Confessions of a College YA Reader

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It’s no longer new to say that one of the most stressful part of your life is being in college. People who know me surely rolled their eyes as they read the first sentence. I am an English major focusing in creative writing. So I should be having the best semester of all time. Or is there something off when I said that? I love my major. I love being a student, but even though I am so close to doing what I love, there are times that school hinders me from saying I am 100% happy as a student.

For starters, I am more than happy that most of my homework require tons of reading. This is similar to getting paid to drink your favorite Starbucks drink. But college is different. Most of the times, I am reading a book that I don’t even want to read. There are many nights that I look at my YA book on top of my bedside table with watery eyes. I would release air of exasperation through my nose as I put myself on my study desk and start reading an assigned book for the semester. Again this is the time that you will find yourself raising an eyebrow and asking, “I thought you love reading?” And to answer that, yes, I do love reading, but let’s hit rewind and remind you my definition of reading.

Reading, for me, is the most divine hobby (I hate myself for using that word though). It is the only time I find peace, be somebody else, and allow ecstasy to fill my veins. I must also mention that reading relaxes me. 

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My friend took a stolen picture of me reading Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief during a stressful school day.

YA novels have that certain effect on me. The characters just reveal themselves to me, and I fall in love with them almost all the time. However, for college reading, the magic is not there. Digging inside the page of the book is mandatory for school reading. I need to be on my A-game to get a passing grade for the next essay. As I flip the pages of that book for school reading, I need to drill into my brain that I need to find something, so I have something to use as evidence for that essay. Because of that I am always asking the questions:

  • Did I miss something on that last paragraph?
  • Can I make an argument out of this quote?
  • Do I need to reread this chapter, so I can see what the professor wants me to see?
  • Is there something I need to analyze before looking at this scene?

For college, reading novels becomes exhausting. It drains me unlike reading for fun.

The very first time I stepped on California State Northridge, I thought I was finally closer to my dreams and that I would be closer to YA books since I want to be a YA novelist. The first semester (Fall 2014) gave me the exact opposite of my expectations. I need to put aside my YA novels and read books that are not even close to YA. I also read non-YA books, but I just can’t find the feeling that I am one step closer to my dreams with my classes.

I guess I am being unfair since I am all basing this emotional burst on my first semester, but there is another chance. This Spring semester 2015, I am taking a Young Adult Literature class. The textbooks are beyond awesome.

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Those are the required reading for my YA class. Even though the pressure that it is still “required” is still there, at least the fact that those are YA books, gives me a light and fuzzy feeling inside. This class is the fuel to that spark inside my heart.

I hope and I pray that my next post relating to school involves how thankful I am for being a better YA novelist.

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