What Harry Styles Taught Me About Life


Catherine Herber

Over the course of my life, I’ve picked up and learned first hand how music is important and impactful. I’ve been a One Direction fan since 2013. On the way to soccer practices or playdates, One Direction would always be playing in the background. In middle school, I was known as the “crazed Harry Styles fan”. People would make fun of me for liking One Direction and their music. Because of this, at the start of high school I attempted to hide this part of me in an effort to better fit in. When asked what my favorite song or artist was during icebreakers, I would randomly think of a song I heard on the radio that day to make myself appear as basic and “normal.” However, throughout high school, I’ve become more comfortable with expressing myself through my music taste. I’ve been able to do so through meeting friends that share the same music taste as myself, becoming more interested in the lyrics of songs, and becoming more invested in the artists themselves and what they believe in. 


I’ve made copious amounts of friends through a shared love of music. One thing about music that I find extremely interesting is the chemistry it creates. Music connects people and emphasizes a sense of belonging. As odd as it may sound, I’ve made some of my best friends through concert queues and social media. Music is extremely important in my life, and finding people who also share that same love can create lifelong friendships. Additionally, it makes being a fan of someone much more enjoyable when you have people who can relate to you. Over the past few years, I’ve been extremely grateful to attend over 50 concerts. At almost every show I attend, I create new friendships and even reconnect with old friends. At Harry Styles’ Tacoma show in November 2021, I met a girl named Eloise in line while queuing for the concert. Turns out she went to another high school in Seattle and we shared similar friends, but we’d never met before. We talked for hours and ended up realizing we had the exact same music taste. We ended up becoming very close friends and dedicated concert buddies. Since 2021, we’ve seen almost ten concerts together, including Phoebe Bridgers, The 1975, Louis Tomlinson, Sunroom, and Harry Styles in Los Angeles together. 


Another significant friendship that has been made through Harry Styles are my friends Stella Cox and Megan Rainforth. Stella Cox and I both met through mutual friends here at Blanchet, where we both noticed our shared love for Harry Styles. In May 2022, we took a trip together to Long Island, New York to see Harry Styles at his One Night Only concert. While waiting in line for a photo opportunity, Stella and I kindly asked the girl standing behind us in line to take a photo of us. Little did I know that this girl would end

 up being one of my best friends. This girl, Megan, hung out with Stella and I until we had to go to our seats. We created a group chat following the show where all three of us would continue talking about our favorite musical artists, update each other on our lives, and facetime weekly. Later that year, Stella and I took a trip to New York City to attend the first three nights of Harry Styles’ 15 night residency at Madison Square Garden. There we met some new and old friends, as well as reuniting with Megan. On the last night of our trip, Stella

and I spent the night with Megan at her house in New Jersey. We stayed up the whole night watching movies and talking. Although

it’s been almost ten months since we last saw her in person, Megan will be coming out to Seattle in late June to visit. As you can tell, Harry Styles is one of my favorite artists. Harry has taught me many things about life, one being to live in the moment. I have met some of my best friends through living in the moment at his concerts.


In 2022, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked musical artists based on their fashion. To no surprise, Harry Styles ranked number five. Over the past couple of years, Harry Styles’ wardrobe has caught the attention of his fans from his eye-catching outfits both on and offstage. His extravagant and flamboyant wardrobe has inspired his fans to dress to express themselves at his concerts. In Harry’s 2020 interview with Vogue, Harry says that “clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with.” With help from his fashion stylists, Alessandro Michele (Gucci’s creative director) and Harry Lambert, Harry’s fashion is often described as unique and flamboyant while mixing vintage yet modern touches. Because of Harry’s bold style, fans have turned his concerts into the Met Gala. Fans often spend months planning and crafting the perfect outfit. In terms of fashion, Harry has taught me to be confident with my style and to experiment with it. For Harry’s 15th and final Los Angeles show at The Forum, I recreated his iconic Coachella weekend 2 outfit. Over the course of one month, I spent countless hours painting, drawing, and bedazzling my outfit to perfectly replicate his. This was an absolute blast to make and a joy to wear. I admire how Harry himself encourages his fans to dress up and express themselves through their style. 


Harry Styles has had a significant impact on my life, especially through his music. He has a song for almost every situation and feeling. If you want a song that feels like driving down the California coast, I recommend “Golden”. If you want a song about heartbreak, I recommend “Cherry”. If you want a song about not feeling yourself, I recommend “Falling”. If you want a song that will boost your mood, I recommend “Daydreaming”. One of my favorite parts about Harry’s songs, and music in general really, is learning and decoding the underlying meanings. Most of the time, artists won’t comment on what songs really mean, which means fans can interpret them in a variety of ways. 

