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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

A “Cruel Summer”


A two-minute countdown appeared on the jumbotron at Arrowhead Field and the screams from the girls sitting around me went from loud to piercing. I was sitting in section 300 of the NFL stadium in Kansas City, Missouri for what I can now say have been the longest two minutes of my life to date. I was surrounded by bright colors, glitter and friendship bracelets. The sky was a shade of orange and pink that looked a little like sherbert ice cream. “It’s been a long time coming” echoed through the speakers as the stage opened up. Taylor Swift appeared from beneath the stage and I screamed back the lyrics, “It’s you and me, that’s my whole world,” which at the time could not have been a more true statement. I knew right then that I would be telling my daughter about this tour ten years from now. 

I was two years old when Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut album came out. I was five years old when she won her first Grammy Award for her sophomore album “Fearless.” I remember sitting on the floor in my grandma’s living room watching this young girl with long blonde hair just like mine thinking to myself, “We share the same name. She’s going to be my favorite singer.”


Swift was in her Eras era during the summer of 2023, and she brought the world along for the ride. The first leg of her world tour started in March and finished in early August. Through the tour, Swift took her fans through 17 years of music. She performed “Love Story,” a song I used to perform with a hairbrush as a microphone and my purple bedroom walls as my 75,000-person audience. She performed “All Too Well (10 minute version) (Taylor’s Version),” a song my college friends screamed in the car on the way to celebrate a break-up anniversary in the Twin Cities.

And she did all of this while releasing rerecords of her albums “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” and “1989 (Taylor’s Version).”

Swift also announced “The Eras Tour Concert Film,” set to release Oct. 13. It will be an opportunity for fans who didn’t get tickets to experience the tour. But instead of paying $1,564 for a front-row seat, they will only have to pay $19.89. 

The Eras tour was life-changing not only for me and most other girls ages 12 to 35, but for concert atmospheres at large. More than ever people come to shows dressed up in their best outfits — outfits inspired by specific albums or genres of music. Friendship bracelets are passed around with inside jokes, colors to match a certain aesthetic and titles of songs.

Swift has created a way for people to come together over break-up songs, folklore love triangles and songs about never growing up. She is sharing the message that you shouldn’t be ashamed of who you are and no dream is too big to go after. 

As the second leg of her tour begins, “Swifties” continue to follow along to see the sparkly new outfits Swift has yet to wear and the surprise songs she has yet to sing. They wait in anticipation for the moment when Swift will take back her name and her reputation. 

As I walk through the fishbowl of AV East I can hear “Paper Rings” being played by the girl who lives next door to me who thinks she met her “future husband” in Christian Theology. I walk into the DC and see three girls wearing the iconic Eras tour sweatshirts. On my late-night scooter rides around campus, I blast “New Romantics” on my JBL Go Bluetooth speaker in hopes that I can hold on to the fleeting last moments of my “Cruel Summer” era.

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About the Contributor
Taylor Hanson, Staff Reporter
Taylor Hanson, 19, is a sophomore organizational communications major with a journalism minor. Taylor is involved at Bethel as a Shift leader and as the Director of Intramurals. She loves finding coffee shops tucked away in the cities, going to any athletic event, or scootering around campus with her friends.  [email protected] | 720.425.5218
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