BTS’ music brings international student Jillian Ireland comfort and confidence.
My favorite musical artist is BTS, a 7-member Korean boy band. They have inspired millions of people worldwide through their music, messages, and performances over ten years, making them one of the most successful and influential groups the world has ever known. The members — Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, Jung Hoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung, and Jeon Jungkook — each contribute to the band’s success as rappers and vocalists. Although their music might not be for everyone, given a chance, their lyrics may be life-changing.
Speaking of self-love, love for others, self-identity, and friendship consistently, BTS offers people hope and the strength to be their authentic selves. I was introduced to BTS before I began my studies at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) while transitioning to a new environment far away from home. The messages in their songs gave me hope, confidence to pursue my dreams, and the will to persevere when I faced adversity. Because of the strong positive messages in their songs, their songs are healing and important.
This blog will go into detail about my four favorite BTS songs, and how they helped me with my transition.
The word “microcosmos” means a small version that shares the same qualities as something much more significant. The song “Mikrokosmos” by BTS, is a song that honors the uniqueness of each human being. It was released in April 2019, following their fourth studio album, Map of the Soul: 7. This album explored topics such as reflection, introspection, and self-acceptance.
This song introduced me to BTS, made me appreciate what they stand for, and became my favorite song off the album. The words of the song express that there are “7 billion different worlds, shining with 7 billion lights” — this alludes to all the people on earth each with their history and personality.
Speaking about “Mikrokosmos” at a global press conference, Jung Hoesok said: “You see buildings with their lights on late at night, and that’s someone working hard at something. Each one of those lights is what gives us these beautiful nighttime city views. The song is about giving courage and comfort to those people by talking about this warm attention and praise for all of these people.”
Additionally, in conjunction with the title, this song compares human beings to the stars in the universe and shows that “We’re [all] shining brightly, In our own rooms, in our own stars.”
This song comforts me in the same manner that my family would. It reassures me that I am not alone and that someone else feels like I do. Moving to a new location, particularly a new country, is extremely tough for anyone. So, having this anchor to return to each time I have unpleasant emotions makes it easier to get through my days in college.
Kim Namjoon, the leader of BTS, released “Uh Good” on October 23, 2018, as part of the mixtape Mono. It is an introspective mixtape that reveals more about Namjoon’s persona. The song’s title leaves you wondering what you should feel, as “Uh Good” can mean either relief or disappointment.
Namjoon shares his conflicts between the person he is and the person he wants to be. “My ideal and what is reality, they’re so far, far away. But I still want to cross those two bridges, to reach myself.” The second verse of this song spoke to me the most. It reassures me that I’m not the only one who feels uncomfortable with who I am and who I want to be, and at the same time gives me hope that I can also cross that very narrow bridge to find who I am. People can connect through relatability, and due to how much of this song I can relate to, I fell in love with it.
It is easy to feel uncertain while going to college. Unsure of which major you want to do, unsure of the activities you’re involved with, or the people you’ve surrounded yourself with. These competing feelings can make you lose track of who you are. From someone you admire, the words of introspection and accepting that you don’t know who you are but want to can be very admirable and comforting. And for me, BTS does a great job of making me feel that way.
Kim Seokjin, the group’s eldest member, sang this song. It is a thought-provoking ballad released in 2018 in response to BTS’s Love Myself campaign. During that time, BTS advocated for UNICEF to help end violence and neglect while also promoting self-esteem and well-being. The song’s lessons, in my opinion, are to love yourself first before loving others, and then to find someone you love who loves you just for being you. “I’m the one I should love,” for example, emphasizes the song’s theme. Seokjin would ’pass the mic’ to the audience during each performance so they could chant this line.
Words have great power, and this intricate affirmation would leave an imprint on the hearts of the listeners. Self-love is important because it opens a window to accepting and giving healthy love to and from others. With so much uncertainty people may have with themselves, this is a great message for BTS to share with the world.
People everywhere, particularly girls, are under pressure to look flawless and conform to conventional expectations. Self-love appears to be a distant concept, even if it should be more widespread. I believe that fully accepting oneself is critical. It aids in knowing how you want to treat the world and encouraging how you want the world to treat you. This song sends a positive message about self-love that resonates with me wholly. I am still a teenager at 19, but learning to value and appreciate myself is a lesson I will remember for the rest of my life.
“= (Equal Sign)”
“Equal Sign’s” lyrics imply underlying meaning and aim to spread awareness about any bias or discrimination people may have. It was released in July of 2022, following the group’s main rapper Jung Hoseok’s debut album, Jack in the Box. He explicitly talks about love that transcends gender and boundaries in the song, and he questions the concept of discrimination. This message is incredibly important and can never be overstated.
Hoseok revealed during the Jack in the Box listening party that the track “= (Equal Sign)” was created to convey the message that everyone is unique. But, despite our differences, we should all be treated equally. Many factors, such as race and culture, distinguish people. Hoseok concludes the song with the line, “Equality is you and me,” demonstrating that we are all equal regardless of those factors.’
I grew up in a predominantly black country. Racism did not exist until I was exposed to the media and eventually traveled to another country. Unfortunately, individuals are exposed to this kind of hatred solely because of their skin color. A factor they have no control over. Moreover, this song reminds me that, even if individuals have unfathomable hate, I do not have to be the same way — I can choose kindness. It can be hard to do when faced with discrimination. However, knowing how you want to treat the world can help facilitate your feelings.
|Jillian Ireland from Jamaica is studying cyber security at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida.|
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