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A Personal Thank-You to One Direction

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One Direction just finished its final performance on the X-Factor (back where they started), and the guys have officially started their hiatus. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to just thank One Direction for the past five years. So thank you boys, for the adventures, memories and for just being there.Thank you for being there for me when other people weren't. I've lost a lot of people throughout these five years. I've gone through turmoil in my life. I finished high school. I started college, and I had a tough freshman year. I was ridiculed throughout several points in my life the past five years. Through it all, I had my escape of watching your interviews. I would go to your concert and bond with people who understood the love for a boy band. I just wanted to thank you for being there in the toughest times, when I had no one else to turn to.Thank you for making me laugh. I could turn on an interview with you guys and genuinely smile. People notice it now that watching you in concert or in an interview is something that actually evokes emotion from me - I don't really show it often anymore. Thanks for giving me the power to smile.Thank you for helping me create bonds with people I never knew. My best friendships were made because of you. I can talk about anything with some of these people, and I'm so grateful that I was able to meet people with the same interests as me, all because of you. These friendships will last a lifetime, and they will help me through some of my tough times.Thank you for making me adventurous. I hadn't gone to a concert since the Jonas Brothers when I was 13. Then, suddenly, you guys went on tour, and I couldn't stop going to concerts. Junior year of high school was the start of me living my life the way I wanted to live it. I started to go see all of my favorite bands live, and I realized how much I loved music.

I've gotten to see so many new places just by being a fan of you. I've experienced so many different things. I road tripped to Philadelphia, Boston and Toronto. I flew to Los Angeles. I camped out for Good Morning America in Central Park. I never would have done those things if it wasn't for you. I got to do all these things with my friends, and I created memories that will last a lifetime.Thank you for the concerts. I've seen you so many times, but every time it is a new show of laughter and singing. I've gone with so many different people to your shows. I've made friends with people at your shows! It is the one place where I can just be amazed in the way thousands of people can come together despite what is going on in their lives. Everyone can shout out the words together and laugh together just for a night. From opening for Big Time Rush at Radio City to headlining a show at Madison Square Garden to headlining shows at MetLife Stadium, every show was something special.

And finally, thank you for letting me be myself. Thanks to you guys, I realized that it is more important to make myself happy than it is to care about what other people think. I got to college, and I was still broken inside from the stress of trying to please everyone. Now I'm about to graduate, and I know that it is okay to be myself. I listen to my music. I changed my major to make myself happy. I am surrounded by people who support me. I live my life to make myself happy, which may sound selfish. But being selfish for once and not caring what others think is making me genuinely want to live my life.

Thank you, One Direction, for everything.

Also shoutout to the fan who made a Spotify playlist (below) to help us cope with the hiatus.
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