Five years ago, around the end of August, I was hungry for new music. I started College in a few days and decided that it was time for a new hyper fixation. K-pop was something that a few friends of mine have asked me about in the past, so I looked at some K-pop music videos on Youtube to see if I was interested in this genre of music. I watched the first music video that popped up, and that was The Boys by Girls’ Generation.
Best decision I have ever made.
K-pop has helped me change my life in so many ways since that day back in 2015. This post will serve as a timeline of my time in K-pop and the personal growth I have experienced since becoming a K-pop stan.
After watching The Boys MV, I was obsessed with K-Pop. Girls’ Generation, EXID, F(x), and Red Velvet were groups that I listened to on repeat for months. Then something happened on October 22nd, 2015.
As I was scrolling through my YouTube feed, I saw an upload from Mnet, and it was the debut stage of this new girl group named TWICE. I was instantly drawn to the group because they had nine members, something that SNSD had for a while. I clicked on the video, and unknowingly sold my soul to TWICE.
The rest of that day, I read their wiki page, watched their debut MV (multiple times), watched the MV teasers, and clips from Sixteen. Their 1st mini-album, The Story Begins, was on repeat for MONTHS, and I spent my first winter break from college binge-watching all of the TWICE TV episodes. My first semester of College was the most challenging. I had to adjust to many changes, changed my major, and changed my workload due to my mental health; I thought about transferring, I wasn’t eating right, and I was incredibly lonely. TWICE gave me joy during my first semester of College.
During the weekend of New York Comic-Con, I saw a girl wearing a BTS hat while attending the convention. I was SHOOK. Like, I knew of BTS, but I was not an ARMY. (I also never seen a K-pop fan in the wild) I liked a few of their title tracks. I wanted to talk to her about BTS’s new song, Blood Sweat and Tears since I didn’t listen to it yet.
A few days later, I watched the music video to Blood Sweat and Tears, and I was BLOWN AWAY. To this day, Blood Sweat and Tears is one of my favorite music videos of all time. (I’m incredibly biased because I am a Michelangelo stan) I bought the WINGS album and proclaimed myself as a fan of that album and their title tracks. I did not take a deep dive into their discography until September 2017.
I remember being bored to tears while watching the Billboard awards because I was not familiar with any of the artists since, but I was waiting to see BTS and hoped that they won the Billboard award they were nominated for. When they won, I was extremely happy for them. I did not know their names, but I knew their music and knew that they deserved it. I supported any K-pop act that was getting the recognition that they deserved.
Now here is when EVERYTHING started to change—September 2017: when I became an ARMY.
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was hyped for BTS’s comeback for Love Yourself: Her. I did not know much about them, so two days before the music video for DNA dropped, I decided to learn their names.
And then I fell into the rabbit hole.
I preordered the album, bought the rest of their discography, then watched hours upon hours of BTS content for about two weeks straight. They gave me happiness. I connected with their music and the members, and I just felt like I found them at the right time in my life.
This was the year I attended KCON NY for the first time, and I also attended a K-pop concert for the first time. I saw NCT 127, EXID, WANNAONE, Fromis_9, and Golden Child.
This year was not the best, I did not see BTS when they came to Newark, and my mental health was really bad. But 2019 was so much better. Honestly, I think 2019 was the best year of my life.
Being able to see my favorite groups in the same year was a blessing. BTS and TWICE have changed my life for the better. I wish I could tell them how they helped motivate me in my life.
I had so much planned for this year, and every single thing was canceled or postponed. I planned to see BTS on both MetLife dates, NCT 127, and possibly Monsta X. It sucks that none of it was unable to happen, but I hope next year is a better year.
2020 Faves As Of September 2020:
I know I keep saying this, but K-pop has genuinely changed my life. Before K-pop, I went out maybe once every three months, and I barely socialized or adequately cared for myself. I had no motivation for my life.
K-pop gave me happiness during some dark times, but ultimately BTS and TWICE helped me the most. BTS taught me how to love myself. I did not like myself AT ALL before getting into BTS. Now I learned to accept myself for who I am with all of my faults and flaws.
I was so inspired after watching Jungkook’s GCF in Tokyo. I bought a DSLR in 2017. Now I am a college graduate with a degree in Media Studies and Production, hoping to travel the world and capture it through my unique style of videography and photography.