I had a talk with my friend Sara today, a fellow student at SSE, and we talked a bit about being teenagers.
I’m sure all of you remember it. And i’m sure most of you aren’t eager to repeat the experience.
I don’t remember life as being terribly hard when I was 12-18, but I know there were so many things that upset me, so many hours spent discussing trivial things that don’t matter know. Even when I was slightly older and living in the US, almost all of our time was spent with drama. Who’s friends with who, I’ve got a crush on him, he doesn’t like me…
And I can objectively say, my life is much harder today. I work much more, I have so much more complicated things to think about… My future, my family, my friends… And yet, life is so much easier now, at 23 than it was at 17.
Things like going on holiday somewhere new was daunting at 17. At 23, I’m nervous but I know I can handle pretty much anything that may happen. I’m so much better equipped to handle whatever life throws at me.
No matter that SSE is so much harder than high school, that it matters much more and that it’s so intense compared to everything else. I can handle it all in a different way. Even though an outsider would say there’s so much more against me today, it doesn’t feel that way.
I guess that’sn why they tell you life gets better when you grow up. And why I, no matter how much “easier” being 17 was, never want to have to do it again.
My friend L and I had a conversation about our futures today. We both graduate this spring, and there’s the big question of what we’re going to do with our lives.
I’ll be honest: I have no idea. Literally. I could end up anywhere. (hopefully not at a tobacco company.)
And I found myself wishing, as I have done many times in my childhood, that I could just have a talent. You know, like music. Or dancing. Or writing. Or soccer. Just something that I was especially good at and that could be my big interest in life.
I always hated the question “what are your interests?” because really… I like loads of things, but…
I just don’t have that one shining passion. And the woe this has caused me!
I like loads of things. I like knowing stuff. I like learning. I like quiz shows just because they allow me to demonstrate my knowledge on a wide array of topics.
Even now, I study business and economics, not because it’s my one great area of interest, but…Well, because SSE is a good school and you can do lots of things with a degree from there.
Some of my more random areas of interest:
– Medication interactions and sideeffects
– Medical experiments during WWII
– Romance novels
– Ask Prudence and other question-answer coloumns
– Young adult literature
And these are just the “weird” ones, I have so many others.
Nowadays, I try to think of it as a blessing and just accept that I wanna learn pretty much everything. I just hope it’ll be to some good, someday, other than for quiz shows and Trivial Pursuit.
I read a lot.
Like, a lot, a lot.
And one of my absolute favorite genres is young adult literature.
It might seem silly. Shouldn’t I read classics or something like that? But I adore the many excellent books in the YA sphere, and I follow quite a few wonderful bloggers/authors.
And YA lit that’s norm critical or feature a strong heroine and some darkness? Even better.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Tamora Pierce – I read her first book when I was twelve, and I’m still reading today. Historical fantasy with wonderful heroines, often struggling in a man’s profession (such as knight or police.) She’s an oldie but a goodie and just gets better for every book she writes. She isn’t afraid to put sex, violence and “real world” things in books for children/teenagers. Start with Song of the Lioness and move on to her other Tortall books.
My favorites: Trickster’s Queen, and the Provost’s Dog series.
- Vernoica Roth – Really young (my age, I’d guess) dystopian writer, with only two books published, but they are good. A lot of psychology and questions about nature vs nurture. Divergent is the first one, Insurgent the second.
My favorite: Divergent
- Lauren Oliver: Has written a very acclaimed series, starting with Delirium, about a dystopian future where love is a disease that must be cured.
My favorite: Delirium
- Kristen Cashore: Highly knowledgeable about YA and children’s lit. She’s written a fantasy triology about Gracelings, people born with very special skills. Katsa, the heroine in Graceling, has a gift for killing.
My favorite: Bitterblue
These are just some of my favorites, and they’re all pretty well-known and worth a read. All these authors have blogs, which I’ve linked, just click their names. If you like books, women’s issues and writing, read them!