow’s role as a copy editor has led her to endure many long Sunday nights in the Heights office. Even still, she comes back every week. Perhaps the caring community within The Heights makes Meadow “turn the car around” back to journalism—even when it can be exhausting.
Meadow’s third track, Swift’s “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” delivers a message of self-determination. “Quarter Life Crisis” by Taylor Bickett begins by admitting the singer’s self-indulgent behaviors and concludes that these are part of a painful—but temporary—crisis of identity in early adulthood.
“But I’m a drama queen / I don’t know why I’m surprised, it’s just a quarter-life crisis,” Bickett sings.
Schoolwork and extracurriculars can cause feelings of burnout among college students, often leading to self doubt for people with workloads like Meadow’s. As a fellow workaholic, I relate to these two songs.
On “Walk,” Griff sings about her admiration for an imaginary hero’s ability to persevere through setbacks and live an authentic life. Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” takes listeners into a similar world of this type of hero. I haven’t listened to this song since my fourth grade class sang it for our spring concert, but I can assure you that it still brings me joy.
“Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten,” Bedingfield sings.
“Wildflowers” by Maddie Poppe is all about nostalgia, as Poppe emphasizes that her current struggles cannot detract from her good childhood memories.
“And you can take me far away / But you can never take this part of me,” Poppe sings.
As a New York suburbanite myself, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to spend your childhood in Minnesota. I can only imagine Meadow’s quintessentially Midwest memories from this time period, such as people being really polite to strangers or seeing cows on long drives through the open road. From what it sounds like in “Wildflowers,” Meadow enjoyed this part of her life.
The next track, Alvaro Soler’s “La Libertad,” is a catchy venture into Spanish pop that stands out among the folk- and rock-oriented songs on her playlist. One of Meadow’s 5,000 majors and minors is Hispanic Studies, and this song serves as a window to her interest in the language. Finally, “Cloudy Day” by Tones And I is a triumphant, joyful end to the journey that Meadow created with this playlist.
The broader themes of the playlist—learning to move on and finding freedom through authenticity—resonate with me greatly. And it didn’t hurt that the songs are pleasing to listen to. Although Meadow jokes that she annoys me, her playlist didn’t bother me at all. In fact, it did quite the opposite.