International Korean boy band BTS officially debuted on June 13, 2013, with the lead single “No More Dream” from the album, 2 Cool 4 Skool, the first installment in their “school trilogy” series. BTS has been around for six years now and they are achieving things that no one ever thought they could and things they never imagined. They are more than just a group with good looks and good music. They touch millions of people from different races, cultures, ages, and backgrounds in a way that can’t be explained.
With the group celebrating their sixth-year debut anniversary, I wanted to hear from ARMY’s who’ve been impacted by BTS in any shape or form to tell their stories to commemorate this special day. Affinity Magazine has the privilege of sharing the stories of nineteen ARMY’s who were willing to share their stories with us. We applaud and appreciate every single person who submitted their story and the ones who are featured below.
Trigger warning: Mentions of depression
“BTS means a lot to me and I know many say this, but they truly mean the world to me. Personally, they helped me get through a very depressing point in my life. I lost my father last year and two months later, I found them. I truly think they saved me at that time when I hit my lowest point. Because of them, I was able to smile again. They’re the reason I’m so happy right now and I truly don’t think I could ever thank them enough for that. Not only did BTS save me, but they also taught me so many things. Through this year, I feel like I’ve grown so much, by understanding their lyrics and from watching them talk about their values of loving and speaking themselves. Due to them, I want to continue to improve myself and become a better person.” – Sweta
“BTS means the whole world to me. I didn’t know this back then but I know this now; they’ve brought so much light to my life that I never knew could exist and I’m so thankful that I found them. People say that BTS find their way to your life when you needed them the most and honestly that made me think that without BTS I wouldn’t be as happy as I am right now. I wouldn’t be where I am right now standing with them, fully supporting and loving them every step of the way. The interactions between BTS and ARMY’s are just a give and take on both ways, we give love to them and they give us so much more back and I’m so grateful because we don’t deserve them. I wouldn’t say BTS have FULLY fixed my life but I am gonna say that they’ve given me light in ways that I didn’t expect; they’ve helped me gain confidence, helped me get through rough days, given me smiles when I was feeling the lowest. Their music is not your regular ol’ music, their music openly talks about a lot of serious topics and societal issues that other artists usually don’t talk about and what they do with those themes is an artwork that shouldn’t be overlooked. In conclusion, I want to say thank you to BTS for making the better person I am today and I hope that other people find them at the right moment.” – Kyre
“BTS is like a beacon of hope to me. They’ve helped me to realize my self-worth, recognize the importance of dreaming and following my dreams, and given me the courage to live life to the fullest. There have been many times when I felt low and alone, but whenever I can watch a Run! episode or interact with them and ARMYs on Twitter, I always feel better and loved. If I could say something to our boys, it would be that I really really love them, I’m so grateful, and I hope to see them soon.” – Patti
“BTS has done so much for me. Their lyrics have helped me realize that I wasn’t alone and that I had someone. Their words have taught me how to appreciate myself little by little. I would like to say a simple thank you, because with your existence, we continue living too.” – Vannah
“What made me fall in love with BTS was their lyrics. I was never a big fan of them until I took the time to read their lyrics & understand the message that they wanted to bring forward & it hit me very hard. I went through a tough time and I’m still going through it but listening to their music & reading their heartfelt lyrics lifted me up in so many ways, it’s hard to summarise. What’s even better is that the messages they address in their songs not only helps me but millions of fans from all different backgrounds, cultures & all different ages. Their music is so inspiring it reaches everyone’s heart, despite the language barrier & that’s what true music should do. Their passion and drive to make sure people feel loved & content with life is what makes me happy and I hope they continue to do things that they love and inspire millions, knowing that they have people like me who’ll love them no matter what they do.” – Sadia
“BTS means so much to me. They have been there from the very start of my tween years and have helped me with all of the sad things I’ve gone through and pushed me to do great things. I’ve learned how to be a better person from just watching and getting to know BTS. If I could say something to BTS it would be “I love you, we love you, thank you so much for your hard work, please stay safe, rest well and eat well. ARMY believes in you. We’ll wait for your next come back. Fighting” I love you BTS forever ever and ever ?” – Jamerika
“BTS are a source of comfort to me, I feel like I found them at a good time when I was starting to grow and needed to decide what/who I want to be in life. The songs they sing and the stories they tell let me know that it’s completely fine that I struggle and it’s completely normal, they let me know that things do get better as long as I work for it but also that it’s fine to stop and take time for myself, learn slowly to love myself even if sometimes I think it’s impossible, because even they themselves went through and overcome that time in their lives. I want to thank BTS for just being here for me and being my source of happiness and comfort on my worst days. Thank You, BTS! 보라해?” – Juann
“Since the beginning, BTS gave me the strength to survive. I found them in a time I was totally and completely lost about my future, dreams, decisions. With their music, I found comfort, the feeling that I wasn’t alone. I’m growing up with them, today I’m someone stronger than before because of them and their music and their message. I still struggle sometimes but that’s just life I guess. I have no words to show how grateful I am to have BTS in my life.” – Karina
“BTS means a lot to me, they’re like my second family or the people who I get a lot of inspiration from. BTS thought me how to love myself. I’ve always been reminded about it and I’ve been improving on it. They also thought me to be open to others, to not be afraid to be friends to anyone. To BTS, I would like to thank them for teaching me a lot of things and reminding me of who I am and how to be the person who I want to be, I would also say I love them from the deepest of my heart, and they mean so much to me and other ARMY’s”. – Marga
“They’ve helped me get through the roughest time of my life when I felt I was my lowest. I think they talk about really important topics in their songs rather than just singing love songs like a lot of artists these days to. They’ve taught me to love myself thanks to their Love Yourself series and I’ve become an all-around better person thanks to them. I just want to say thank you to them for making incredible meaningful music and I couldn’t imagine how I’d cope without them and their music.” – Lani
