“If you can get through High School, you can get through anything.” -A quote I saw on tumblr
I had a couple of close friends who I'd seek out and we'd stick to each other like glue. There were days when my besties were out sick or when we were on different lunch shifts and I'd became a floater who sat with whoever and just tried to relate.
That's the thing I remember most about high school, wanting to relate- to like & understand other people as much as I wanted to like & understand myself.
Throughout our lives, the need to make connections with others follows us like a shadow. In High School, this need seems to become especially apparent. I once heard someone refer to babies as "little scientists" because they stare in awe at their own fingers/toes and at the world around them as they observe & make conclusions based on their findings. Likewise, teenagers are like sociologists, figuring out themselves, their peers, society, and in the process, using this information as a yardstick for what's normal/what's not.
I guess this is why friendship is of massive importance for teens. I've recently come in contact w/two girls (both of high school age) who have serious issues with suicide simply because they're lonely... without friends, how is a teen going to know that the things they think and feel are normal?
An older person who feels lonely can draw on memories of conversations with friends or other life experiences to realize that they're not some giant weirdo for feeling "x" or considering "y". But a younger person doesn't have that kind of experience to draw from.
So, the high school years are a pivotal age of self-discovery and world-exploration. That's why I love writing YA, it's exciting to follow a character through their new friendships, new love interests, and self-discovery. Because of the newness of it all, there's this underlying innocence that gives even the saddest YA story a hint of a silver lining.
Right now, YA is where I feel most comfortable in writing. But as a reader, a main character's age doesn't matter to me at all, anyone with an interesting voice will hold my attention. What about you? When writing, what age do you prefer your MC's to be? And when you're reading a book, how old do you prefer the MC?
Thanks for visiting and more Thursday's Children posts can be found here!