How is everyone? Personally, I'm loving having sunlight later and later in the evenings. 



New Adult is a category centered on the "New Adult" years. It deserves a category because it's such an important time in all of our lives. It's not as though we simply skip those years, and nor should our characters. The NA years are a time of finding oneself, learning what it is you want, and accepting consequences (just to name a few). 

I've recently read some "NA" books that didn't fall into the NA category, at least in my opinion. And I've heard this complaint from others. Unfortunately, I think some people try to jump in on the popularity of the emerging category without really understanding what NA is. You can't take a YA book and just change ages without making huge changes in a book. If you can, there's a problem. I think some of this is where the incorrect "Ya with sex" perceptions come from. 

Real NA should focus on these years and take the themes that we all experience during the NA years and use them. 


So, what was/is YOUR NA defining moment? What did you experience that defined those years? Was it moving out of your parents house? "Leaving the nest"?  Did you think you wanted one thing and then change your major? Did you screw up and have to face the consequences? 

For example, while this isn't something I consider my defining moment(s), one of my NA issues was related to my friends. Most of my high-school friends all went to school in other states after high-school graduation. Pretty much everyone, with the exception of one person, that I had been with the past years moved away. My teen identity was tied into their identities. It wasn't just "LG". It was "LG and so and so." (insert bestie's name). 
It kind of felt like this:

Without those friends, I almost felt like part of me was lost. I feared being replaced in their lives.  My early NA years dealt a lot with that loss (I mean loss of so much contact, of always being together etc, not the actual friendships because most of those have remained). As we got busy, communication became less. But eventually I made new friends (thank goodness, otherwise my degree probably would have destroyed me) and I realized something great- that no matter how long my best friend and I didn't talk for due to being busy etc, the minute we started talking it was like nothing had changed. We could pick up right where we lost. Some friendships died, but that's another part of being a new adult. People change and grow apart. We have to let go. And other friendships strengthened. My CP and I had been friends for years, got incredibly close senior year of high-school and I would say our writing relationship strengthened during the early NA years even though we lived miles apart. 

What were NA related issues you dealt with? What do you think impacted those years the most?

I won't be able to comment back immediately today, but please share and I will get to it this week! I also now the rest of our NA Alley community would love to hear your NA defining moment(s). 


Post a Comment

  1. So hard to choose just one moment to be the defining one. Those years had so many ups and downs and learning moments that shaped me into a new person. One defining moment that changed the arc of my relationships with men, one that changed the arc of my personal friendships, one that changed my degree and my relationship with my folks. Really? I have to pick one??? LOL

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    1. You don't have to pick one moment. I know most of us have several defining moments. Feel free to share any of them :)

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  2. Moving away to university was definitely a big step for me. I'd never lived away from home before, and all my friends had gone to different universities so I was moving to a new town where I literally knew no one. But it turned out to be a fantastic experience, and I definitely learned a lot about living independently! But I also had to deal with the issues of growing apart from friends who'd stayed at home, and trying to choose a career path. It's a time when you have to make major decisions, and for me, university was definitely the first step!

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    1. That is a lot of change all at once. New town, new people, being on your own. Definitely NA things!

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  3. I didn't have a long new adult period, really, as I had my first son a week before I turned twenty, so I was moving onto a mixture of firsts, like getting my own place, and adult situations like dealing with a baby.

    However, between the ages of 17-19, I was living with just my dad and had a lot more freedom and that's when the world really opened up to me in terms of NA experiences, like having more independence, being able to go to clubs and pubs, exploring sex etc.

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    1. You bring up an excellent point, that some NA experiences don't always fall into the age range, nor do they always go "in order". Sounds like you had adult and new adult things all at once!

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  4. I'd have to say when I watched my mom drive away after dropping me off at college. I was so excited. Ready to be on my own but kind of scared, too, since I did not know ONE soul at college. :)

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    1. Lynn, I totally know what you mean. Even though one of my friends stayed, we weren't on campus at the same time. It was all new people.

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  5. I think my defining moment came when I graduated undergrad. I was still 'technically' in school as I'd been accepted into a graduate program at the same school, but it was a huge 'oh hell, I'm supposed to be an adult now--like for real' moment. I got my first 'real job', bought my first car (all my previous vehicles had been hand-me-downs from my siblings lol), etc.

    I was still pretty protected from the world in undergrad (spent 99% of my time on campus), but grad school was truly all on my own for the first time. A defining moment for every emerging adult, I think.

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    1. Definitely. I think the "NA" stuff extends beyond just school and graduating, especially from undergraduate school. I think most of us really learn a lot about ourselves after graduation, when we get into whatever field we go into.

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  6. My father died shortly after I graduated from college. It changed everything.

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    1. Oh, Mary Jo, I'm so sorry. I'm sure nothing was ever the same.

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  7. "You can't take a YA book and just change ages without making huge changes in a book. If you can, there's a problem."

    Yessssssss! This is such a huge point right now. Well said, LG! :)

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    1. right?! I also really don't enjoy when people say "I write YA so I can throw some NA out there." I'm sure most can, but they really aren't the same thing!

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  8. L.G., I know what you mean. It can be a time of loss. There's so much in transition, especially right after high school. Things are flux for a while after that. But you're right. The true friendships pick up where they left off. Great point!

    My defining NA moment has to be when I turned 21 and the club/bar scene opened up to me and my friends. That's when I truly felt like an adult and not a teenager trying to be an adult, LOL :-)

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    1. It's sad to lose some friendships, but that's all part of it. And I think the ones that last get even stronger. And, oh that 21 birthday.... ;) That definitely opens up a new world. Thanks for sharing, hun!

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  9. The ride back to town was uneventful, punctuated by odd noises from Steve as he was tossed around the back deck of the wagon. We pulled into the parking spaces in front of my condo and I popped the back deck of the wagon open. I had begun to try to lift Steve out when Patti appeared and gave me a hand.

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  10. I live in southern Mississippi, and I was 19 when Hurricane Katrina hit. I was already living in my own apartment, but I stayed at my parents' house while the storm passed through. As soon as it was over, I wanted to go back to my apartment. I wanted to get away from my family and be back with my college friends. But when I arrived, there was no food. There were no open stores. I had no water or electricity. My roommate and I tried to check into a storm shelter, but it was full. I took a bath in a swimming pool full of green water and roof shingles. I had very little gas in my car, and my roommate had even less. We had just enough to go back to our parents's houses. So we did. When I got back to my mom's little house in the country, there was food, and water, and we could see the stars. I realized then that growing up isn't all about moving out on your own, it's about knowing where you came from, and accepting it.

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  11. I've been thinking about this, since I wanted to try to write a NA novella. But this post makes me realize that I personally haven't had a lot of those moments, which might be why I'm having trouble brainstorming. I always feel that if I haven't experienced something myself, that when I write about it, it feels inauthentic.

    I mean, yeah, I went to college, but I stayed on campus for the whole 4 years, and spent all of the time I wasn't in my dorm in class. Then I moved back home and I'm still there a few years later. I skipped out on the whole relationship thing too. And although I know I'm not the only one, when I try to come up with something, it just seems boring!

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