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Mental Health

Getting into K-pop Got Me Out of My Worst Times

K-pop was something that I never saw myself getting into. Sure, I’m a nerd 一I enjoy anime and foreign films for my Film major 一 but Korean culture was something that had never worked its way into my circle. I’m always one to explore different ranges of entertainment, but it had funnily enough never come up.


That is until the end of my sophomore year of college. To put it lightly, I was having a time. I was going through the exhilarating, albeit stressful process of sorority recruitment. I was facing difficulties in classes I had never seen before. But perhaps the hardest of all, I was having a huge falling out with my roommates – the first friends that I ever made in college. 


 Because of this, I was pressed to find new living arrangements for the following year in an incredibly short amount of time. I felt hurt and stressed beyond belief and like everything I had been through with my friends for the first half of my college experience had been for nothing.


We had a lot in common – the same tastes in music, movies, and popular culture, as most friends should. But as I went through that difficult friend “break-up,” every kind of music that I had enjoyed before only reminded me of the difficulties I was going through.


A new friend of mine outside of the situation suggested to me that I should try listening to K-pop. To my knowledge, it was generally bright and fun, happy and poppy. Something new to cheer me up from my troubles. But, it had always been something on the exterior for me, something I would need a helping hand getting into. And my friend did not disappoint.


An avid fan of the groups EXO, SHINEE, NCT, and many more, she helped to gradually ease me into everything with powerpoints, YouTube playlists, and late nights spent in her dorm gushing over different groups when I didn’t want to go home to my own dorm. She did this all on her own, without me having to ask her, out of her love for the genre, and for her desire to help out a new friend. 


I’m certainly no expert, but I’m definitely more learned on the subjects of “biases,” “ults,” “wreckers,” and “comebacks;” I’m familiar with the lingo that’s for sure. K-pop now appears on all my music playlists, and funny YouTube compilations of my favorite band members are always in my recommended section. 


Most of all, what is clear to me now is that a change of pace musically was needed in order for me to make a change in my life emotionally.


Today, my old roommate and I have been able to come together and still be great friends. A change in the musical climate helped immeasurably to my mood, and now we couldn’t be closer. That roommate is the reason I write for HerCampus. 


Against all odds, I made the Dean’s List that semester and currently hold a small leadership position in my sorority. I live in a nice apartment, although I may not be the best cook.


My new friend is still my go-to for all things K-Pop; I’m a huge Monbebe and Atiny if you were wondering who I listen to. It may not be for everyone, but it certainly was for me.


K-pop is great. It makes me happy when I’m sad, and gets me dancing like no other kind of music has, and I promise, I listen to just about anything.


I won’t say that K-pop completely changed my life, but it certainly got me through one of my most difficult life transitions, and for that, I will always be grateful.



Caroline is a senior English major at Appalachian State University concentrating in Film Studies with a minor in Theatre Arts. After she graduates in the spring of 2021, Caroline hopes to either work abroad teaching English as a second language, in the American school system or artistically to pursue creative writing. Caroline has been a member of HerCampus App State since 2019. Along with being its 2020 - 2021 Campus Correspondent, she has also held the positions of Senior Editor, Social Media Director, and was a part of the Campus Trendsetter Program.
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