May 19, 2023 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | By Jan Alfaro

Like every song, life’s journeys also eventually come to an end. As The Catalyst’s last edition for the school year and my last time writing an earjam become a reality, I want to dedicate this column to songs that have remarkable outros to reflect on my time at CC. In doing so, I anticipate a teary writing process as an overwhelming appreciation for every person that has been a part of my college journey dominates my thoughts.  

As a tidbit, this is particularly bittersweet because this job was something I applied for on a whim. I saw the music columnist ad in the daily digest last spring and thought it would be a cool gig to write about music as I listened to enough of it. Although, I was hesitant as the only time I put words on a Microsoft Word document was for scientific assignments like lab reports and chemistry essays.

Nonetheless, I wrote about Lykke Li’s “HIGHWAY TO YOUR HEART” for the application and had a close friend read through it and give suggestions. They gave great feedback and were encouraging throughout the entire process, from excitement at the idea of applying to believing in my application once I had written it.

In many ways, this alone reflects the part of life I’m about to embark on: post-college. It’s uncomfortable to think of for at least two years out of academia but through the support of close friends and family, I believe I have some exciting things in store for myself.

So, for this last article, I chose to curate a playlist compiled of tunes where the outro transcends the rest of the song. From “Shine A Light” by Spiritualized where the last three minutes are beautiful chaos to King Krule’s “Alone, Omen 3” where he wails “You’re not alone / you’re not alone” in the final minute, these songs all make me want to exclusively listen to their endings.

Upon reflection of these last few blocks, I feel similarly about this senior year ending being one of the very best parts. I say this not in an “I’ve had more fun” way but more in that as I come closer to the end, I’ve found myself reflecting more on what it has meant to be surrounded by so many great people that are going to make leaving Colorado Springs so hard.

For instance, when I go to Rastall Café for potentially the last time or when I’m watching a close friend’s thesis presentation, definitely for the last time, I easily get teary-eyed thinking about how lucky I’ve been to be surrounded by such sweet, silly, caring, intelligent, fascinating, etc. individuals.

Unfortunately, this realization is anxiety-driven as I fear their departure. Call it what you want (an anxious attachment style) but in this, I’ve worked a lot on dealing with endings. As mothers know best, my mom has always had my back when I’ve become overwhelmed with goodbyes, saying: “It’s beautiful to hurt so much because it shows you really care.”

For all the farewells I am soon due to give, it’s beautiful to reflect on all the love that I’ve received and given. Love is such a vulnerable gift in life, but the pain that seems to be inevitable with the building of life on departure is inferior to the beauty of being loved and giving love. So, in every consideration possible, I wouldn’t trade my college experience for one where I could leave with ease.

Back to the music: these outros echo all the ideas mentioned. It’s beautiful to realize a song’s magnificence and replay it again and again, but there comes a point where its availability and almost permanent existence lessen its profoundness. Like all people and experiences in life, an object’s finite being twistedly creates its value. Thinking about endings this way may be morbid but forces me, at least, to realize that moments and people are all special because there’s no possible way to recreate them or make them last forever.

So, about the music, again… don’t listen to these outros too much back-to-back or you’ll get tired of them. Or even if you do, you might hear the song a few years later and remember how awesome you found it. In the same way that physical departures don’t mean total loss, those close to you can always live in your heart.

It’s been great. One last cheers. xoxo Jan.

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