Yes, I Spent My 20th Birthday at a Harry Styles Concert

Want to know a secret? I never got over my One Direction obsession. Yes, I know they all have solo careers and yes, I know they’ve been on hiatus since 2015, but I can’t help it. My inner 14-year-old can’t seem to get rid of her infinite stacks of Harry Styles posters, which is why I had to see him in concert on my birthday. Fourteen-year-old me had difficulty breathing as Harry stepped on stage in a gray suit, and newly turned 20-year-old me was freaking out right alongside her.

Harry started out the night singing “Only Angels” and every single person in the audience was screaming as Harry danced around the stage. My feelings that I had so many years ago came rushing back and I couldn’t help but join in with the frenzy of the crowd. The dimples, the curly hair, the British accent…who could resist?

Throughout the night, Harry chatted with the crowd. He asked an audience member to tell him a bad joke, and he even sang happy birthday to someone (it wasn’t me, but we can just pretend it was). And although Harry has a solo album, he still sang some One Direction songs, including “Stockholm Syndrome,” “If I Could Fly” and, of course, “What Makes You Beautiful” (a crowd favorite). He covered of Ariana Grande’s “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” and Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” before ending the night with an epic performance of his rock-inspired hit “Kiwi.” Safe to say, my feet hurt from dancing and my throat hurt from singing at the literal top of my lungs.

Make fun of me all you want for spending my 20th birthday at a Harry Styles concert, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it any other way. As I reflect on leaving my teen years behind, I realize there are some things I should always hold on to: my innocence when I told my mom I would never stop loving One Direction, my craziness as my best friend and I tried to stalk them at their hotel, and my passion for buying every album from five boys who had no idea I existed. My One Direction obsession is an integral part of my teen years, a part of my life I will always cherish no matter how embarrassing it was. I’ll keep blasting One Direction songs in my car, but maybe I’ll put my Harry posters in the back of my closet…I guess it’s just a “Sign of the Times.”