The boy band taking a break from group activities can teach us a thing or two
The seven members of BTS celebrated their anniversary by doubling down on their closeness with ARMY. On June 14, a day after their ninth year as a group, they uploaded the 2022 Real Bangtan Dinner Party. The hour-long pre-recorded video featured RM, Jimin, J-Hope, V, Jungkook, Jin and SUGA drinking and dining at a long table, discussing their pasts, presents and futures. But aside from the endearing tidbits, including Jin serving the members some crab, J-Hope mentally checking out after a few drinks and reminiscing about Jungkook sawing off a mattress, they dropped a bomb.
BTS is going on a break.
The boy band explains they’ll be taking a temporary break after promoting their single, Yet To Come. This means that BTS will postpone group activities (sans RUN BTS) for the time being, and each member will focus on solo projects. After all, many brands get BTS as a buy-one-take-six deal, so this is a long time coming. Aside from laying out their vague plans for the near future, the boys of BTS also open up on their personal experiences with burnout, the struggle to find their identity and what they plan to do to find it.
The Dinner Party, as emotionally confusing and relieving as it is, also teaches us a thing or two about life as an adult.
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Even the brightest stars burn out
It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that BTS has been doing their thing for almost a decade and their high rise to fame happened during the latter part of their careers. Managing worldwide fame and the constant expectation to speak for the youth visibly put some sort of strain on seven of them. (Does Black Swan ring a bell?) BTS acknowledging that they hit a wall and remaining open to discussing it shows us that even those who seem to have all the things in the world go through this battle.
And just like them, we can find ways to curb it before your drive fizzles out completely. First thing’s first, though: recognize that you *are* burning out. Do you spend your Sunday evenings wallowing in extra dread at the thought of Monday? Is exhaustion a prevalent mood lately? If the answer is yes, then you might be burnt out. Try getting a hold of it before it eats you alive. Just like BTS, take the time to step back and reevaluate.
There is no shame in choosing yourself
While discussing that they hit a wall, RM admits to the group that the decision to halt group activities will let ARMYs down. He believes that their fans only deserve the best and that taking a break from the group would be rude to them. V quells the thought by saying, “But I think most of our fans wouldn’t think like that because they know our sincerity.” He assures RM that this break is very necessary for their growth.
Of course, always-on and hustle culture have trained us to please continuously—clients, upper management, our peers and even strangers. We all work to grow, climb the ladder, earn more money and find something fulfilling. In the case of BTS, they work harder to pay back all the love they’ve received. But it can come to a point where it sucks the soul out of you instead of boosting your drive. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and choose yourself—in all definitions of the term—when that happens. Take that vacation, clock out on the dot and finally spend time and money on that hobby you’ve been reserving for better days. There’s no “right time,” you make time.
You need to grow on your own
As much as they love each other and show themselves as an inseparable family, the boys of BTS also need time to go their own ways. Imagine working and living with the same people for over 10 years—you’ll admittedly get sick of each other, right? Even the closest friends and the best partners-in-crime reach a stagnant point in their work relationship. For BTS, it’s that time.
So don’t be afraid to break away, especially when it no longer fills your cup. If anything, that should be the sign for you to look for the next big thing, even if it means leaving your favorite work friends or moving away from family. No one should make you feel bad for wanting to reach further heights. Yes, even if it means leaving all the things you’ve known and loved—people included. Because who knows, staying in the now might bring more harm than good.
Get out of your comfort zone
One of the most profound statements comes from SUGA. BTS teases him for having a filled schedule, such as English lessons, pilates and even extra dance lessons, but SUGA clarifies that with a resounding statement. “That’s why I’m taking all these lessons. Because rap is something I’ve always done, and I’m still doing—and I’m good at it. But I want to try lots of genres. That’s why I tried making music for ads and games. I just think that if I had a solo concert and rapped for two hours—that would be so boring.”
SUGA teaches us that we all need to get out of our comfort zones, even if we’re already at our best. After all, the thrill and joy might get sucked out if you continue doing the same things over and over again. We all know it’s easier said and done, but exploration doesn’t necessarily mean jumping a field away. Sometimes, you take what you’re good at and find different ways to maximize that skill before trying out new things entirely. There’s no harm in starting small before leaping.
So don’t feel bad when you feel lost, because even the biggest boy band goes through the motions of finding one’s self.
Despite BTS’ break, the coming months look exciting already. Have you listened to Jungkook’s song with Charlie Puth, Left and Right? Or caught the snaps of V—who went with BLACKPINK’s Lisa and Park Bogum—in Paris for fashion week? We’ve got one more in our queue: J-Hope’s Jack In The Box and Lollapalooza debut. That’s what you call a leap!
Art Alexandra Lara