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A Book to Explore Your Potential in This New Stage of Life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

A new school year has begun, so I want to talk about a book I read in late May that relates to navigating the unknown that is associated with entering a new, distinct period of one’s life. The back-to-school season is a wonderful context for a book connected to healing your younger self and exploring your potential in new beginnings. 

In See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon, it is the first day of a freshman year of college—September 21st—and Barrett Bloom discovers that she is reliving the same day over and over again. Not too long after, she realizes that Miles—the boy who sat next to her on her “first” day of physics and was a little mean to her—is also in a time loop. Although, he has been in it much longer…

The book explores themes of identity and how we often feel that we have to erase or change who we were in the past in order to enter a new period in our lives, especially when that past self is so intertwined with trauma. It touches on the importance of preserving aspects of yourself because complete dismissal of who you were in the past can be harmful and prevent you from moving forward—both literally and metaphorically. 

Along the lines of identity, I also love the way that Rachel Lynn Solomon incorporates Jewish and other cultural elements in the story. The scenes are written in such intimate and delicate ways, and they’re so lovely to read. 

As this story involves freshmen in college, it would obviously be great for someone about to enter college or who is currently in university. However, I would genuinely recommend it to anyone, because we all deal with our identity and contemplate it numerous times in our lives. 

The characters are lovable, hilarious, and incredibly relatable. They both deal with a fear of the unknown and the idea that playing it safe will make everything easier. Miles Kasher-Okamoto loves period pieces and wants to double major in physics and film. He and Barrett discuss the different versions of Pride and Prejudice, and the hand flex is mentioned! 

The story takes on a slow burn pace, and I love that. It was so beautiful to watch them interact, grow, and open up with each other throughout time. Barrett and Miles essentially pry each other open and look into each other’s minds—a privilege that isn’t granted to the rest of the world. Although they are open in a lot of other ways, they are closed off due to fears born from their pasts, and I love that they learn to embrace who they are with each other. 

Reading this book was truly a healing experience. Miles is so sweet, attentive, observant, and patient. He is someone I think a lot of people wish they could’ve known. 

The novel is technically for young adults, but it could be considered a new adult—I’d say it’s somewhere in between the two. Additionally, the author includes some content warnings that I will list here: PTSD, panic attacks, sexual harassment (past), and bullying (past). 

Bella is a fourth year student at Michigan State majoring in Apparel and Textiles with a cognate in English. She is the Social Media Director for Her Campus at MSU, celebrating and uplifting members through various platforms. Bella is also the Secretary for the Creative Writing Club at MSU. She is a lover of art, poetry, literature, film, music, and nature. As a writer and artist, understanding and analyzing art as a reflection of society and a mode for social change is something that fascinates them.