see the sun
By Grace Yu
“See the Sun” is an original song about friendship, and how the people who love you can lift you up out of the darkness.
This work is my tribute to all of my friends, as well as a reminder to anyone who is struggling that they are loved and valued by everyone around them. Through this composition, I hope to raise awareness about mental health, especially anxiety and depression. Recently, I have seen some of my friends struggling with their own self-worth. I want them to know that they mean so much to me, and I love them.
I wrote “See the Sun” on a whim last year, based on a Girls Write Now assignment. This year, I decided to put my song to music. At first, I played around with melodies on Noteflight, software for music composition, but I realized I needed to relax and experiment with the music in my own way. I ended up messing around on my piano and ukulele, and eventually surprised myself by completing an original song composition.
Meet the Pair
MENTEE GRACE YU & MENTOR SARAH MCNAUGHTON
Grace’s Anecdote: When I first met Sarah, we bonded quickly over our favorite literary heroes and found out that we shared an intense love of bookstores. Since then, Sarah and I have met every week at Barnes & Noble, where we write, laugh, and obsess over her cat, Cricket. Through her guidance, I’ve been able to experiment with cross-genre writing, and even completed a sixty-page portfolio! Our meetings are the highlight of my week and Sarah is a friend as well as an amazing writing mentor. We have so much fun together and she inspires me to be my best self.
Sarah’s Anecdote: I look forward to Friday all week long: the brisk walk to Barnes & Noble, the comforting smell of books and coffee, the shy smile of a brilliant, talented young writer and musician. How lucky am I? Knowing Grace’s carefully crafted scenes are created within the rare, tiny windows of free time she has makes me appreciate her work even more—how does she do so much (and so well)? I relish our discussions about her characters’ backstories and wish our hour of thoughtful creativity lasted longer. On my brisk walk home I start looking forward to next Friday.
Grace Yu is a first year student at Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing music and making origami. She has been published in Taking Our Place in History: The Girls Write Now 2020 Anthology, as well as her high school’s art and literature magazines. In the Emerging Poets category for the 2022 ruth weiss Foundation Awards, Grace was selected as a finalist for her poem “Love Story," an homage to the stunning diversity of oceanic life.