What now?

English: Rihanna live in Belfast, on her tour ...

Rihanna‘s latest single, “What Now,” feels especially poignant to me right now.

I am feeling super nostalgic and fascinated by the end of my college career. It is looming like a dark gray cloud at the end of a train track. Don’t get me wrong– I am excited to graduate, to move on, to become a “grown up,” whatever that means. I am sure that in two or three years I will look back on this and feel silly for making such a big deal of it all, but such is life. Traditions and milestones are important, and I always seem to find a way to make them dramatic and steeped with meaning.

Love or hate the song, Rihanna’s lyrics (which are supposedly about her breakup with Chris Brown) are the perfect embodiment of my current emotional state.

“What now? I just can’t figure it out/
What now? I guess I’ll just wait it out/
What now? Please tell me what now?…
The more I swear I’m happy, the more that I’m feeling alone.”

What do I do? I know that deep down I will be successful and happy, but it drives me crazy not knowing. There is also all of this pressure to live in the moment and have the “perfect senior year.” This is when I am supposed to find a job, get a boyfriend, solidify lifelong friendships and take advantage of every single opportunity and moment. I find myself making plans I have no time (or desire) to have all because of the fear of missing out. What if I never see this person again? What if I never tell them how I feel about them? What if I never share a funny anecdote from when we met?

While I feel like I am a person who does not really hold grudges, I still have emotions and feelings and experiences. Do I have to truly forgive and forget every little transgression? Friends naturally evolve and change; my close-knit group has changed and shifted nearly every single year. Yet I feel this need to restore these relationships to their best-friend, top shelf status. Why? Where do we go from here? The title of Rihanna’s album is “Unapologetic.” Can one be unapologetic without being apathetic?

I don’t know where to go/
I don’t know what to feel…/
I don’t know why/
So what now?


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