When we’re children, a lot of our school lives is taken up with learning new things, and there is a sole focus on Maths and English. Therefore, a lot of our education involves us surrounded by books. That’s where my love of reading started, anyway.
When I was in Year R, we had a certain amount of books we had to read each week to hit our target and get our sticker on the chart. The amount we had to read was two books per week; I was reading at least five, because the original target wasn’t enough for me. If my family went out anywhere, I’d always have a book grasped in between my little hands. Words were the one thing that could always fascinate me.
Everything changed when I got to college though. I’d pick up my phone more than I’d pick up a book in the first year, and in the second year I was hunched over revision cards for eight months. I couldn’t remember the last time I read a full book without answering a message off my phone or getting distracted. I’d lost passion for the one thing that I loved and the one thing that I was actually mildly good at. And this carried on into my first year of university. Reading bored me, especially the set reading that they had given us.
In April, I finished my first year at uni, and I decided that I was going to make good use of my time. I’d go out and socialise, I’d spend time in different room in the house not just my bedroom, and, most of all, I was going to pick up a book again and I was going to try and gain back the love I once had for words.
It can be hard rekindling a love for something that you haven’t done in a while, but it isn’t impossible. When I decided that I wanted to get back into reading, I made sure that nothing would distract me. I turned the notifications for certain apps off my phone, and, sometimes, I turned my phone off altogether. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t contactable at all so that I wasn’t going to be distracted. I also gave myself either a set time to read (for example, I’d set myself a target to read for half an hour) or I would set myself a chapter target (basically, if I was on Chapter One, then I’d set myself the target of reading until Chapter Three). In the end, I didn’t need the targets - I read to my heart's content without even thinking about time, or thinking about what chapter I needed to get to. It became natural again.
And so it is with anything that you do. You set yourself targets, you make sure nothing distracts you, and you get back into doing what you love. It is possible to rekindle the love that you thought was lost. It is possible to transport back to the person you once were.
But, equally, it’s okay if you can’t rekindle the passion that you had for something you once loved. It’s okay if you don’t love it anymore. It just means you’ve changed and grown as a person, and there’s no harm in that. If you don’t have a love for something that you used to do, move on. There’s no point wasting any more time with it if you don’t want to do it anymore. So, instead, find new things to love. Find an activity that interests you and put your everything into that. We don’t have to love the things we once did. Like anything, we either grow together with things we love, or we grow apart. There is no shame in either.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.