Not Such a Bright YA, Were Ya?
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I've seen these posts strewn about the blogosphere here and there for awhile, with bloggers stating the reasons that they prefer to read YA even though we're not teenagers anymore. I've always nodded thoughtfully along with these posts and gone through my reasons within my brain. Never given it much more thought than that. But Anna at Anna Reads has posted THIS today and explained how she was a fabulous student, super focused on "ruling the world," and her school-related goals. A couple of my other blogger friends weighed in with comments and I realized that I'm totally the odd one out.
Usually, you assume bookish folk to be good people. Intelligent, reasonably level-headed, knowledgable. At least those are the adjectives that flash through my mind when I think of my fellow bookworms. I was not like this at all in high school.
My outlook on school was lax. In elementary school, everything came naturally. It was ELEMENTARY school, after all. Once I got into middle school, the Cs made their debut thanks to Algebra. The Cs stayed constant in my math classes throughout high school. I even got a D once. I didn't have concrete long-term goals. The obligatory aspirations of "I want to be a veterinarian" or "meteorologist" came up in conversation, but I never believed I'd do that.
I never studied. I copied my homework from the smart kids a few minutes prior to class in order to get credit. I never showed my work. Heck, I never had work to show! I believe I had a grand total of 20 something tardies for my senior year and ditched all the time. I graduated with a 3.1 GPA and I was totally fine with it. I stayed out late. I wore WAY too much make up. I hated my parents at the time for "ruining my fun." I never listened and I had a horrible potty mouth. I cheated on tests.
Extra curriculars? Heck naw. I was in show choir because I loved to sing, but that's it. Another factor was that I was in a pretty unhealthy relationship. I somehow got brainwashed that it was normal to be in a relationship where the guy determines who you can/cannot hang out with or talk to and what you're allowed to do. I had some good friends, but pushed them away because the guy didn't like them. Thankfully, I got out of that mess. My husband is freaking awesome and I've seen how BADAZZ real love can, and is supposed to, be.
I read YA because I didn't have a packed social life with BFFs & awesome parties. I seldom went to sleepovers and gossiped about clothes or weekend plans or cute boys. I get happy when I read that girls dump their overbearing boyfriends and choose the best friend over the jerkface loser. I smile when I read about protags who are freaking out about their grades or their college acceptance letters. And, OH! How I love reading about those picture perfect romances. But I get sad/pissed off when I think about how I didn't read YA at all during high school. I think I could've learned a lot from some of the strong, fierce ladies that lead my favorite books.
This isn't supposed to be a "feel sorry for me" post, because I don't feel sorry for me. I'm a good student now and I never miss class, but I had to learn from my own mistakes. Just giving an honest point of view from somewhere closer to the other end of the spectrum. But I have absolutely no problem catching up on some of life's lessons at 25, when I can look back and shake my head at my younger self. Better late than never, yes?
So, fellow adult book nerds, why do you read YA? I'd especially love to hear from those who suffered from scholastic nonchalance, like myself!