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    37 Things I Learned While Being Entrenched In The One Direction Fandom

    From making video edits to making friends from around the world, staning One Direction has changed my life.

    Being a Directioner is not a part-time job. TBH, it's not even a full-time job. It's a way of life. It's like following a religion. You live, breathe and embody the "Directioner lifestyle."

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    It's not for the weak-hearted. Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Harry Styles will become the main characters in your life. However, this is not a worthless pursuit. 

    I was a Directioner l from late 2014 til 2016. Even though I don't follow the lifestyle anymore, I still follow some of the rituals (yes, like streaming solo albums).

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    No, Niall Horan hasn't magically fallen in love with me (yet?) — but here are some valuable lessons and skills I have picked up while being entrenched in the One Direction lifestyle:

    1. Storytelling

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    Storytelling on Wattpad, obviously! In the Directioner lifestyle, fan fictions are your bible. The power fan fiction writers wield in the community is more significant than you imagine. While I cringe at the very idea of the fan fictions I have written  circa 2015, there is no denying the fact that Wattpad writing has helped define my storytelling style.

    2. Giving Editorial Feedback

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    Now now, fan fiction writing is not a solo affair. Most of the stuff you write is peer-reviewed before you publish. As a writer, I had to provide feedback to fellow writers on a daily basis. 

    3. Social Media Management

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    You can't be a hardcore fan in the 2010s without being the owner/moderator of multiple communities on Google+, an Instagram page, and a Twitter account. 

    4. Digital Marketing

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    You put a lot of effort into your fan pages, so you naturally want it to grow. Growing your communities and fan pages is not a child's game. It requires hours of research mastering the algorithm of all the social media platforms that exist on the face of the Earth.

    5. Video Editing

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    How else are you gonna make all the fan edits, images, and trailers for your fan fictions?

    6. Photoshop

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    Duh!!!

    7. How to Keep Up with Deadlines

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    You need to keep up with your weekly posting schedule or you get hundreds of DMs from concerned members of your communities. (I am not kidding!) Furthermore, if you are working as a part of a team, you gotta get your posts up on time or you will get demoted — from moderator to community member (which believe me, is a big deal).

    8. Headhunting

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    When your community grows bigger, you need to get more hands-on-deck, especially for Google+ communities. One "owner" won't be enough to moderate all the posts. Now, you can't just make anyone the moderator of the community you have built with so much passion, can you? All moderators are selected via a foolproof three-step process including an initial application, personality test, and interview.

    9. Moderating Online Communities

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    As owners and moderators of fan communities, it's our responsibility to make sure that our spaces are positive and uplifting. We need to be on the constant lookout for haters, bigots, and fan wars that get out of hand.

    10. Knowing the Current Trends

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    This is more relevant to fan fiction writers than others. You need to constantly interact with your audience and produce content that caters to their needs. Otherwise, you are not gonna stay relevant for long. You gotta keep your community engaged with quality content on a daily basis. If you don't, your audience will go in search of greener pastures (yes, I am talking about other fan pages and authors). 

    11. How To Always Have Your Google Alerts On

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    If you are not the first to break the news, there is no point in breaking the news! Be it tour dates, new releases, dating rumors or paparazzi photos. 

    12. Human Resource Management

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    With the amount of work at hand, it is very important to have a clear work division between all the admins and moderators. As the owner of a Google+ community, it is my duty to make sure they do their job on time and get along on with each other.

    13. Punctuality

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    If you have scheduled a listening party at 8 p.m., you gotta be there at 8 p.m.

    14. Time Zones

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    You gotta have your time zone converter handy at all times. It's a matter of life and death.

    15. Budgeting and Saving Up

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    The only way you can afford all the fan merchandise is if you save up from your monthly allowance. You gotta draw up a budget and stick to it. Otherwise, you are gonna look silly when new merch is released (*sigh*).

