Changes In My Reading Life

So it’s Friday. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to skip out on the topic from this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I really liked this topic (it’s about changes in your reading life!) and I felt it could be a good post for me to use to get back to writing blog posts. I’m also planning on writing about my favorite bookmarks soon because I had the whole thing planned out and then never got around to taking pictures so I do really want to share those with you too!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I started reading big books in kindergarten. I was still 6 when I picked up my first Harry Potter book and I guess you can say that the rest is history. I don’t remember a lot of the books that I read back then but I do know that I was a big fan of rereading books. I think that right there is one of the biggest things that’s changed. In elementary school, I would pick up the same books every single year. This included rereading Harry Potter (the entire series up to whatever book had just been released), and books like Love, Ruby Lavender and Running Out of Time.

Nowadays, I don’t reread a ton of books. At least not yearly, anyways. 15 of the books that I’ve read this year were rereads (two of which the books were completely new to me this year but since I’ve read them twice obviously I’m counting them). With the amount of new books that I hear about now I couldn’t imagine rereading the same books yearly like I used to. But back then I’d only find out about new books when I’d go to the library or the bookstore and even then it was mostly just if I went to the bookstore. I liked to check out the same books every time I went to the library because that’s just who I am lol.

Another change for me is that now I actually read e-books! I’m a huge fan of my Kindle and I also read a decent amount of e-books on my phone through the Libby app (my library has greatly stepped up their e-book selection and ease of checking them out and I LOVE it). When I got my first Kindle, I think I was in 7th or 8th grade and I don’t think I ever actually read books on it. I did, however, play a lot of Angry Birds. I think I also discovered fanfiction after getting my first Kindle? I can’t really remember that timeline though. I’m still trying to find this one fic that I was obsessed with but still no luck.

I don’t know why, but I used to feel like reading e-books wasn’t really reading books. I always reached for physical books instead of e-books. It was the same thing with audiobooks, but I also have come to realize that audiobooks really aren’t for me! I’m still a little jealous of people who can listen to audiobooks with no problems.

I still read plenty of physical books but I also frequently reach for e-books. I’m a big fan of getting books when they go on major sale ($1 or $2 books are my kryptonite). I also feel less gross when I spend too much time on my phone when I actually open my e-book apps instead of just scrolling through social media.

This next change I actually find kind of comedic. Back in the day if a book was written by a male author, or had a male main character, I probably wasn’t reading it. I want to say that John Green was the first male author that I ever read extensively from (oh and Lemony Snicket) and I’ll read books with any type of narrator now. I’m trying to reach for more diverse books and authors and I think that’s a really important change in my reading life.

The last really big change in my reading life is that I finally delved into reading adult books and actually seek out adult books instead of reading strictly YA. So, back before I started spending too much money on things (cough books… and makeup and just all the things) I would get all or most of my new books from the library. Now at my library, the YA and children’s sections are right up front but the nonfiction sections and adult section are allllllllll the way at the back of the library. And you know what the worst part is?? YOU HAVE TO WALK PAST THE LIBRARIANS AT THEIR DESK TO GET TO THEM. So obviously, anxious past me NEVER went to the sections in the back of the library.

When I finally did hit up the adult section, I was completely overwhelmed with how many new books I had to choose from. But slowly and surely I’ve been reading more and more adult books and finding that I enjoy a lot of them. Now that I’m 23 it’s getting harder to exclusively read YA books so branching out has been really great. It’s the same thing with nonfiction books. I read way more nonfiction books now than I ever have and I enjoy it immensely. Like I mentioned before, I’m working on reading more diversely and also trying to just read widely. I love most genres and storylines and I’m willing to pick up most books to try out!

I have seen myself change so much in recent years with my reading and I love being able to read things more critically but also still have that ability to fall in love with stories without seeing only bad. I love finding new authors and new books and discovering tropes that I never realized I loved. I think reading is such a different experience for everyone and it’s genuinely so interesting to see differing opinions and reviews. I am so thankful that I discovered this community and that it’s been such a welcoming and fun experience.

I’m very much looking forward to 2020 and new books and experiences. Happy Friday everyone!! Talk to you soon 🙂

 

Why it’s Okay to Change Your Plans

There’s always this underlying look of pity when I tell people that I probably won’t be graduating in four years, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life yet.

I was on break at work the other day when I overheard two freshmen girls talking about how they couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly change their majors after beginning school. They were both set on what they imagined their futures to be that they thought it absolutely insane to hear of someone who had changed their major once, twice, or even five times. It made me sad to realize that there are still so many stereotypes regarding a “typical” college career.

