NCT DREAM Opens Up About The “Traumatic” Impact Of Their Past Graduation System

“I don’t think of NCT DREAM’s debut as our official start.”

NCT DREAM was formed as the third subunit of  NCT in 2016. The subunit debuted with seven members, Mark, Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin, Chenle, Jisung, and Renjun, who were each teenagers at the time.

(From left:) NCT DREAM’s Jeno, Haechan, Chenle, Mark, Jisung, Jaemin and Renjun in their “Chewing Gum” concept photo | SM Entertainment

It was originally intended that members would “graduate” from the group when they became an adult, and in 2018, Mark officially became the first member of the group to graduate when he turned 20.

NCT DREAM’s Mark (left) and Jeno (right) at Mark’s graduation concert in 2018.

Mark’s graduation was emotional for fans and the members, and their promotions afterward left NCT DREAM uneasy as four of the members neared 20 years old in 2019 and didn’t know what the future held for them.

NCT Dream Bawls Their Eyes Out In Concert Because Of Graduation System

Neither NCTzens nor NCT DREAM were fans of the graduation system and were thrilled when it was announced in 2020 that the system would be abolished and the group would become a fixed group, with Mark rejoining them.

Although NCT DREAM is now reunited as OT7, the group was emotionally impacted by the uncertainty of the now-abolished graduation system. The members admitted that “graduation” now has a negative connotation but were reclaiming the word with their song of the same name.

The track is emotional for the members, eliciting tears from Renjun and Haechan during a 2022 performance.

In the group’s recent interview with Rolling Stone, they opened up about their past graduation system, and Mark shared his true feelings on leaving and rejoining the group.

The graduation system was traumatic but we had to endure it and go on.

— NCT DREAM’s Mark

Although he was happy to be back with the group, he revealed that he wasn’t “fully relieved” due to uncertainty surrounding reactions from the public and NCTzens.

NCT DREAM’s Mark | @onyourm__ark/Instagram

Coming back in, to be honest, I don’t think I was fully relieved [about it]… I didn’t know how everyone, including the fans, were going to react and I didn’t know how I should react.

I felt like it might complicate things too much, but it also meant we could do something as 7Dream that we’d always dreamed of. It felt like the destiny of NCT DREAM kinda, y’know, took a turn.

— NCT DREAM’s Mark

NCT DREAM admits they view their first four years as a group as “preparations” for their true beginning, which they consider to be their “Déjà Vu” promotions in 2020.

I don’t think of NCT DREAM’s debut as our official start. I look further beyond, into all the obstacles and experiences we had that got us to where we’re at now. I feel like our unofficial starting date is ‘Déjà Vu’ because we were seven members again and we could say to fans, ‘This is our beginning.’

— NCT DREAM’s Haechan

NCT DREAM is conquering the globe as seven members on their second world tour, The Dream Show 2: In A Dream, and are currently on the North American leg of the tour.

For more on their tour rituals, check out the article below!

NCT DREAM Shares Their Post-Concert Ritual, And It May Not Be So Different From NCTzens

Source: Rolling Stone


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