    16. You Stay Up Late

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    The only way you can keep with all the fanfiction writing, trivia nights, listening parties, Instagram posting, Twitter wars and schoolwork is if you pull all-nighters (without your parents' knowledge, of course). Looking back, I still wonder how I survived through so many sleepless nights.

    17. How to Speak English

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    As a non-native speaker of English, I owe the entirety of my English language fluency and vocabulary to One Direction and my fandom family from around the world.

    18. How to Make International Friends

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    You are the coolest person in geography class, cause you got friends from all over the world. To this date, I have never met some of my best friends.

    19. Time Management

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    If you don't perform well in school, your parents are gonna take your devices away and you can't let that happen. You also got posting schedules to meet, listening parties to host and communities to moderate. So, you gotta make a time table and strictly adhere to it. Time management is KEY!

    20. Practice Makes Perfect

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    You are a loser if you can't recite from memory the entire lyrics of every One Direction song ever. The only way to achieve that state of perfection is to listen to the entire album on repeat.

    21. HTML

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    Not a lot, but how else are you gonna update your WordPress fan blog?

    22. How to Conduct Online Competitions

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    Weekly Trivia contests are a must for a healthy functioning community of superfans.

    23. Twitter is HELL

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    Twitter wars are inevitable in the serene Directioner lifestyle, but, they can also become very intense. Sometimes, you gotta log off and prioritize your mental health.

    24. Work From Home is Nothing New to Us

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    We have been doing this "Work From Home" thingy since 2014. This is no new trend for us. We are the OGs of WFH.

    25. Having Exceptionally High Standards

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    Being a Directioner means you are gonna stay single forever 'cause you have insanely high standards. Also, you still believe that Harry Styles is gonna spot you during a concert and instantly fall in love with you.

    26. The World = North America, Europe, and Japan

    A world map showing the countries frequented by American musicians
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    At least that is what the tour charts say.

    27. You Are Ready to Fight Anyone

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    Nobody can say anything remotely bad about your idols. You are ready to sacrifice your last breath to protect their honor. The loyalty a Directioner has towards One Direction is something laymen can fathom. 

    28. Your Memory is Amazing

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    The Directioner life mandates that you learn every available piece of information about your idols. Birthdays, family members, height, blood types — nothing should be missed. You gotta lean it all!

    29. Strength Lies in Unity

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    Yes, you might have your differences, but when it comes to voting for awards and breaking records, there is no faction fight. We all work toward the same cause: MAKING OUR IDOLS PROUD.

    30. How to Chase Your Goals

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    Be it YouTube views for a music video or Spotify streams for the new single. You set a GOAL and you work with a PLAN and DEDICATION towards achieving your GOAL. Breaking multiple records has taught me that you can achieve anything you put your mind into.

    31. How to Use Nostalgia to Your Benefit

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    You always have a familiar headspace to go back to when things are hard for you. Whether you are going through a breakup or suffering from writer's block, you blast some One D songs and things get a little better.

    32. STREAM. STREAM. STREAM.

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    New single or old album, not a day goes by without streaming One Direction songs. 

    33. How To Be Passionate About Stuff

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    A part of being a Directioner is that you become really passionate about things you pursue in life. You cannot do anything without putting your heart and soul into it.

    34. It's OT5 or No One

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    We have factions within the fandom. However, when it comes to supporting our boys, its always OT5.

    35. Supporting Any Celebrity Associated with One Direction

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    James Corden, Julia Michaels, Steve Aoki, Lizzo Beating, Gigi Hadid, Ashe, Bebe Rexha...we love them all.

    36. It's "Just A Hiatus"

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    The mere mention of "18 months" can be very difficult for us to process. We keep on correcting people who say One Direction has disbanded when deep down we know that 18 months = forever. (*closing my laptop to quietly sob under the blanket*)

    37. Once A Directioner, Always a Directioner

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    The truth is that I still have One Direction posters in my room. I still watch fan edits and old interviews. I still stream every solo song they release. As I write this, "History" is playing in the background. It's true what they say, old habits die hard.