It took me a while to really accept that there is more than one type of college path and it’s more than okay to have a non-traditional path. I myself am on that path, my boyfriend is as well.

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My boyfriend, Ryan, has decided to pursue college after working on more career type things. He’s interested in politics and has chosen to get his foot in the door before focusing on his education. He’s comfortable with knowing that he has something (college) to fall back on if he needs it, and it’s great knowing that you can still expand your life in the future. I think it takes a lot of guts to be able to admit that the path you’re on isn’t “the one” and that you need to change it. Even more guts to be able to jump off the path onto a different one.

I’ve gone back and forth numerous times on whether or not education at this time is relevant to me. In the last few days I’ve come to realize that even though I’m really struggling with where I’m at, I need to stick it out and continue to work towards whatever it is that I want to work towards. I realize that I’m enjoying what I’m doing and life can just keep on trucking. Plans are just plans, they’re not set in stone unless you literally write them on a stone. We have no reason to do things that we don’t want to, or keep working on things that make us unhappy.

At this point in time, I highly doubt that I will be graduating in the cookie cutter four years of college. I’ll probably be spending at least an extra semester here, if not a whole year (though I really haven’t gone too in depth with all the classes I need to take and scheduling and stuff because my advisor isn’t that great of a help, although that’s another story). I could even be graduating on time, although I have no idea. I just know that I’m educating myself in topics that I’m actually interested in, pursuing a degree in both history and communications and minoring in art. All topics that I have come to learn that I loved and feel passionate about.

So I just want to say to the people that pity non-traditional students. Don’t. Not all of us are as happy to accept our educational fates but we have no reason to be pitied. We are all on different paths and that’s okay. Plans change and that’s okay.

And to the two freshmen girls that were “hating” on people that changed their majors. Good luck to you. I hope all your plans work out, and if they don’t I hope you find security in knowing that the future will happen and you’ll graduate. You just don’t have to have a set date.

Well I hope you all have a fantastic day and I’ll talk to you all soon.

Major Issues

Okay, I just had to make this the title of the post because I thought it was so punny!

So last year, I ended up changing my major… TWICE.

I know that so many people (or at least those at CSS) say that most students will change their majors at least once before deciding on the right path for them. Now I definitely started out my college career with a completely different mindset. I was completely set on my major, felt in my heart that I could never change my mind and yet, here I am, one year later, on a completely different academic track than I was on last September.

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At the end of last semester I started to really question my choice of major. I was enjoying my religion class, I found the work to be interesting but then I stopped and thought, do I really think I could handle working full time in a church? Can I handle the tough stuff? Am I going to be okay with all that I might encounter? When I really and truthfully thought it all through, the answer to these question was, no. I love my church, and I love the community that I have with my fellow Christians but in the process of learning more about what it would take for me to be in the role I wanted to be in I realized that with my personality it really wasn’t the greatest choice for me.

So I did something I never thought I’d do. I made an appointment with Career Services (at the suggestion of my counselor). Now, if you are questioning your major in any way I could not suggest meeting with a Career Services advisor more. It honestly changed my life. I thought about my interests, took a career profiling quiz and met with the advisor. Fun side note, she couldn’t believe how much the quiz showed me as not wanting to work with people, she said she’d never seen someone lean that far in the “working alone” direction. Hahaha, socially anxious introvert personality really shined through there.

Anyways, this appointment helped me to realize that I didn’t have to have a clear pathway right away, I didn’t have to have a super specific career or major in mind as a freshman. Over the summer I definitely developed my interests more and did a lot of research regarding various careers that I’m interested in. As of right now I am planning on double majoring in History and Communications and minoring in Deaf Language and Culture. I’m interested in being a librarian, a museum tech or curator, or possibly a graphic designer.

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All in all, what this experience taught me is that you don’t have to have your life figured at 18, or 19, or even at 20! However, don’t be afraid to dive into your interests and develop yourself as a person. If you realize that college isn’t right for you, that’s great. If you realize that you need to completely reevaluate your major, go for it. If you decide that you want to curl up in a ball and forget about all responsibilities, I support you (just don’t do it for too long, I promise things will look up eventually, it just takes time and a lot of trial and error). If people look at you funny for saying you have no idea what you want to do with your life, who cares! You’re working your way towards your goals, be they big or small, and to know that you are happy and excited about your future is what matters.

If you have any questions about this post, feel free to shoot me a comment or an email. I’d love to chat.

Have a lovely day everyone.