New book offers advice, stories for young adults
By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor
Turning 20 can be a tough time for young people as they struggle with the quarter life crisis, in which they question their life choices in their 20s, similar to the way adults re-evaluate their lives during a midlife crisis in their 40s.
North Vancouver author Hilary Curry hopes to make the transition from teens to 20s a little smoother with her new book, The20Project, to be released November 1. In the book, she and 19 friends share advice and personal stories intended to help young people at that stage in their lives.
“It seems that a lot of young adults are going through this quarter life crisis right now,” Curry said to the Other Press. “I think giving people some framework that they’re not alone, which they can see from others’ struggles, will hopefully help them through that process.”
The idea for the book came about in January when Curry was speaking with young people about the difficulties they’d gone through during their quarter life crises. She said some young people told her she seemed to really have her life together, which she admits isn’t entirely true but has motivated her to share her story.
“One of the things that is really apparent when you tell these stories is that other people learn from what you talk about. I decided to put something together that maybe even kids could learn something from and hopefully apply to their own lives.”
The book’s authors range from their late 20s to late 50s, which allows for a variety of advice and stories from different age groups that resonate with young people.
“All of the authors have had very different experiences trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up,” Curry said. “I think people even in their 30s and 40s are still struggling a little bit with ‘Maybe I should change careers’ or ‘Maybe I should do something else.’”
On The20Project website, English and drama teacher Nancy-Jean Lahn shares part of her story about self-confidence: “Your belief in you takes precedence above all else, and while that might seem simplistic, it is the very essence of personal success. Belief in yourself and your abilities.”
Curry launched The20Project Kickstarter campaign in September with a goal of $5,000 to cover publishing costs, ending with more than $5,500.
“This has been a nail-biting experience, but we have surpassed our goals,” she wrote on The20Project Kickstarter page.
Since the book is about imparting wisdom to a younger generation, Curry and the other contributors decided to make it not-for-profit with proceeds going to support an African charity, Makomborero, where one of the book’s contributors, Nicola Holden, sits on the board of directors. The charity supports high potential students in Zimbabwe, selecting eight students a year to see them through their A-Levels (secondary school education).
The20Project’s official book launch will take place on November 5 at the Ferry Building Gallery in West Vancouver. The event will feature wine tasting, gift baskets, books for sale, and special guest speaker Margaret Benson, a double-lung transplant recipient who will be sharing her story.
For more information about The20Project, check out the official website at the20project.com