By Emily Prendergast
Fans are raving about Ariana Grande’s new single named “thank u, next.” This song was preceded by numerous tweets by the artist including the words, “thank u, next” calling out her ex-fiance, Pete Davidson. Fans speculated that this would be the title of her new album, not expecting her to drop the single so unexpectedly after their mid-October split. The single hit iTunes and Spotify on November 3 and has been gaining attention across social media platforms and the internet.
Her new song has become the melody for gratitude and moving forward. She gives thanks to her past relationships for teaching her about love and patience. Grande explicitly mentions her exes Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Pete Davidson and Mac Miller, who tragically died on September 7 of this year (referred to as Malcolm in the song).
Grande has dealt with difficult heartbreak numerous times over the past few years with all of her pain being extremely public. This break up and self growth anthem shows maturity and strength as she expresses how thankful she is for all of her failed relationships. She shares how each of her exes have helped her grow in love and patience and that she does not see her breakups as a loss, but as a lesson that has shaped her into the woman that she is now.
Grande’s story has resonated with many people and is already leaving an impact. Catholic University students, fans and non fans alike, are listening to “thank u, next” on repeat around campus.
“I’ve never been a huge follower of Grande but I think the message she sent reminds us that the people in our past are a part of our lives for a reason,” said Kelly Kirchgasser, a junior at Catholic U. “We will go through times in our lives that are temporary, but these experiences and people still deserve our respect, they’re part of our story. At the same time, ‘next’ reminds me that we will always move forward!”
In the single’s second verse, Grande sings about how she has fallen in love with someone new and, although people tell her that she moves on too fast, this new person is going to last because “her name is Ari,” referring to herself. This message of self-love and growth spreads positive energy, unlike the usual breakup track, full of hate and pain. Grande’s song shows a raw and vulnerable side that is incredibly relatable.
“I have been in a lot of relationships, breakups, and have even lost friends. This song kind of signifies moving on from that and appreciating the effect that person had on your life for that period of time,” senior, Carly Baluarte said. “But moving on because that person can no longer be there for you in that capacity. The song is very powerful.”
College-aged students are trained to see breakups as a loss for a couple because of the perpetuating idea that there is a “winner” and “loser” in a breakup. Grande’s new hit single fights that belief by acknowledging that, when handled correctly, a breakup can be a learning experience for both people involved.
“In regards to being seen as a loss, breakups are kind of painful on both ends and there can be a seen winner and loser because of mutual friendships and sides in which each person chooses,” junior Gabriela Achury said. “There are perceived ‘sides’ of a breakup because of so much involvement from other people.”
There is a lesson for everyone to take away from this song. Whether the situation is between friends or in a romantic relationship, Grande shows a great deal of maturity and sets an example for others to follow by showing thanks in the heartbreak that she has experienced in the past. The future is looking bright for Grande as she turns a new page in her book and moves on from the pain with grace.