Zayn Malik says goodbye to 1D


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Zayn Malik, one of the five original members of One Direction, has left the band.

Zayn Malik, one-fifth of the globally-successful European boyband One Direction, announced his departure from the singing group on March 25. This follows his choice to not join One Direction for the rest of their tour, due to stress.

For a while, rumors have been circulating on social media about his possible infidelity to his fianceé, Perrie Edwards of the British girl group Little Mix. This may have contributed to Zayn’s decision.

“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band,” he said, first in a Facebook post on the band’s official page, then later on in a personal statement. “I’d like to apologize to thefans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

Saying that Zayn has let the fans down is an understatement. Followers of the band have been reacting to his withdrawal in a variety of ways. Many are emotionally distressed. Some have even threatened to self-harm or even suicide, making posts on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. Everyone who is a fan, including Clark students, has responded to event in some way or another.

Sophomore Vana Ter-Hovhannisian said that when she first started to have an interest in One Direction, they didn’t even have their own music yet. “But I would spend hours just going on Tumblr and watch their interviews and performances,” Ter-Hovhannisian said. “I would buy all their merchandise and had posters of them covering my bedroom walls. I always knew the day would come, and it was something I would try to avoid thinking about; but when the day came, it didn’t really affect me primarily because it was so shocking and it wasn’t sinking in, but also because I wasn’t that seventh grade girl that had the posters on her walls.

“Everyone should respect Zayn’s decision, because our teenage obsessions shouldn’t dictate the way he chooses to live his life.”

Ter-Hovhannisian’s younger sister, freshman Mane Ter-Hovhannisian, has a different take. “I was in third period when my friend texted me, and I didn’t believe her so I got the computer and looked it up. I couldn’t believe it, so I had to leave in the middle of class and go cry it out in the bathroom. People were laughing because I was taking it so seriously, but honestly, this was on the same sadness level of when my dog died. Maybe even worse. Then I went in the bus and cried with Hripsime. And then, I went home and listened to all their old songs and cried myself to sleep. It’s hard for me because I was there since 2010.”

Still, many are choosing to respect Zayn’s decision and not feel as bad. Sophomores Karla Solorzano and Hripsime Eghiazarian agree that it is best to accept his departure and not dwell on it.

“Initially, I didn’t believe it, because I thought he would make a video or tweet explaining why he was leaving,” Solorzano said. “But he didn’t. Louis [Tomlinson] and Niall [Horan] tweeted about how supportive we are, and how they’re going to work harder for us. And soon articles started flooding in and I was in complete denial. That’s when I knew it was real; he was actually leaving. I never cried, because I knew that in a sense he would still be a part of One Direction. But it’s his life in the end, not ours. We have to let it go.”

Eghiazarian said that when she first heard that Zayn had left the band, she was in shock. “I knew that he left the tour for a while, but I didn’t expect him leaving,” she said. “I was in shock, until I went to class and started to cry because they are never going to be together forever. When I went on social media, it got even worse. It was so bad that I told my mom to take my phone away from me, because I couldn’t handle it. Now I’m trying to accept that he did it for himself so he can be happy. Now I support whatever he will do in the future.”