Crying a River: How Music Helped Me Grow, Maybe

Music isn’t a stagnant thing; it’s an energy that explodes and leaves fragments in all of the people it touches and grows with them.

I started crying on the fourth floor of Lebow this week when I saw a song posted on Facebook.

This isn’t even something that’s unheard of for me. I cry at everything, really. But it wasn’t even an emotional post; it was a band that I watched fall apart and drift away from one another talking about a song that they put out years ago. Here’s the thing. This band broke up when I was 16, and I never really thought the duo would be back together.

They toured the northwest last month.

He is We was a band I discovered at 13 and fell in love with. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing them play live on three different occasions, and I was blown away by each one. I spent too many hours crying to their songs “Breathe” and “And Run.” All of my friends knew how much this band meant to me.

Sergiu Bacioiu via Wikimedia Commons

Sergiu Bacioiu via Wikimedia Commons


Seven or so years later, I still find myself drawn to their music. Nostalgia mixed with a still-genuine love for the same songs that helped to shape me as a person throughout my early teens is an overwhelming feeling, and their music takes me back to those days.

Music has a ripple effect on me. It seems so small, so insignificant at first. But it expands so quickly to encompass far more to me. It connects certain events together in my head. I associate different people and place with different artists and albums. There are lines in songs that take me back to moments that are important, both good and bad, to me. It’s powerful, all consuming at times, and one of the easiest ways to turn me into a public, crying disaster.

I’m not the same person I was at 13. Some of my values have changed, my interests have expanded and contracted, I’ve overcome hardships and pushed forward, and I’ve grown into the kind of person I’ve always wanted to be. My music taste has become significantly more diverse, as well as drifted away from the genre that fits He is We.

The two members of He is We aren’t the same anything, either. Their sound evolved while they were still a band, and will continue to change now that they’re back. 

But, music shaped and changed me over the last decade. I wouldn’t be who I am if this band hadn’t impacted me the way they had.  It becomes a part of the people who need it, and of the people who let it. 

He is We was just some silly band I listened to at 13, but, now? They’re a part of who I’ve become.

Jaycie Jaskolka
Jaycie is a third year accounting and legal studies dual major. She enjoys always being right and smoothies.

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