Taylor Swift’s not just a singer – she’s an icon. But what can her songs teach us about service?
By Key Club International Trustee Ava Stamatakis
If you’re a Taylor Swift fan like I am, you probably had October 21, 2022 — the release date of Swift’s latest and long-anticipated tenth album Midnights — highlighted in your calendar. Maybe you even stayed up to be among the first to stream the album.
Whether you’re a Swifty or not, it’s hard not to be amazed by her feats: She’s broken 84 Genius World Records, won 324 national and international awards and is the current number one artist on Spotify.
Although Swift is known for her love and break-up songs, her lyrics are relatable on multiple levels — including for servant leaders in Key Club. Let me break down some of my favorite songs and lyrics from “Midnights” to share the lessons Taylor Swift has for us as Key Clubbers.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
This is true for every service project and every meeting. Whether you’re an officer or not, go into each event with your objectives and goals, so you can hold yourself accountable. Think ahead and anticipate obstacles to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Whenever my club plans a service project, we always sit down together to generate to-do lists, assign responsibilities and visualize the event. Planning also allows us to get feedback to make our projects even better.
And I keep my side of the street clean.
Swift holds up her end of the deal, and so should you. When you become a Key Club member, you’ve promised to build your character, strengthen your leadership skills, promote kindness and serve your community. All of this requires you to be dedicated and keep your word. Care for others and your kindness will come around to you.
It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.
We all get a little insecure at times, even the queen herself. We beat ourselves up over things we cannot control, and we all have days when we feel down in the dumps. Remember, one of the most important components of serving others is serving yourself. Build yourself up, prove your self-doubts wrong and don’t be ashamed of yourself. Leaders are confident, but they can be vulnerable too. It can be exhausting, but we’re all anti-heroes, rooting for each other.
“You’re on Your Own Kid”
So make the friendship bracelets
Take the moment and taste it
You’ve got no reason to be afraid
Swift says it perfectly. Your time in Key Club should be fun! Embrace all the opportunities to make friends, give back and get out of your comfort zone. When you bring a positive attitude to projects and meetings, you’re bound to have a worthwhile experience. You can face this.