It’s Not a Phase, Mom!

Its Not a Phase, Mom!

Two Tuesdays ago, a small part of me died (well, not actually).

If you haven’t heard already, the band Panic! at the Disco officially announced their disbandment on Jan. 24. 

While middle school me would be curled up in the fetal position and bawling my eyes out on the floor after hearing this news, the current 18-year-old me let out a sigh of relief. It’s been known that Panic!’s lead singer and frontman, Brendon Urie, is a little more than problematic — which this article won’t get into — but many P!atD fans, or at least the ones who stanned them when they were 13, were happy to hear that the band was breaking up. For me, Panic! finally disbanding reminded me of who I was five years ago: a 4’11 middle schooler with blue hair and horribly done eyeliner, taking any and every opportunity to wail the lyrics to “Heavydirtysoul” by Twenty One Pilots, and oddly knowing the “Folie a Deux” English translation.

Of course, five years later I’ve moved on to more “mature” music — if you can call a smattering of K-pop, Beabadoobee, and SZA more mature — but I still have a great fondness for the music and bands I was once obsessed with. In fact, when my friends and I heard that P!atD broke up, we made a group Spotify session and listened to “New Perspective” on repeat for the next hour. And when I went back to my dorm, I continued to play all of Panic!’s best songs — “Nine in the Afternoon,” “This is Gospel,” “Build God, Then We’ll Talk,” and of course, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” just to name a few. What’s even better is that I only met these friends this year, but the “emo” middle school phase is so widespread that we all just assumed we knew their music — and we knew every single lyric. 

And every so often — when I decide to put my liked songs (all 1,828 of them) on shuffle — I stumble across a song I only listened to in eighth grade. Whether it be “20 Dollar Nose Bleed,” “Teenagers,” or “Fairly Local,” I somehow never fail to sing every word even though I haven’t heard the song in years. And each song just seems to slap harder every time I listen. As soon as Joshua Dun plays the initial drumline of “Lane Boy,” I get transported back to when I had goggle tan lines from swimming at 5 a.m.; back to sitting in front of the TV waiting for the newest episode of “Steven Universe” to air; back to when I thought an 89.5% in seventh grade math meant I was failing and when P.E. was my hardest class; and back to bottle flipping, ukuleles playing “Riptide,” and way too many people walking around in Adidas Superstars. And while yes, I feel incredibly old, privileged, and glad to be done with the epic highs and lows of middle school, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the “magical” experience that was junior high. 

But as with all good things, they must come to an end (or be canceled). Twenty One Pilots went on a five-year hiatus and left their alternative music in the past. Fall Out Boy went on a hiatus and actually just came back with a new song, which I highly recommend. My Chemical Romance split in 2013, and now, Panic! At the Disco. For most of us, we found new music and were forced to move on from our “emo” phases. 

Whatever it is, our moms were right: it was just a phase. But that doesn’t mean we have to leave it in the past. I’m still going to play “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” and bang my head to “Thnks fr th Mmrs.” While I revere my dyed hair phase and wish it could be deleted off the face of the galaxy, I still appreciate what my favorite middle school bands did for me. After all, I can flawlessly sing all the lyrics to any Twenty One Pilots, Fall Out Boy, or Panic! at the Disco song (at least anything before “Pray for the Wicked” — we don’t claim that album) you throw my way. And for those who didn’t get to have their cringe middle school emo phase, it’s never too late to start. 

Art by Kayla Weiss from the UCSD Guardian

View Comments (11)
About the Contributor
Maxine Mah, Senior Staff Writer
When she's not writing lifestyle articles, Maxine can be found traversing the deck of UCSD"s Canyonview Aquatics Center or huddled in a corner of Geisel distracting all of her STEM major friends from doing work.
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Comments (11)

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  • L

    LouFeb 28, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    twenty one pilots went on a one-year hiatus not five and it was for lore purposes (if you haven’t looked into that, you should! It’s very fascinating, quite the rabbit hole)

    Reply
  • A

    aFeb 25, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Twenty one pilots did not go on a five year hiatus. They published Scaled and Icy in 2021 and Trench in 2018, both brilliant pieces of work.

    Reply
  • C

    CoreballFeb 24, 2023 at 12:32 am

    Twenty One Pilots will not be abandoning their alternative sound. Apparently, Scaled and Icy was merely a diversion, and they’ll be returning to a style more akin to Trench or Blurryface. Yet I still think No Chances and Redecorate sound similar.

    Reply
  • J

    jenniferFeb 20, 2023 at 6:42 am

    I am very interested in reading this blog because I wanted to read about this for a long time now I have read it. That’s why I want to suggest this Deep Stone Crypt Raid Jacket to you because it is the best outfit in terms of staying stylish.

    Reply
  • S

    stella jonesFeb 14, 2023 at 1:22 am

    I listened to it and found it really entertaining, as well as the singer’s vocal manner. Along with this, I’d want to point out that this 90’s Philadelphia Eagles Green Satin Bomber Jacket is ideal for a modern-day winter ensemble.

    Reply
  • L

    lauraFeb 14, 2023 at 1:18 am

    great

    Reply
  • A

    Asher RivesFeb 11, 2023 at 7:42 am

    twenty one pilots never went on a five year hiatus, and SAI was purposely different. they plan to bring back the sound we all love. also my chem is back and working on new music

    Reply
  • R

    RyanFeb 10, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Just so you know…..Twenty One Pilots isn’t ditching their alternative music. From what I’ve heard is that Scaled and Icy was really just a detour, and they’ll be going back to a style more similar to Trench or Blurryface. Although IMO No Chances and Redecorate are both still in that style.

    Reply
  • A

    AbbyFeb 8, 2023 at 9:35 am

    Also, I’ve read your other articles and you’re a really great writer and super enjoyable to read. Don’t give up doing what you love 😀 you got this!

    Reply
  • A

    AbbyFeb 8, 2023 at 9:29 am

    Maxine you are a real one, I love this so much 🙂 everything you’ve written touches my recovering emo heart as a fellow 18-year-old. The end of Panic! is truly a mournful experience, but I wouldn’t take back my era of fishnet gloves and Claire’s chokers for the world. I can still smell the artificial bubblegum that reeked from each bottle of Arctic Fox hair dye and make out the sound of my crappy portable Victrola destroying my Barnes and Noble Blurryface vinyl. Maybe it was a phase, but it’s a phase that unites emo quartet lovers of the past in a life-long connection, a mutual understanding forever embedded in every album and every now cringe-worthy lyric. Let us march on in the hope of “So Much for Stardust” while we mourn the disbandment of Panic!. Thank you for this article that has made me so happy to be a once emo middle schooler 😀

    Reply
  • L

    LucFeb 6, 2023 at 10:22 am

    I will forever sing and never forget the death of a bachelor

    Reply