Attending the University of Denver was one of the lowest points in my life. I was severely clinically depressed and thought of suicide often. The people there (at least in my freshman class) are some of the pettiest, most superficial, entitled people I’ve ever met and I remember feeling more alone there than I had ever felt before in my life.
I remember one afternoon, after eating a bowl of EasyMac and watching 5 hours worth of Law & Order SVU all by myself in my dorm room on the day of the first big hockey match (game?) where all the other students were, I stumbled across Super Junior. Pictures of Shindong and Heechul had made their way into a thread on a message board I visited daily in the hopes of grasping at human interaction of some sort. I can’t even really explain what it was that drew me in and made me wander over to the new “~*SUPER JUNIOR*~ ^_^” thread I’d seen crop up a few days previously, but it was something irresistible and I let it take me by storm.
After scrolling through gif after gif, picture after picture, all of which featured an SJ member doing something wacky (Eunhyuk riding a scooter with a monkey, Heechul cross dressing on several different occasions, etc.) I decided to watch a video, and that video was “Rokkugo!” and all of my preconceived notions of this boy band were confirmed: Super Junior was a group of crazy weirdos that were somehow entertaining (and this impression is still fairly accurate, haha).
But then I saw the “Super Girl” MV and I cannot even put into words what I felt as I watched it. It quickly became my most played track, soaring past all the AFI songs that had topped the list (they were once my favorite band). I watched anything and everything I could get my hands on and I found myself smiling and laughing for the first time in six months.
I felt home, somehow. Super Junior gave me a home when I had none.
Kyuhyun’s voice (even before I knew it was his voice), especially, both soothed me and gave me chills that to this day have not faded.
But what I think drew me into Super Junior so much then, and what keeps me here now, is the nostalgia they conjure up, even if it’s not directly attributed to anything. They bring my youth to the surface, they remind me that I don’t have to be serious all the time and that even the most talented people in the world are all children at heart. Super Junior lets me be myself. They let me smile and laugh when some days, I have absolutely no desire to do so.
Super Junior exude so much joy and happiness themselves that it’s almost impossible for it not to rub off on whomever comes in contact with them. They different from a lot of idol groups in that they don’t consider their members as just coworkers. There is a bond amongst them that is not so easily broken and they extend that intimate friendship with us. And how could that not make you feel utterly loved to your core? Even if they don’t know you personally nor you them, Super Junior have a way of making everyone feel loved and accepted. They extend that hand of friendship to anyone and everyone.
And that is why I truly and sincerely love our fandom name. Ever Lasting Friends. Some may call it cheesy or stupid, but I really have to beg to differ. Because that is all I’ve found since discovering Super Junior; Ever. Lasting. Friends. The friends I’ve made in this fandom… I wouldn’t trade them for all the stars in the sky. ELF often get a bad rap for being insane (and let’s face it, we sort of are), but ELF are also some of the kindest, most loving people I’ve ever met. Spazzy and delightful, day in and day out.
I’m just… so happy to be an ELF. To know Super Junior.
I don’t even know why I decided to write this narrative.. maybe because so many people were doubting me, assuming I’d favor my Cassie side over my ELF side, but you guys, that is never going to happen… ever. I love DBSK to the moon and back, but no group can mean as much to me as Super Junior does… because they saved me. No other group can save me because I’ve already been saved.
Interestingly enough, the leader singer of my favorite band prior to Super Junior said something really profound that actually puts into words exactly what SJ/ELF has done for me:
As you get older you will gain a bit more control over everything. Don’t let anyone, even your parents, break you. Find good people who care about you and surround yourself with just them. If you can’t find them at first, find good music and fall into it, let it hold you until they come.
And that is essentially what happened. I just love everyone and even if Super Junior win nothing else this year, let’s promise to be with them together forever, okay? ;~; ♥
Happy 7th anniversary to my precious boys<333 I would not be the same without you ;~; <3