Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a K-Pop Fan
No one said being a K-Pop fan would be easy. From buying tickets to fan wars, dealing with misunderstandings to camping for hours before a concert. There are so many things I wish I knew before becoming a fan. Here are the four things I found to be the most important about fan culture, and some tips on how to handle them.
Not Everyone Will Understand That Music Has No Language or Cultural Barrier
This is the one that frustrated me the most as a new K-Pop fan. Parents and friends would ask how I could “enjoy music that I couldn’t understand,” or “How could you find them attractive, they look like girls?” The first word of advice is to breathe. Take a deep breath. I get that it's frustrating that people would make these comments when the same people have no problem listening to and enjoying other non-English songs. There is no reason that you cannot sing along to “DNA” when they can sing along to “Despacito.” There will always be those people who make comments just to get under your skin. Just take a breath and don’t waste time on people who are not willing to be open-minded. The longer you have been a fan, the easier it will be to let these types of people roll off your back.
The Fans Will Exhaust You
This becomes more and more evident as you grow up. The level of energy some fans give out will continuously amaze you as the years continue. The thing to remember is that everyone can be a fan at their own pace and speed. You don’t have to camp at the concert venue for days to get front row or spend every waking hour of your time learning everything there is to know about a group. You are allowed to spend as much or as little time as you want with a group. You do not have to be a mega fan. It’s completely okay to be a casual fan. There will be times where fandoms will argue and you will want to scream at them both to grow up. There will be times you completely deny being a fan of a group because you do not want to be associated with the fandom and the drama that follows it. It’s okay to be a fan of the group and not the fans themselves. At the end of the day, as long as you are supporting your favorites in the way you are able to and the pace you are comfortable with, nothing else matters.
Your Wallet Will Be Empty More Than You Would Like
K-Pop is expensive. That is something you will always be complaining about. From merch to concert tickets, you will feel like you are always spending money. International fans get excited any time a group comes to their country because it’s uncertain when they will come back. Ticket prices are always going to be much more than artists from your home country, and albums may be the cost of a fancy dinner. Try to take advantage of sales and opportunities to save money while building your collection. Do not feel bad if you can’t afford to buy a lot of merch. You do not have to feel like you need to buy everything, or even anything at all. Your favorites will still appreciate your love and support regardless of the amount you spend.
You Will Fall in and out of Love with K-Pop
As the sound of K-Pop has grown and changed throughout the years, I found myself going through phases of intense love and then phases where I don’t want to hear any Korean at all. This can happen often, and it’s completely normal. As we grow and change as people, our tastes will change with us. Do not feel bad if you find yourself leaning away from some groups or not keeping up with them at all. Do not let others make you feel bad for not being as invested in a group as you once were.
Despite not knowing these four things, I still find myself fascinated by K-Pop every day. Whether you are a new fan or an old fan, you are sure to find more things that you wish you knew before becoming a fan. Tweet us at @KrazeMagazine to share your advice.