Reflection: A month being an ARMY

A reflection piece about being a fanboy of BTS and being a member of their beautiful family known as ARMY

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Picture of fellow South African ARMYs and I celebrating #ArmySelcaDay.

Wow! What a month it has been! For the last 4–5 weeks, I have been a part of, perhaps one of the most diverse, supportive and uplifting fandoms that has ever existed, A.R.M.Y! This has been an emotional, energetic thrill ride of fanboying BTS, loving who they are, what they stand for and getting to know and love the fans who love and support them too. These last few weeks have been incredible and there is no doubt that as I continue being a part of this beautiful family, so much more is to come in the future!

As I previously stated in a blog piece about BTS, I was introduced to BTS just before exams when I was not doing so well mentally and emotionally. University and life, in general, have both been quite challenging for me this year, and for a number of reasons. However, once my friend, Zandi, showed me the Blood Sweat & Tears music video for the first time, I could not stop there! I began to watch more music videos, stream their music on AppleMusic and listen to their interviews. I knew from that moment that I had been sucked into a new dimension, a new world or universe of greatness!

One of the most wonderful moments that I will never forget, is when I simply expressed my love and adoration for BTS and their music, and I began to receive messages and responses from BTS’s fandom, known as ARMYs. However, ARMY is not just a fandom. It has become a family of individuals who will promote, love, care and support BTS as well as taking care of one another too! I remember being welcomed into the fandom and since that moment, I have been interacting with beautiful, lovely ARMYs who truly represent and “live the message” of what BTS and BigHit is all about: healing, spreading love, loving yourself and changing the world for the better. It is one of the many reasons why I love and fanboy BTS so much, in such a short space of time, because their message is so important. I am very thankful for Brea (@JHopeCrew), Jes (@jdbftbts), Jenny (@taerouge), Lunie (@snowberrytae) and so many other ARMYs for welcoming me into the family with open arms and helping to teach me along the way!

After talking to various ARMYs on social media and expressing how much I loved BTS, I was informed about the fact that BTS was nominated for MAMAs which is a very important an awards show for BTS. I immediately began supporting them by voting and encouraging others to vote too as I realised that it was paramount to show BTS all the love and support that they show us, their fans. Despite all the hard effort and being ahead on many categories, a large portion of votes for BTS were deleted in all of the categories thus placing us in second place for all the categories. Outraged, upset and discouraged, many ARMYs felt that the voting was a waste of time now. Nevertheless, we persevered and as you read this now, ARMYs continue to vote and are getting closer to the first place positions again. BTS is currently nominated for Best Male Group, Best Dance, Best Music Video, Song of the Year and Album of the Year for the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMAs). You can vote for them here.

During this time, I was also writing exams. Although I was stressed and exhausted for most of the time, listening to BTS and watching Run BTS! were great ways to relieve all the anxiety and stress I was going through. BTS is able to conjure a medicine that can cause you to laugh and feel better about yourself. Something very important that you realise, if you do not understand nor speak Korean fluently, is how powerful music is and the fact that it is a universal language. Many of us, who may not understand or know what BTS is singing about at first, already love their music. When we actually translate the lyrics and read into the depth, message(s) and insight that BTS brings out in their music, you begin to appreciate, love and respect them even more! I encourage anyone who only listens to music that is in their own language, to try listening to music in different languages. Diversify your mind and your idea about the world and see the beauty in our differences.

Perhaps I should have read the warning signs about becoming an ARMY, because I did not realise that news, announcements and content about BTS is constant, and if you log off of your social media for about an hour, you would have missed out on so much! There is always something happening. BTS never wants to disappoint ARMYs, and at the same time, ARMYs never want to disappoint BTS. Thus, there is a beautiful, synchronised relationship where both BTS and ARMYs connect by hyping, promoting and creating content for each other. I believe my Biology High School teacher once defined “mutual symbiosis” as the beneficial interaction between two different organisms…I feel that that is what happens between ARMYs and BTS. I honestly think it is one of the most wonderful things to be a part of and I am loving it!

The next two weeks are going to be extremely exciting for ARMYs since BTS is visiting the USA to perform and take part in talkshows, chat on radio show(s), perform at the AMAs, and also release a remix of their empowering track “MIC Drop” with Steve Aoki and Desiigner. I was overwhelmed when I heard all of this news because I realised that BTS is becoming a global sensation that is dominating social media, news stories and are in high demand everywhere! The beautiful part about this is that they are a group of talented, wonderful individuals who really want to connect with the youth to change the world. Their UNICEF campaign #EndViolence #LoveMyself is an example of this, and at the end of the day, we as the young leaders of our societies, must promote and support every campaign and movement that will make our world a better place.

I could write essays and essays expressing the last few weeks and how much I have appreciated and enjoyed every moment. The scary reality is that I have only just begun my journey as an ARMY and as a member of this wonderful family. I cannot wait for what lies ahead and I am also extremely excited to be an ARMY, going into 2018, because Namjoon, RM, has stated that 2018 is going to be even bigger. So fellow ARMYs, thank you for everything, thank you for being a fantastic group of people and I cannot wait to continue experiencing the greatness of BTS with you.

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