Operation Adulthood: Occupation Fangirl

Katie Wade, [email protected] is a sophomore mass media and history major

Occupation: Fangirl

It’s a big day in the nerd world. My friend is trying to keep her heart from exploding as the final book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is released today and I cannot contain my extreme joy for the Season 10 premiere of Supernatural tonight! In fact, as I write this post, I am sitting at the television, watching the Season 9 marathon with my laptop and a cup of tea in hand.

In honor of this very special day, this post goes out to the nerds of campus – to my fellow fangirls and fanboys.

First of all, I love you guys. Some may try to judge us for the ways in which we spend our time, but they just don’t understand.We are devoted readers. We are dedicated viewers. We are the fascinated discussers. We are restless writers. We are the greatest supporters. We are the captivated audience. There’s so much more to us than graphic tees and Tumblr blogs.

What amazes me most about fandoms (be it Harry Potter, Marvel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you name it…) is the sense of community that they can provide! Fans are everywhere and they may not always be the people you’d expect. Fandom crosses social circles. You can find them in the marching band, on the cheerleading squad, and in fraternity houses. You will meet them in your law classes, nursing classes, history, and English. Fans come from many different backgrounds and have a variety of different goals – but it’s the fan-ness that connects us.

We have each had an experience with a story that helped to shape us. Maybe it was a movie you watched with your siblings, or a videogame your friend recommended to you. Maybe it was a book you heard about from a YouTuber, or a television series your dad watched when you were young. Maybe it was a story you discovered all on your own that was relevant to your life at the time. One of the most fundamental things about being a human is that stories impact us.

Characters are not just fiction to us, because we recognize what they represent – real life issues or emotions that we all face daily. Characters influence us, they make us look within ourselves, and they help us to acknowledge the reality of good and bad in the world. Most importantly, they teach us how to deal when life doesn’t go as we think it should.

As fangirls and fanboys, we embrace stories. We follow them, support them, we want them to continue. We recognize their impact and the lessons they have to teach. We are the guardians of stories.

So the next time you see someone wearing an Adventure Time shirt or Deathly Hallows earrings, ask them about life. They’ll probably have a lot to say. And you will have connected with someone on a deeper level than you could have imagined.

Visit Wade’s blog at www.operation-adulthood-review.blogspot.com