Spoiler alert: I’m 23. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the musical masterpiece that is T Swift’s quarter-life crisis anthem. Join me as I annotate and analyze the song that my friends played for me 22 times on my 22nd birthday. Why? You’re asking the wrong question.

It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters I hate this line. What does it mean?? Why are you dressing like a hipster?
And make fun of our exes, uh uh, uh uh.
And why do you need to dress like a hipster to make fun of your exes? I’ve listened to this song more times than I care to admit since it was released in 2013 and I still don’t get it. Usually when my friends and I make fun of our exes we’re two bottles deep in red wine and wearing blankets.
It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight
Every night is a perfect night for this. If not breakfast then mac and cheese, and if not midnight then 2 am.
To fall in love with strangers, uh uh, uh uh.
I have never fallen in love with a stranger, but I have definitely fallen in love with the idea of certain strangers. I took an art class once that was 3 hours long, and during that time I constructed an entire relationship with a boy who sat in the back row. Did we ever speak? Of course not.

Yeah,
We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
Yes. Sing it Tay.
It’s miserable and magical.
Never have I wished so desperately to not be this age yet not want it to end at the same time.
Oh, yeah
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines
Procrastination is key to entering adulthood.
It’s time

[Chorus]
Uh oh!
I don’t know about you
But I’m feeling 22
Is 22 a state of mind? I feel like it could be, but remains to be seen. Check back in 2026.
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
While I assume this line is referring to a guy, I also think it describes friendship very nicely. When I’m out at a bar or a party and I lose sight of my friend/s I quickly go into panic mode. Plus, no girl I know goes into a bar/frat/house bathroom alone. Girl friends are the human security blankets of young adulthood.
You don’t know about me
But I’ll bet you want to
If you’re 22 then I’ll bet he wants to know more about your bod than your personality. Is this cynical of me? Maybe. Then again, this song is trying to capture the spirit of possibility, so I’ll pretend like this random person she’s singing about really is interested in her aspirations.
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing like we’re
22, ooh-ooh
Again, probably about a boy, but I’m sticking with the friendship theme. There’s nothing like dancing with your best friends to make you forget about all the shitty and scary things happening off (and sometimes on) the dance floor.
22, ooh-ooh

It seems like one of those nights,
This place is too crowded. Yes. Always.
Too many cool kids, uh uh, uh uh (who’s Taylor Swift anyway, ew?)
Another line that I really can’t jive with. The third person perspective feels a bit like she’s trying too hard, but maybe that’s the point? Anyway, what are these cool kids doing? Sitting around judging people? Life’s too short for that. Get out now Tay.
It seems like one of those nights,
We ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming
Instead of sleeping.
I must admit that I love this line. I can’t count the number of times I left for a night out full of anticipation and excitement, only to leave early feeling disappointed. Yet, I’d still think about what COULD happen.

Yeah,
We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way
It’s miserable and magical.
Oh, yeah
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the heartbreaks I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time going out only made the heartbreaks worse. Even if I was with all my friends, drunk me only wanted one person. Not always the case, but it happened.
It’s time

[Chorus]

It feels like one of those nights,
We ditch the whole scene.
It feels like one of those nights,
We won’t be sleeping.
It feels like one of those nights,
You look like bad news.
I gotta have you,
I gotta have you.
Ah, impulse control. Where were you?