“Around October of last year, I went through the darkest time of my life. I was fired from my job, I was on the verge of homelessness, my relationship with my family is in shambles, and my friends they tried to help me the best way they can (bless their hearts) but they can only do so much. I remember sitting in my friend’s dining room and just sobbing. I had about 2 weeks before I needed to leave my house and I still haven’t found a new job. I remember thinking how easy it would be if I just stopped existing; no more problems, no more tears. But it was my fear of God that kept those thoughts and actions at bay. During those times, and I know this might sound cheesy and so immature but the RUN BTS episodes are my go-to happy place. Seeing the boys go through challenges, having fun and winning gives me some comfort. Jin cracks me up so much. But it was RM‘s Mono that held my hand and sobbed with me. The whole playlist told me that it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to be sad. “It’s okay to shed the tears But don’t you tear yourself” (moonchild). But among all the fantastic songs on the album, it was ‘everythingoes’ that embraced my heart. I still cry thinking about this. I remember that night it dropped and I read the translation of the lyrics. It’s been 8 months, and I am doing well. My old job actually took me back. I found new accommodation. I have a small food business that I do on weekends and a part-time job too. My relationship with my family has improved as well. I am so grateful for the comfort I received from the boys during that time. It’s not just their music that embraced me, it’s them being them.” – Juniper
“BTS, they mean so much to me. They give me strength on a daily basis, they helped me to understand that it’s okay to fail sometimes. That’s I can work harder to achieve my dreams. So I want to say to them, thank you for being my light, my source of strength and may all your dreams come true. Let’s keep walking together forever ?” – Sophie Elizabeth
“Growing up, K-Pop was so far from mainstream. Now, seeing people talk about a KOREAN band where they sing in mostly Korean, I’m in awe. I’m so proud. They are showing that music transcends all barriers.” – Yosub Kim
“BTS has brought my “old self” back. I was once an artist but I guess you can say that life had the best of me. I gave up on my passions in life to focus on what seemed more important. I found BTS at the perfect time and ever since then, I’ve just been filled with inspiration and motivation.” – Chris Belison
“BTS means everything to me. I found BTS when I was 15 years old, and I was going through a really tough time. BTS saved me. They have a song called “Tomorrow” from their Skool Luv Affair album back in 2014. That song saved my life. The song is about pushing forward in life. No matter how hard life gets, you have to live to see what tomorrow could bring. You have to live to see the next day. You have to live to see tomorrow, and that stuck with me. After being with them for almost 6 years, I can say that they’re teaching me how to love myself on the inside and the outside. They taught me to NEVER live up to anyone’s standards. They taught me to believe in myself. And lastly, they taught me that life is worth living. BTS, if you’re reading this, I just wanted to say that I will always love all 7 of you with all of my heart. Thank you for saving my life, thank you for everything. I love you.” – Robbie
“They have helped me in so many ways. I’ve become closer to my mom, Nana, and best friend. We all love BTS. They’ve helped me when I’m down and feel like giving up, and I hope they know that we are always there for them and want to return the love and support they’ve given us.” – Alyssa
“To me, BTS means self-love. BTS has helped me in many ways. They have taught me to speak myself, to love myself, to keep going in life even when life knocks you down, even if the whole world is against you they will always be by my side, they’ve taught me that music truly does break barriers, they’ve taught me to be a much better person, to always be myself, to never change for anybody, & to always be respectful even to those who disrespect me because at the end of the day it won’t matter anymore. I would love to tell BTS that they have truly changed people’s lives for the better. I would love to thank them for always being themselves & being there for me even when nobody else was. I just want them to know that they will always mean the world to me.” – Kata
“I had been suffering from depression at the beginning of 7th grade, and my first months of recovery were extremely difficult. It lasted for about 4 years, and I then discovered BTS entering my sophomore year in high school. After witnessing their performance, I felt this sense of euphoria and curiosity. From the moment I began watching their music videos to their logs, I found a home within them and their abstract thoughts. My connection with them grew stronger each time I listened to their entire discography and read the English translation afterward. You can really feel the sentiment and personal feelings they write down, and that’s what makes them so different. I’ve learned that the music industry isn’t built upon speaking out about real life events and human emotion, yet BTS does just that and I find refuge in their art. I soon entered a new period of recovery, and I no longer find myself thinking negative thoughts these days. I take care of myself now. I wish I could thank them for everything, in all sincerity. I’m living my best life with my family and close friends, pursuing a dream in the cinematic industry one step at a time. I get emotional thinking about how I wouldn’t be here right now had it not been for them: their personalities, their honesty, and their stories. What a relief they are 7, and what a relief I found them.” – Brianna
“BTS means so much to me! They got me out of my head and living again. I don’t see a lot of friends in person because I live in a pretty isolated area. Thanks to BTS, I’m talking to people all the time now on Twitter and other platforms. I’m part of lots of meaningful conversations about race, prejudice, societal & world issues, history, advocacy, and charity. I’m also grateful for the silliness that happens on ARMY Twitter and when we all go through emo hours together. I’ve even made a couple of “real life” friends through Twitter and at concerts. Overall, it feels like I’m living more meaningfully thanks to BTS. So much changed for me because of their music and their outlook on life. If I could say anything to the members I’d say: thank you from the bottom of my heart and tell them that just being themselves has always been enough.” – Patty
BTS has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide and these are a few of the people who they’ve touched throughout their six years as a group. Happy Birthday and congratulations, BTS, from Affinity Magazine and ARMY’s all over the world.
Featured Image via BigHit Entertainment