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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

It was the height of quarantine. My senior prom, canceled. My summer trips, never planned. Human interaction, non-existent. Mental health, in decline. Every day was the same thing over and over again. It was some combination of reading, sleeping, eating and watching TikToks. I felt pretty useless. I didn’t know what to do, then one day I was scrolling through TikTok, and along came a video of five boys performing on X-Factor.

Now, of course, I knew who One Direction was, but when they were still together I was, unfortunately, one of those girls who could not be bothered to listen to pop music. I was too cool for that. Anyways, when I stumbled upon that TikTok, the course of my quarantine drastically changed. I finally had something that made me feel alive again. I quickly began to watch, listen and read anything One Direction related. This gave me something, although not particularly productive, to do with my time that was new and made my life feel less mundane.

As time passed, I continued to find different aspects of One Direction that made me feel, not just alive, but seen. Seeing Harry Styles grow from a boy who was shy and had some stage freight into a man who was performing solo to crowds with little hesitation made me feel like I could get over my struggles with social anxiety. Seeing Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson go from being individually eliminated from X-Factor to being arguably the biggest boy band of all time made me feel like I could create something for myself even if a failed at first.

One Direction also gave me a sense of community when it felt impossible to make connections with other people. Through the magic of TikTok, I quickly found so many different people who loved One Direction. Those who had been a part of the fandom from the jump helped the newcomers learn about the history of different songs or different events. I felt like this online community of One Direction TikTok made me feel more at home than I had during the entire quarantine.

Neon sign: no music no life
Photo by Simon Noh from Unsplash

Along with One Direction came all of their solo work. I had already enjoyed and connected with Harry Styles and his music, but finding everyone else’s music was what I needed. Louis Tomlinson’s “Two of Us” gave me the space to let out my emotions and cry when needed, while Niall Horan’s “Cross Your Mind” gave me the perfect song to blast in my car on my drives to nowhere. Every emotion that I needed to feel in order to feel less numb in the wake of COVID-19 had the exact song to match in their solo albums.

Many may believe that something as childish as a boy band that isn’t even together anymore couldn’t fix all your problems. They are correct, but what One Direction gave me was an outlet to help carry me through some of the toughest times of my life. They gave me something to put my extra time into. They gave me a family to lean on. They gave me hope for the future.

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Olivia is an English: Editing, Writing, and Media major at Florida State University. If there isn't a hockey game on, she can be found listening to music or watching Netflix with her friends.
Her Campus at Florida State University.