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Turning Back the Pages: Embracing Your Teenage Spirit Through YA Reads

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

It was last spring when I suddenly got the most intense craving to read the trashiest young adult fiction book I could find. At the time, I was a sophomore in college, single and drowning in typical twenties angst. I longed to return to a simpler time of dystopian societies, whirlwind romances and groups of allies that would always have your back. 

The series I chose was The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – but any of your Twilights or Hunger Games will do. Anything that fills you with that imperceptible teenage nostalgia.

From the first moment I flipped to the title page of the first book in the series, I was hooked. As an English major who had spent most of the year reading 18th-century ‘masterpieces,’ this was the most refreshing and engaging literature I had read in a long time. Suddenly I was sitting in the back of the school bus with the heroes and villains I had grown up with, waiting for fate to take me on an adventure of a lifetime. For a brief moment, college life, responsibilities and impending adulthood seemed like a distant memory.

College is difficult for so many reasons. You are no longer the same person as you were in high school, but you haven’t quite figured out who you want to become either. You’re juggling academic demands, building new relationships and overall trying to stay afloat in a sea of uncertainty. It’s a phase of life when you’re constantly bombarded with adult responsibilities and decisions, leaving little room for the carefree spirit of your teenage years. 

Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer Stress
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

That’s where YA fiction comes in. It acts like a time machine, allowing you to revisit the emotions, experiences and the captivating world of your teenage self. These books bring back the simpler joys of youth and remind you that adulthood does not mean you must stop enjoying the things you loved as a kid.

So, I encourage you to pick up a YA novel, let your inner teenager resurface and rediscover the magic of storytelling that transcends age and time. It might be the escape you need to navigate the college journey. Happy reading!

Amanda is a third-year student at UCLA studying Theater and English. Originally from San Francisco, she is passionate about creating and sharing women-led stories and the power of artistic mediums as a form of activism. In her free time, Amanda loves to crochet, read YA novels, and watch sitcoms.