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The Young Adult Section: The politics of “honesty”

I have had epic crushes. These crushes of mine, as many girls might know, were characterized by a disproportionate amount of time spent thinking about a particular boy. All of these epochal crushes resulted, sooner or later, in the boy discovering the dramatic secret. But they were never informed through the grapevine, oh no. Rather, the messenger was me, face-to-face and heart all aflutter every time.

The Young Adult Section: People and fear

I think people are afraid of people. It sounds weird only because we don’t typically diagnose it as fear. But if we take some of our greatest ones — bad first impressions, feeling out of place, being judged — it all comes down to this strange, unacknowledged fear of other people. Perhaps with all the unknowns in this universe and beyond, the ones inside ourselves are the scariest.

The Young Adult Section: The art of losing myself

The outside expectations by which we judge ourselves are thus often self-imposed. No doubt they stress us out. Yet we tend to place values on ourselves through our success or failure in fulfilling them. We have to become a household name after graduating because that’s what our family thinks is success. We have to be environmentally sustainable because that’s what a good global citizen is. We have to be constantly conversational because otherwise we’re being “antisocial” (which has apparently become a minor crime). Or we have to be the funny/intellectual/organized/nonchalant/insightful one among our friends, even if we’ve outgrown the title and it’s starting to get tiresome.

The Young Adult Section: Inaccurate readings

Unfortunately, the sudden and unilateral way that relationships shift gears is generally a more pessimistic story. Sometimes we’re the culprits: qualities we once found attractive can turn repulsive, and first-date high notes can be hijacked by hokiness. So we attempt to slyly exit scene. It’s like the book that loses its magic: the words never changed, but you find yourself wondering what you found so interesting in the first place.

The Young Adult Section: The value of division

Our beliefs aren’t so innocuous anymore. They’re now bigger; they have bigger words and they have bigger scope. We carry them with us but follow them to their consequences. They’re one of the few personal characteristics that divide us with our consent. Even those who don’t regularly self-reflect will face the result of conflicting ideas — a supposedly inexplicable break-up, maybe, or the frustrating distancing of a friend. After the “hello” and “what’s up,” what we choose to believe for ourselves is what determines the potential of our relationships.