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The Enlistment of BTS

by Kendall Wasko & Anna Guo

BTS, also known as The Bangtan Boys, has dominated the music industry since their debut in 2013 with their distinctive music videos, choreography, and the personalities of each member. However, with the announcement of their enlistment into the Korean military, BTS’s fans, lovingly called Army, are shocked and saddened by this news.

According to South Korea’s conscription system, every eligible Korean man has to complete their mandatory military service and enlist into the Korean military by the age of 28. And for Army, the conscription of their favorite band crushes not just their hopes for the future of music, but also the hope of others who relied on them.

What Does BTS Enlistment Actually Mean?

For some people, the revelation of this band’s enlistment may be trivial, but for others, it’s a fatal blow to them personally because BTS holds a special place in their hearts.

“I’m devastated since I felt like most of my life was centered around them. Also, from a music perspective, we won’t have good music for two years,” Angelie, a senior at East Side Community High School, said. She could not bear the thought of the band breaking, and no longer being a unit like the past. As it can be seen, there are individuals who will be greatly impacted by the news of their enlistment simply because of the length of their journey with the band, as well as the positivity and connections that they have received along with that.

Another East Side Senior, Dechen, said, “I’m heartbroken to hear about their enlistment because they were a regular part of my life, and now that they would be gone for two years, there will be less content for me. However, I do feel hopeful that BTS will return and produce good quality music for their fans.” Just like Angelie, Dechen is also affected by the announcement, demonstrating that BTS meant far more to them than what an average viewer can comprehend.

Just like Dechen and Angelie, an East Side junior, Kendall, also the co writer of this article, expresses these exact emotions. “I’m very sad about this because they have been such an important role in my life since I’ve found them. They’ve helped me through some hard times mentally and I know I’m going to miss them and new music from them a lot. But I’m also excited for them to have this time to work on new music to then come together better and time for me to explore other groups who make me happy.”

Some people might not understand the impact a music artist/group can have on others lives. BTS has made fans feel safe, and loved when they most needed it. Their Love Yourself album trilogy has helped many people heal and feel seen. It has helped them learn to love themselves, that's the power of music and having people who support you, even when they don’t know you. The name BTS has become a comfort for fans, because they know they will be accepted and loved by the group and by other fans. For this reason, this is why the band’s enlistment is really impacting, fans will be without this source of comfort and happiness until they get discharged.

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