Let me tell you about the other day. I was in the shower letting lukewarm water run over my face dramatically and thinking about the freshman Halloween experience I hadn’t had this year, when suddenly my Spotify played ” What Makes You Beautiful “.
I didn’t know how to react. I hadn’t heard this song in years. The memories of college overwhelmed me instantly. I tried Fruit by the Foot and Babybel Cheese circles. I felt the scrunchie tight on my scalp that I was wearing to try and look like Ariana Grande. I felt like 12 years old again.
Imagine: it’s 2012, and you’re sitting in your bedroom under your One Direction fleece blanket, looking at your 12ft by 16ft poster of Harry Styles and spraying your PINK by Victoria’s Secret scent on everything in your room. Life is Beautiful.
OK, get out. It’s not 2012; it’s 2020, a year we can collectively call the worst year ever. Every time you think it couldn’t be worse, it gets worse. But I don’t want to be negative. This year is really bad. But do you know what is wrong? A direction.
In sixth grade, I started each day listening to 1D on the way to school, then again when I was doing my homework, then again in the shower and again before I fell asleep – every day. My mom begged me to stop playing it in my bedroom. Whenever we went on a family trip, the AUX mysteriously escaped me because no one else in my family was a Directioner. Everyone told me it was just a phase. But they were wrong. How could I ever “forget” One Direction? My mind couldn’t wrap around the concept.
I really don’t know when exactly the obsession ended. Maybe it was when I stopped going to Claire’s every week. Or when I decided I was too cool to wear Skechers to school. Between my teenage years and my teenage years, the Harry Styles sticker on my iPod Touch fell off, and I really didn’t care.
Okay, back to the other day. I got out of the shower and queued up all the One Direction songs I could remember. It was the classic tween moment. Dancing around my bathroom I pretended to be in a clip, using my hairbrush as a mic, flipping my hair back and forth and overall I had no worries in the world. I felt like Taylor Swift in the “You Belong With Me” video (pre-glow up).
Five hours later, I realized it was 3 a.m. and I hadn’t done anything planned. And strangely, that didn’t worry me at all. Even despite my sleep deprivation, my One Direction high kept me happy until the next day.
Over the next two days, it became a sort of ritual. Whenever I felt overwhelmed by school or wanted to take a break, I would put my headphones on and hopped One Direction until the stress went away or my ears started to ache, whichever was earlier. contingency. But every day, I vibrated a little less.
Even I have to admit that in the end, it got a little older. Listening to the same songs over and over again wasn’t the same as the first time around, and the calming powers of Zayn’s voice diminished exponentially over time. I tried to force myself to take advantage of it. I wanted to rediscover that feeling of nostalgia for happy and easy times. I wanted to dance in my bathroom for five hours. But he never came. The more I tried to force myself to listen to it the slower I started to hate it, so I decided to quit before I could mess it up forever.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, it was really just a phase. But it is okay. That’s about the whole point of a bunch of boys. You listen, you throw yourself on it, you move forward. It is the circle of life. Who knows, maybe in five years I’ll fall back down the One Direction drain. And in the midst of a global pandemic, what more can we ask for?
Anna Velychko is a first year student who writes about art and pop culture. His column, “Unquirky,” was published every other Wednesday.