Learning The True Meaning Behind Adele’s Single 'Chasing Pavements' Caused Me More Pain Than The Song Itself

Learning The True Meaning Behind Adele’s Single 'Chasing Pavements' Caused Me More Pain Than The Song Itself

Seriously, I can't be the only one who thought it was about chasing your dreams!


As a 16-year-old with my head in the clouds, I discovered Adele's "Chasing Pavements" and found it timely. That was the age I decided I wanted to be a writer instead of following in the footsteps of my father and pursuing the business world. Naturally, as an old-fashioned man who just wanted his daughter to be successful, he rejected my dream. It was a crushing blow for me, the girl who loved making her father proud, to see his face fall when I told him. Though it hurt me, I understood where he was coming from. It's not easy to achieve dreams of any kind, and I was afraid myself.

I was afraid I'd fail. Whatever that means.

But without my dad behind me and such a hard, possibly disappointing future ahead of me— I was unsure.

Maybe I should throw my dreams away. Maybe it'd be better for everyone if I just stayed quiet and live the life society tells me to live.

But my hands wouldn't stop typing. Every day, it was normal to see me in class typing at a word document with comically small text. Each school year I started a new one and it would grow so large that I'd eventually I'd have to move it off my cheap Netbook's memory hard drive and onto an SD card. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't some genius and it was all cheesy garbage I'd be nuts to show someone but I loved it. I couldn't help it.

And I couldn't stop reading, either. In sleepy, foggy mornings I'd read on the bus and I'd pour over my Pulitzer prize winners and classic fiction towards the end of lunch (I had the second to last period lunch and my friends would literally just take a nap on the table, so I read).

So, on a sick day from school where I was stuck in my bed and thinking way too much about the future, this song was comforting— or so I thought!

A refrain where Adele sings the lyrics,

"Should I give up

Or should I just keep chasing pavements?

Even if it leads nowhere

Or would it be a waste?

Even if I knew my place should I leave it there?

Should I give up

Or should I just keep chasing pavements?

Even if it leads nowhere yeah"

As someone considering to "chase" her dream and afraid that it may "lead nowhere" and that she knows her "place" and feels like she "should give up," these lyrics really hit a nerve.

So I listened to this song everywhere, for years. Whenever I was nervous about my life choices, this song was one of the ways I coped.

So, naturally, when my English Professor in college asked me to do a contextual analysis of a text, I decided to analyze this song's lyrics. I didn't even look up a biographical evidence at first, because I thought I had it down packed: she's a singer who didn't get famous till she was much older, and there were many times she wanted to give up. Writing this ballad and performing it was her way of expressing that emotion. But then, I figured I'd look it up, just to get some specific details I could address and I saw it— the truth.

Independant.com writes, "Adele Adkins had an argument with her boyfriend in a London club," for its first line. I read the line over and over. Then I skimmed down to where the website reports the song was " declared by the singer to be 'heartbreak soul.'"

Well, after reading that, I certainly was heartbroken. Luckily, this truth has come to me in a time where I'm nicely entrenched in working towards my goals and my goals are slightly more reasonable, although in the same vein. At the time of writing this article, all I am now is disappointed that Adele, a person who I had built up in my mind as a strong female figure to look up to, is not quite as goal-focused as I had projected her to be. I guess that's contextual analysis for you.

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.

The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.

3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.

6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.

7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.

13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.

14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.

You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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Whatever (Or Whoever) Rejects You Makes You Stronger

College and rejection go hand in hand.


It happens every time: the same sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach while your eyes skim over the words "We regret to inform you…" or "We are unable to admit you at this time". Rejection comes in many forms, whether it be in the opening lines of a depressing email or in the simple lack of your name on a list that you knew you should have been on. It never gets easier to look at these supposed failures on your part; you never realize how easy it is to blame yourself for not getting onto a cast list for a play or into a certificate program for your major (both scenarios I have gone through this past month) until you start questioning why you weren't good enough.

For me, high school was relatively rejection-free. I breezed through auditions for the school musicals and got the parts I wanted. I got into all of the colleges I applied to except for one. Both of my prom dates for junior and senior year were settled quickly and without hassle. I certainly had my fair share of disappointments and drama throughout my high school years, but for the activities I was most passionate about, I found myself to be doing pretty well.

Of course, college life tends to show you a sneak peek of the real world, and I certainly received my wake-up call. Suddenly I was applying to leadership positions and auditioning for musicals at college and swiftly getting turned down. Needless to say, I was discouraged. What am I doing wrong? I asked myself after I wasn't called back for a role in a play I really wanted. Am I not good enough? The adjustment from doing well in the proverbial "small pond" of high school to seemingly failing in the "big pond" of a major university was something I struggled with freshman year and something I still struggle with.

With each rejection, whether it be from a director, a club, or even a boy over text, I felt disappointed, angry, and sad. But rejection tends to help us more than harm us, even if we don't believe it in the moment. With each rejection came a new opportunity for me: where I may have been involved in a musical, I found a really awesome music group to be a part of. Where I may have gotten into a certificate program, through my rejection, I got an opportunity to write for the school paper. I realize now that rejection opens the doors we ignored when putting our sole focus on something else. Rejection doesn't break us down; it makes us stronger.

So, to all of the college students out there feeling ready to give up after hearing yet another "no", don't. A "yes" may be just around the corner.

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