Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Confessions of a Young Adult

young adult

noun
1. a teenager (used especially by publishers and librarians).
2. a person in the early years of adulthood.

This is how the dictionary defines the phrase “Young Adult”. Personally I find this definition inadequate. Your young adult years are years of transition. They’re the years in which you discover who you are, where you grow, and fight, and change. They’re the years when you rebel and when you learn to accept, years where you make mistakes and make accomplishments. Being a young adult is more than just being a teenager or a person in the early years of adulthood. It’s about the things you do, and the things you learn.

Dyanna Hyde
Young Adult, or YA, has become a term in literature that to some is nothing more than an age group. People between 12 and 18, or 12 to 21, or maybe 15 to 25, but I think “Young Adult” is more than just an age range. “Young Adult” is about growing up, it’s about still being a little immature, it’s about not wanting to completely let go of your childhood. Readers who enjoy YA fiction are those who like stories about characters who still have some growing up to do. And as for that age range, I think you can be a “Young Adult” even late into your “adulthood”; after all being young is really just about how young you feel right?
For me, I’m a young adult now at the age of 23, but I wouldn’t be surprised if even ten years from now I still feel like a young adult. After all, I very well may still have things to learn at 33, things to rebel against, things to accept, things that change who I am.
When it comes to who YA literature is written for I would consider YA literature for people 15 and up. I only say 15 because I like when YA delves into coming of age issues that may not be suitable for a younger crowd. Are there reader’s at the age of say 14 that are mature enough to handle and enjoy a YA novel, absolutely, and to some degree this varies by novel. However, I think Middle Grade Fiction is a more suitable term for those between the ages of 10 and 14. And, I say “and up” because I think even “adults” can enjoy “Young Adult” fiction.
While I don’t think the term “Young Adult” is something that’s all that easy to define, I do have some things that define what it means for me to be a young adult right now, and I thought I’d share them with you.

1. Donuts are still a valid option for breakfast, as is cold pizza
     

2. When I’m upset with my downstairs neighbor I will purposely use all the hot water

3. I still go to my pediatrician, when I’m forced to go to the doctor that is

4. I have a checking, and savings account, debit and credit cards, but I still put away money in my piggy bank for a rainy day

5. I like to cook, but there are still nights when Mac N Cheese or McDonalds is a valid option for dinner

6. My mom still pays my car insurance, I do pay all my other bills, I’m just not ready to be cut off completely yet

7. Gummy vitamins are the only vitamins I’ll take, because they taste good

8. I still like cartoons and animated movies

9. I haven’t yet committed to getting a ‘big girl job’

10. My boyfriend still likes to play videogames