We live in a generation in which teenagers are most likely to be pressured to be the best of themselves. Eventually when they become the actual best they're still put under a lot of pressure and expectations because adults want more from us.
The more we grow up, the more numbers start to define who we are and what we are capable of. Parents start to be obsessed with what we can bring home and adults start to labelize us as stupid because we can't always reach high numbers.
And because we don't really have a choice anyway we lock ourselves in a world of studies to make people around us proud and to give to our parents, something to brag about during family dinners.
In a world in which what our brain can produce is more important that its state, it is very important to be understood and to realize that our grades mean nothing.

So my dear friends, school haters, or just BTS lovers today we're going to talk about N.O by BTS. One of my favorite song ever.
Please, know that I'm analyzing the lyrics from my own point of view! So maybe we can understand different things from the same lyrics and maybe what we understand is actually nothing from what BTS actually meant. But it doesn't matter.

Long post and no pictures bruh is someone even gonna read this ??

A good house,
A good car,
Will these things bring happiness?
In Seoul
To the SKY,
Will parents really be happy?

"Study well, get a job so you can have a great house, a great car and be happy." Who has never heard it from parents ? I feel like happiness has become something really materialistic. It has been reduced to posessions, it's not a feeling anymore. As we grow up, and start to think that maybe, expensive stuff really mean happiness, some of us are still unsure. Is it really happiness ?
We want to be better even when we are already great, we want to reach the sky, we want to make our parents proud and happy but we are so unsure of ourselves that we start to wonder if they're really happy because of us.

Dreams disappeared,
There was no time to rest
It’s a cycle of school,
Home or an Internet cafe
Everyone lives the same life
Students who are pressured to be number
One live in between dreams and reality

Dream are what helped up growing up. However they leave us when we enter middle/high school. We don't even have time to think about our dreams or rest. Because in case you didn't notice yet, studies are more important!
We all live the same life, we're all put under the expectation to live the "perfect" life. But everyone's definition of perfect is different however it has became universal and cliché.
As we work hard to be number one, some of us still hope for their dreams that we think are unreachable, we live between the awful reality and the painful yet beautiful dream.

Who is the one who made us into studying machines?
They classify us to either
Being number one or dropping out
They trap us in borders, the adults
There’s no choice but to consent
Even if we think simply,
It’s the survival of the fittest
Who do you think is the one who makes us step
On even our close friends to climb up? What?

It is pretty clear here: Be the best or go f*ck yourself. (Yeah it isn't the best way to explain a lyric but I couldn't find a better equivalent.) We're told that everything below one isn't good enough. The thing is : there can be only one number one. Only one of us can be the best meanwhile the rest are hopeless. Which explain the "survival of the fittest". We don't study for ourselves, we study to be better than everyone and eventually better than our friends. We step on them to be higher. We forge everything that matters to us because we NEED to be the best.

Adults tell me that hardships
Are only momentary
To endure a little more, to do it later

They just don't care about how we feel. Remember kids that mental illnesses aren't real, our hardships are childish and we can't suffer yet because we haven't seen the adult life. ᴵ'ᵐ ᵇᵉⁱⁿᵍ ˢᵘᵖᵉʳ ˢᵃʳᶜᵃˢᵗⁱᶜ ʰᵉʳᵉ, ᵈᵒⁿ'ᵗ ʰᵃᵗᵉ ᵐᵉ.

Everybody say NO!
It can’t be any later
Don’t be trapped in someone else’s dream
We roll (We roll)
We roll (We roll) We roll
Everybody say NO!
It has to be now or never
We still haven’t done anything
We roll (We roll)
We roll (We roll) We roll
Everybody say NO!

OUR TEENAGE YEARS CAN'T BE LATER. We can't have fun later, we can't be teenagers later. We can't be kids in our 30's. We have to live for now, we have to do teenagers stuff now, we have to be unlikeable problematic teens NOW. If we don't do it now we won't do it later. It has to be now or never. We still haven't done anything, we still haven't had fun, we still don't know what it's like to be teenagers.
We are trapped in our parents' dreams that they claim are ours. We are trapped in their expectations, we are living someone's elses dreams. We are living everyone's dreams but our own.

I want to play and eat,
I want to tear my uniform
Make money, good money,
But they already view me crookedly
My obscure bank account,
My unhappiness is past its limit
A factory of sighs while studying,
A continuous cycle

We want to play, we want to eat, we want to have fun, we want to live for ourselves, we want to forget that we are students. Our uniforms are what make us just like everyone else, we can't be different we can't be ourselves. We have to students.
Money is the only thing that matter, adults act like the more we have money the more happy we are.
But we are just students, and we are broke. So we are unhappy but adults don't want to understand that. It seems like happiness is only real once we graduate and start to work.

The grown-ups confess
That we have it so easy
They say that we are happier than our portion
Then how do you explain my unhappiness?
There’s no conversation topics beside studying
Outside, there are so many kids like me,
Living the life of a puppet
Who will take responsibility?

"You can't be sad, you're only a teenager, you don't know what sadness is stop complaining about such stupid things, once you enter the adults life you'll understand what true pain is!" Once again. Who in this damn world has never heard that ? Our sadness and our hardships are seen as stupid because we aren't adults, because we haven't seen the true world, because we don't "work" like them yet.
We are happy because we have a house and we can eat eveyday with our family. That's what they want us to believe.
And when we meet family, parents' friends. What do they ask us ? If we study well, if we have good grades, if we're going to pass. They don't care if we're happy or sad, they don't care about our passions, our dreams, our talents or what we want to do. We are only numbers.

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This is the end of this long post! N.O is one of the best song BTS ever wrote. Yet it is still very underrated. It holds a very important place in my heart because as a student who's been told that my grades matters a lot for my whooooole life it is important to remember that I can be way more than that.
I've been made fun of more than once for not having good grades. It's sad that even students start to think that grades defines someone's capacities.
If you are a student, going through a hard time because of school, please remember that you are more than just numbers. What you do and what you can do are both different things. You are smart, you are a great person and you deserve to live your own definition of happiness and perfect life. Don't study because you have to, study for yourself. Don't be trapped in someone else's dream.