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So, it’s 2006, your adolescence is at its prime and has started to show in all its angst-ridden glory. Your parents just don’t understand, school feels like a complete waste of time and all of your clothes come from the clearance rack of Hot Topic and PacSun. You wake up an hour earlier than you have to so that your hair is pin straight and your eye-liner is as black as coal. It’s absolutely perfect. The T.V. perched on your dresser is tuned in to your favorite show, MTV Morning Music Countdown, and that’s when you hear it. The heart-fluttering sounds of Tyson Ritter’s voice. You side step away from the mirror to focus in on the chiseled jawline and cute dimple that is his face. Suddenly, it hits you, THESE LYRICS ARE YOUR LIFE.

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It’s now 2016, a decade later and life has gotten better. Your clothes come from “grown-up” shops now, your stress comes from working forty hours a week AND going to school, and your parents are suddenly two of the greatest people you know. You’re stuck in traffic, thinking about all of the assignments you’ve got and the lack of sleep that is slowly clouding up the brainwaves… and that’s when you hear it. The drum kicks in and you’re back in the room at your parents house. The chorus comes around and you’re screaming at the top of your lungs, trying to keep the tears from falling- “WHEN ALL YOU GOT TO KEEP IS STRONG MOVE ALONG, MOVE ALONG LIKE I KNOW YOU DO. EVEN WHEN YOUR HOPE IS GONE, MOVE ALONG, MOVE ALONG JUST TO MAKE IT THROUGH, MOVE ALONG.”

This is the life lesson you always knew you needed, but never needed until you knew. It doesn’t matter if you’re 13 or 23, life is going to be messy. You will be flooded with doubts that run so deep, you’ll wonder if you’ve ever heard the word “hope” before. You’re allowed to lose yourself sometimes, so long as you leave a trail of breadcrumbs to lead yourself back. There will be days, when all you’ve got to do is keep strong and move along just to make through. The All-American Rejects didn’t set out to lend us this crucial life lesson, but I promise-the next time you’re swamped with the real world, let yourself go back to 2006 and sing, cry, scream your heart out along to the music. Just don’t forget to Keep Strong and Move Along. You’re gonna make it through.

When Amy isn’t traveling across the country to visit her mom and dad, you can find her searching for the best pancakes with a milkshake on the side. As an aspiring author her favorite things to collect are notebooks, (which contain about fifty half-started stories) but hey, who’s counting? She can also be found on the floor of the library compiling a stack of books that she likes to pretend she actually has time to read.

This free-spirited old soul loves live music, cats, and adventuring around town with her boyfriend. She also knows Gold Star is the better chili and doesn’t care who knows it. If she could live in any literary fantasy world, it would definitely be Harry Potter. She’s only slightly upset she never got her Hogwarts letter, still. It’s fine.

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