Everyone has been there. By “there,” I mean at a party or in a similar social situation that doesn’t sit well with them. So often, people at college parties specifically ask themselves why they came. This is why virtually anyone can relate to Alessia Cara’s song “Here.”
In fact, most listeners can probably relate to many of the multiple roles that Alessia depicts. In listening to the lyrics, we hear about the perspective of the uninterested narrator, a girl who is an untrustworthy gossip and a bad friend, the guy who is getting sick because of his lack of responsibility, and the boy who is antagonizing the speaker and either not picking up on or just disrespecting her clear signs that she wants to be left alone. What’s interesting is that in this supposed “social” situation, each of these characters is isolated in their own way.
The speaker feels like she doesn’t belong in this setting and her friends have literally abandoned her. The girl who gossips about her friends is insecure. The guy who gets sick is a victim to the consequences of binge-drinking and is probably very embarrassed. The boy who continues to come onto the speaker is an arrogant creep. They are all out in hopes of finding some kind of human connection, yet all of them seem to be internally miserable.
Beyond the song: if so many listeners can relate that it’s become a best selling single, then it serves as a reflection of how the millennial generation specifically guards itself like this. Alessia herself even admitted in this interview that at the party that inspired the song, she is “sure there were 10 other people in that room who felt the same.”
So why don’t we make an effort to be vulnerable for half a second so that we can connect? Is this a recent problem? What is it about the party and hook-up culture of this generation that makes communication so impersonal nowadays? What about it attracts us? I think it’s the idea of escape. So often, that’s what college kids are seeking when they go out. But what they don’t realize is that the hole they are trying to fill is meant for genuine connection.
What’s ironic is that if everyone goes out to escape – to get away and be in some other world – then no one is even truly “here.” So, I challenge my fellow millennials to make and effort to be present. In the second verse, the song goes into how much more satisfying and fulfilling it is to be surrounded with friends, having a good time, and talking about things that are relevant and important. If we all make that a priority, then we can all enjoy being “here.”