Sundae wrote: Oh God. Seriously? I was 17 went I graduated high school and had to make decisions about what university I wanted to go to and what I wanted to major in.
And really, the younger you are the more dreams you do have. And those dreams are the biggest, brightest and at times the most ambitious because it's not clouded with the strains of "life". I mean what eleven year old at one point or another hasn't said "Ohh...I want to be a superstar, or a singer, or a doctor, or an astronaut when I grow up?"
I know I did...and some parts of me still hold out hopes for things that I remember saying I wanted to do when I was younger.And I swear, I'm going accomplish some of those things before I die too.
I knew what I wanted my career to be when I was 15 and I chose my major when I was 17 (in the UK you have to chose your degree subject before you apply to university). I also had plenty of dreams and goals as a child/teen: over the years I entertained the idea of becoming a writer, a journalist, a make-up artist, a lawyer, a ballet dancer and a geophysicist (I went down the physics route in the end)! Also, when I was about 12, I wanted to live in the US and visit California (I managed to achieve both of those at the age of 20).
I posted a reply on that discussion thread mentioning my goals and all the things that I was doing/had in my life at Bella's age (applying to university to study Physics, taking dance classes, visiting France and Russia on school trips and spending a summer in the US with my family) and the reply I got was:
"Not to dismiss your exp but keep in mind you grew up in a different culture than Bella did and in probably a very different household. To compare her to yourself and what you accomplished at that age isn't particularly relevant."
Um... I'm not sure how exactly my culture was that much different from Bella's... I was in high school in the late 90's/early 2000's, around the same sort of time that Bella was a teen and I wasn't doing anything particularly out of the ordinary for the average teenager. The only difference is, I lived in England... but then the English culture isn't all that much different to the US culture. I went to Russia and France because my high school offered the trips, I applied to study physics at university because I wanted to be a geophysicist and I went to dance classes because I loved to dance... I'm not entirely sure how my culture comes into play there.
Instead of just admitting that the character is very one-dimensional and not well written/thought-out at all, it's all about finding excuses for why Bella is the way she is. According to the replies I got, the reason she had no goals or aspirations was because she was too busy looking after Charlie and Renee and therefore she had no chance to develop any, and apparently, she also wouldn't have been able to experience anything because she lived in Forks! Now, Forks is quite a small town (3,100 people), but it is only an hour away from Port Angeles (18,400 people) and 3 hours from Seattle (617,000 people in the city itself, 2.7 million in the urban area), so it's not like she's didn't have access to anything at all. Now if she'd grown up in the mountains of Peru or something, where the nearest town is a 6-hour walk and your home is just a mud-and-brick hut with no electricity (and when I was in Peru in February, I saw people who lived just like this), then maybe I could understand a lack of aspirations or goals because she wouldn't know any different, but she was living in the US - the land of opportunity - and she had a car to get her wherever she wanted to go!
Another reasoning was that Renee was like Bella's best friend (i.e. all she had, because she had to look after her), so that's the reason she didn't go out and find new friends or take up new activities... um, how much thought did she actually give to Renee in the books? How often did she have girly chats with her on the phone? How often did she see her? She only emailed Renee when she had to and the only reason she even went to visit her in Florida at all is because Edward bought the ticket and made her go! She didn't seem to take much pleasure in looking after Charlie or in her decision to let Renee be with Phil, or hate it either...there was no sense of fulfilment or pride in her actions, or even a sense of wanting to get out and experience the world - she just went through the motions.