Writing Stuff

Posted by , in Blog category November 4, 2013

NEW ADULT

 

THE NEW ADULT JOURNEY

There is a narrow space in time in which we all set sail and cross treacherous waters. We leave the grassy bank of our teen years and head toward the rocky mountains of adulthood. But between here and there is a vast unknown river we must navigate—the New Adult years.

It is an unavoidable journey plagued with doubt, insecurity, fear, spontaneous joy, unexplainable bliss, failure, a solidifying of goals, and accomplishment, etc.  Sometimes the best we can do is keep both oars in the water, follow the current toward our dreams (even if it means paddling up-stream), watch for low branches that will knock us for a loop, and hang on for dear life.

boat

 

 

UNCHARTED WATERS OF NEW ADULT

Nothing exemplifies this ride better than New Adult literature. Roughly between the ages of 18 and 25, this category highlights those challenges we all have faced or are preparing to face when setting off in uncharted waters. The moment we climb aboard, whether we christen our journey Cross Over, Mature Young Adult, or Upper YA, we are all in the same boat—the New Adult category.

Common squalls (themes) we may encounter but are not limited to: the loss of innocence, our first ‘real’ job, sudden independence or a close facsimile thereof, sexuality, military deployment, first serious relationships, internships, marriage etc.

 

OLD DOG, NEW CATEGORY

Of course, this is not a new journey. If we turn and look back, we’ll see that the undercurrent is ripe with the classics; we will realize that teens have been reading mature books all along. It is not a new idea, just recently labeled as a new category and promoted as such.

Half of the novels listed in Modern Library’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century fall under the definition of New Adult. So much of what adults have read in their teen years were listed as “Adult Books For Teens” and teens are still reading them in high schools and colleges today. Remember Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, Call of the Wild, To Kill A Mocking Bird, Clockwork Orange. And recently: Love in the Time of Cholera, Trainspotting, The Time Traveler’s Wife, My Sister’s Keeper . . .

 

There is no shame in snapping on a life vest, especially with popular trends and subgenres that could have us taking college courses on a futuristic space station, being chased across campus by zombies, dodging vampires in our first apartment, or wielding spiritually enhanced weapons against demonic bosses with wandering hands.     rafting boat

 

There is no bridge long enough to lift us up and over the white water of those crucial years, so why should literature skip like a rock from teen into adulthood? Like other phases in life, the journey through those treacherous waters of New Adult is worth experiencing and worth reading about . . .

 

So this is what comes to mind when I think of the New Adult Journey but I am interested to know what you guys think when you remember those years, or what expectations you might have if you are just embarking on the journey.

boat with books

 

Please feel free to share your wackiest adventures (mine was almost dying, sort of, on a ridiculous canoeing trip with mass amounts of fellow students) or your most poignant moment, tipping point, hilarious encounter, or maybe any analogy that seems fitting.

 

 




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