How This Popular Band Helped Me Fit in as the New Kid

My family was familiar with moving around.

At five years old I moved from my birthplace of Seattle, Washington, to the hot and dry desert of Scottsdale, Arizona. My many climate-induced nosebleeds were enough to tell you that these two places were polar opposites. But the way I acclimated was through music.

As a youngin,' most of my musical taste revolved around Disney soundtracks and the collections of oldies my parents played on repeat. But as I grew through elementary school I became accustomed to country music which was the favored genre in my area. My favorite tunes were sung by Shania Twain, Garth Brooks and Rascal Flatts.

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It wasn't until I was 11 and my family moved to SoCal that I learned country music wasn't as popular in other states as it was in the southwest.

This, my friends, was a huge shocker.

Starting a new school in a brand new state is tough, but it's particularly gut-wrenching when you don't have a foundation to relate to your new peers.

And that's when one '90s pop punk band found its way into my life and, over time, became the glue to bond me and my new home.

Like I mentioned above, the only music in my CD collection involved Disney classics, oldie jams and many, many country albums. While you can always connect over Disney, I had a hard time understanding why none of my new classmates seemed to know a thing about Twain and tractor talk. And may I remind you, this was long before T. Swift would put country on the nationwide map.

Thankfully my family moved in with our cousins for the first summer of our new California lives, and even better was the fact that the cousin my age was definitely a cool girl.

She knew what to wear, she knew what to say and she always knew what music to have on loop. That's when I heard a band name that would stick in my head for the rest of my life: Blink-182.

My cousin nearly fell over in disbelief at the fact I'd never heard of her favorite band. But to be fair, I felt the same way about her blank stare in response to the name Shania.

A moment later she put on their latest album and we jumped on her bed to the songs "The Rock Show" and "First Date" and we both laughed as I tried to learn the lyrics as fast as I could.

But little did I know that those moments would become the foundation for how I bonded and subsequently became best friends with my future classmates.

When the summer was over and I started school, I had very little in common with the other students. Most of my life experience revolved around desert struggles and indoor sports.

As a super shy kid, I was way too scared to go out of my way to talk to anybody and could barely get my voice above a whisper. When an outgoing student approached me, I struggled a bit before landing on the topic of my new favorite band. From there we sparked up a conversation about how we had no idea what the lyrics are in the beginning of "All the Small Things," and after that, our friendship just clicked.

It wasn't the last time I'd move, but thankfully my family remained in SoCal for the rest of my school days. In a new town once again, it was Blink-182 who opened the path to other rock and alternative bands, which again led me straight to my next BFF.

Having the band to bond over gave me a solid topic that could get me gushing. I was able to have an opinion on who was the best drummer in the world and what song we should listen to next. It also helped that the rock band was formed in California, making me feel that much more at home.

I owe a lot of my early self-identity and friendships to this band and their music, so thanks for helping a new girl fit in, Blink!


Music undoubtedly has a huge impact on people's lives. Click HERE to read a love letter to one of the most empowering girl groups, Little Mix!