One song of Harry’s that means a lot to me is his song “Ever Since New York” off his debut album. As Harry has never come out and said what the true meaning of this song is, I have found myself listening to this song and interpreting and relating it to my personal experiences. Harry begins this song with the lyrics, “Tell me something, tell me something, You don’t know nothing, just pretend you do”. I interpret this as Harry receiving the same bad news and wishing someone would tell him that everything will turn out alright, even though it probably won’t. Harry continues this song with the lyrics “Brooklyn saw me, empty at the news, There’s no water inside this swimming pool.” To me, I interpret this as Harry receiving the bad news in Brooklyn, New York, which leads him to spiral into a dark place because of his inability to help. The absence of water in the pool represents how Harry has shed all the tears he can, but there’s no more tears left. Another lyric that sticks out to me in this song is “Choose your words ‘cause there’s no antidote for this curse.” This line sticks out to me because I interpret it in a multitude of ways. One being asking a dying loved one for words of wisdom before they pass, or two being having to choose your words to carefully explain a painful situation. 


Harry closes out the song by repeating the lyrics, “Oh, tell me something I don’t already know.” I interpret this as Harry getting the same terrible news over and over, and how he doesn’t want to hear it, even though it’s true. As Harry has never disclosed the personal meaning of this song, it is speculated that the song, “Ever Since New York”, is about when Harry found out about his step-father’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and the months leading up to his step-fathers death. Personally, this song means a lot to me because it reminds me of the day I found out about my grandfather’s cancer diagnosis. 

Harry’s songs are incredibly meaningful, especially through the use of his powerful and compelling lyrics. He often uses metaphors to convey deep emotions and experiences that may be too painful to express literally. His songs have helped me through difficult times and experiences where I can’t find the right words to express myself. 


I’ve always been known as the fangirl of my family, friend group, class, and school. As a result, I’ve often been critiqued. I’ve received various comments such as, “You’re obsessed”, “He doesn’t even know you exist”, “You’re wasting your time and money”, and much more. But, my favorite artist, Harry Styles, has taught me several lessons about myself and about life. 


Lesson One: Live in the moment and be spontaneous. Because of Harry and his concerts, I’ve been able to travel the world with my best friends to see him in concert. Seeing him live is an experience that is both unforgettable and indescribable. The energy that’s produced from his live shows don’t live up to any other feeling. Additionally, hearing songs that have had an influence on me is truly something I’ll never forget. I often get asked why I camp out for his shows. Well, I have an answer for you. For his shows, I always try to get GA (“General Admission”) tickets. This means you are on the floor and the closest to him. I camp for his shows because whenever I’m lucky enough to get barricade, it feels like it’s just me and him in the room. No one is in front of me which means I’m about four feet away from someone who’s changed my life. This past August, I flew to New York City with my friend Stella to attend the first three nights of Harry’s 15 night residency at Madison Square Garden. Originally, we were only attending the first two, until we realized it would be fun and spontaneous to buy last minute tickets for the third show. That third show ended up being one of my favorite shows I’ve ever attended. That show, Stella and I had barricade at the corner of the stage where he plays my favorite song, “Matilda”. That show 

was incredibly special because one, he sang a song that changed my life three feet away from me, he smiled at Stella and I at the end of “Matilda”, and he caught and wore my boa I threw to him. Without living in the moment and being spontaneous, I feel I wouldn’t have created half the memories and friendships I have today. 

Lesson Two: Dress how you want. Harry is known for his unique and colorful wardrobe. At his concerts, he’s known for expressing himself by wearing sparkly and bold colored outfits. This has inspired me to dress how I want and to express myself through the clothing I wear. Harry invites his fans to express themselves and be who they are, which I admire.


Lesson Three: Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Through his music and lyrics, Harry has opened up about the challenges he faces in his life. Many of his songs include powerful lyrics and clever metaphors to further convey his emotions and life experiences. His music often speaks about challenges that I’ve dealt with and helps me understand them better.

Lesson Four: Treat People With Kindness. Harry preaches for kindness among everyone and through all of his decisions. He even has a song on his Fine Line album titled “Treat People With Kindness”. Additionally, Harry has openly been an advocate for social justice issues, such as LGBTQ+ rights, Black Lives Matter, gender equality, and much more. Harry even attended BLM marches, waves pride flags onstage at his shows, and donated his long hair once for cancer charities. Many artists often hide this part of themselves, which is one of the reasons why I admire Harry’s openness to be an advocate for social justice issues.