Memories of teen angst. When EVERYTHING is DEVASTATING.

One Direction


Perhaps you’ve heard the news. One Direction has moved their 2013 Australian tour from September to October. October. October! When next year’s HSC and VCE exams are scheduled.

Distraught teenagers have taken to twitter to voice their panic. Just a sample of their tweets:

‘OzLovesID’, said: “Did you even think how many lives you’ve ruined as its [sic] during the HSC and VCE exams?!”

@heavenlyharries tweeted: “Two whole years come down to 5 exams. If 1D come and therefore distract us. WHAT IF WE FAIL? No uni, no future.”

Don’t go thinking this disaster ends in a few heartbroken tweets. This concert-education clash has the potential to unhinge thousands of young women. This disaster is, like, a number 10 on the totes devo scale.

Try to imagine the mindset of the average 1D fan. There are few things more precarious than teenage self-esteem. Pop music is an escape, screaming outside concerts is a cherished hobby, and adoring a boy band might be the first evidence of your adolescent sexuality. Teenagers are entitled to their angst – and it’s just like our own, but more raw.

I’ve devised a simple formula for grown-ups to empathize with this 1D disaster.

Just take 1) something you’re looking forward to more than anything, ever and then 2) something you dread but perceive to be enormously significant, that will possibly determine your future.

Put 1) and 2) on the same day in your 2013 calendar, and feel that internal mayhem.

Awesome event x horrendous life-changer = HYSTERIA.

Your wedding day x laser eye surgery = HYSTERIA.

A career-defining meeting x desperately important doctor’s appointment = HYSTERIA.

A rare night out with girls to a Kylie concert x your child’s graduation = HYSTERIA.

One Direction

It hurts me to imagine this scenario, but I’ll take you through it for your sake as much as mine. Say that I’ve secured an interview with my celebrity hero/crush Jennifer Lawrence, and I’m all set. I’ve been practicing my archery skills, I’ve got all my question ready, I’ve chosen my outfit. It’ll be a career-defining interview. The timing of this interview is perfect because – ah! – the next month, I’m going into surgery.


Then, without warning and without care, Jennifer rings to cancel: “Babes, I’m sorry. Can we catch up in October?”. It’s the. same. day. as. my. surgery. This situation very quickly becomes my worst nightmare. It’s my own personal One Direction / HSC clash, and it’s helped me feel their pain.

You have to understand, that when these boys sing “I’m in love with you” every teenage girl dreams that they’re singing it directly to them. That’s what’s at the very heart of 1D’s spectacular success: longing. When the boys – cute and preppy in their button-up shirts – stare down the barrel of a camera and say “That’s what makes you beautiful”, millions of adolescent hearts yearn (and might even believe) they’re being personally serenaded.

All that, and Harry and Zayn didn’t even bother to check when their end-of-school exams were on. They feel betrayed, like they’ve been hit in the face with their own anonymity. IT HURTS. It hurts.

It’s not a new phenomenon. Any hunk or spunk or rockstar you’ve ever fantasised about relies on exactly the same impulse in their fans – that suspension of disbelief, that intimate connection you form without their ever knowing who you are. It’s what fame is, and it perfectly coincides with the fragility of adolescence.

I know a young girl who bought her 2013 1D ticket more than a year in advance. She’s doing her HSC next year, and she’s crushed. The 1D concert was the one fabulous thing on the horizon; the one night she could hold onto as she went into the biggest exams of her young life. And now, what? She has to give up that one special night of wild distraction because she needs to concentrate on her biology or english exam.

Perhaps my own teenage fragility is too fresh in my mind, perhaps my inner child is too loud. But my heart breaks a little bit with the bitter disappointment these girls must feel.

Disclaimer: I’ve just reached my quarter-century, and I dance like nobody’s business to One Direction. I’m not ashamed to say that I think Harry and Zayn are sparkly-eyed babes, and I know all he words to all their singles. AND I still expect you to respect me. I’m glad we cleared that up.

Kate is a radio producer, writer and Goon Show enthusiast. You can follow her on Twitter at @Kateileaver and visit her website here.

What was your worst moment of teenage angst? Who did you lust after as an adolescent?

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