When I was 17, I made a pact with myself to read only young adult books for a year. My reasoning went as follows: I wasn’t getting any younger, I wasn’t ready to outgrow fictional brooding teenage boys, and I had the rest of my life to read everything else.
In the five years since, it goes without saying that I did, eventually, outgrow those characters. They stayed 16 and 17 forever, and by the time I hit my 20s, the things we had in common became fewer and fewer.
It’s a funny notion, never aging. Ultimately, while I loved the reckless, hopeful invincibility that came with being 17 (a year in which I wrote a ridiculous amount of poetry and met Nick Jonas), I’d have to say that I’d rather be 21 forever: a little wiser, a little less naive, but still young enough to carry this not-so-secret idealism everywhere with me. A little more settled, but nowhere near figuring it all out.
I asked seven other people about their idea of the best age to remain for eternity. Here’s what they had to say: