How being a fangirl decided my future
A fangirl is a female fan who is obsessive over music, comics, books or films. Being one myself, I didn’t realise how much it would actually impact my life.
I’ve been a fan of things for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a child, I adored certain programmes and films. As I grew up and matured so did my likes, I realised that these things could potentially shape my future and that is exactly what happened.
From the age of about ten or eleven, I’ve been a major fangirl of boybands, particularly One Direction. Recently, because of the lockdowns over the last year, I’ve also gotten back into Harry Potter by reading the books again and rewatching the movies. Now the stigma around being a fan of something is awful. It doesn’t matter what you’re a fan of, there is always somebody out there who will taunt you for it. You get teased at school for listening to a certain type of music or reading a particular book. This doesn’t stop as you move into adulthood as you are then considered “too old” to be fans of certain things. As a 20-year-old girl who is still a One Direction and Harry Potter fan, this is something I’m told a lot since it is, for some reason, a socially accepted view but being a fan is not. People don’t understand that I, and many thousands of others have grown up with these passions so they never leave us, regardless of how old we are. They are a part of us.
I have since managed to turn this typical view on its head and use it to benefit myself. At school, I was always interested in English and it was always my best subject so I began to start thinking of a career in it which ultimately led me to journalism. I’m now about to embark into my third and final year at York St John University studying for a degree in Journalism.
My passion for English and journalism has multiple links back to being a fan, which is how being a fangirl decided my future. The essential part of English is reading which I love and put down to spending my childhood reading. I read so many books when I was growing up, including those of the Harry Potter franchise, and since I was so engrossed in each book I read, my love for the subject at school grew.
As a teenager and a One Direction stan, I learnt so many skills from just having my own fan account. Not only did I make many friends, some of which I still speak to every day, I also learnt about; social media, websites/blogs, promotion, editing (videos, manips, photoshop) and writing. I used to run my own Tumblr blog and I also had a fan account on Twitter and Instagram which developed my writing, this also allowed me to interact with people all across the globe as well as promote and market One Direction through #s and reblogs / retweets. For my fan accounts, I’d create my own edits so that I really developed my skills on software, such as iMovie and Photoshop. I’ve recently had to use both of these in my university course so that proves that being a fan is a lot more than just “acting obsessive or hysterical” which is the way it is portrayed.
All of those skills, including reading and analysing Harry Potter books / films, are completely transferable to everyday life and have massively prepared me for my degree that I’m currently doing. My class at university is close-knit and we all have different skills between us but I seriously believe that if I didn’t have certain passions then I wouldn’t have the majority of the skills I now have. It is all thanks to being a fangirl.
I was about thirteen when I decided that journalism, specifically showbiz journalism, was the route I wanted to go down. I was determined to be able to write about my passions because then I’d be able to pair my love for English and my love for the people / things that I stan. So far, I’ve been able to do this as I currently write for a pop fansite and have done university assignments based upon Harry Potter and even Niall Horan (my favourite member of One Direction!). I’ve even recently done my first ever interview with a musician, who I saw perform live two years ago and the thought of interviewing him was a distant dream! It is the best feeling knowing that I’ve not taken any knocks from people taunting me and that I’ve turned it around with the skills I’ve learnt, and now being a fangirl has gone on to shape my future. It just goes to show that being a fangirl actually pays off!