Whether you are an Ariana Grande fan or not, the catchy chorus of “thank u, next” has probably been on a repetitive cycle in your mind at least once since her latest song came out. As a lyrical list of her various romances throughout the years, Grande’s glimmering new hit forced me to look back at my own relationship history in a refreshingly positive light.

Grande’s song emphasizes her personal transition to spend time with herself and her friends, not a significant other. After going through the ups and downs of a relationship, one of the most crucial times is that moment after a relationship has ended, when you realize you need to just spend some time focusing on yourself. The peace and self-love that can be found in this time is monumental and can play an important part in shaping who you are as an individual. 

Fans have speculated that Grande’s latest chart-topping song was inspired by her whirlwind romantic past, the recent death of Grande’s ex Mac Miller, as well as the ending of her engagement to Pete Davidson. She faces the publicity of all of her relationships head-on in this song as she lays bare the gossip that she knows is constantly circulating about her romantic choices.

Although we may find joy in belting out the lyrics of “thank u, next” while thinking about our passion to leave an ex behind and find someone better, there is a softer side to this latest hit. As I listened to the high arches of Grande’s voice while she glides through her exes names, I found myself thinking of how I am thankful for all that my past relationships have taught me. Pain, patience, and love are all things that Grande touches on in this hit; these three words accurately encompass what we should all take away from failed relationships. One of the greatest things I have been lucky enough to learn from my past relationships is the knowledge that people exist that will treat you with the kindness and respect that you deserve.

In contrast to the times when I have felt anger, heartbreak, or confusion, I truly found a rejuvenating sense of gratefulness within my heart when listening to the lyrics that Grande laid down within this song, as cliché as it may sound. My heart cracked with heartbreak as she sang, “wish I could say thank you to Malcolm, ‘cause he was an angel.” This is one of the most powerful lyrics of the song, as Grande refers to Mac Miller’s passing—a gentle reminder that our loved ones may not always be there, and nothing should be taken for granted.

Full of self-affirmation, acknowledgment of her tumultuous relationship history, and a style that is uniquely her own, Grande makes it clear that she is embracing herself next, and she encourages her listeners to do the same.


About Katy Brosnan

Katy Brosnan is a junior from Reno, Nevada. She is a Communications and Psychology double major who enjoys running and going to music festivals.

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Katy Brosnan is a junior from Reno, Nevada. She is a Communications and Psychology double major who enjoys running and going to music festivals.