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Author of An Ordinary Age, out 5/4/2021. Freelance writer. Kentuckian.

‘The End of Adolescence’ debunks the stereotype that young people today are slow to grow up.

It sounds like a movie plot: Researchers stumble upon a forgotten archive of research, featuring interviews with then-college students, stashed in the attic of a Harvard University building for 50 years. And that research might change everything we thought we knew about what it means to grow up.

The initial…


‘So, what are your plans?’ isn’t always helpful.

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

It’s been a couple years since I was a college student, and even then, my own chaotic time in college is one reason I’ve written frequently about the myth of the “college experience” being the “best four years of your life.”

But my personal chaos was nothing compared to what…


The more we care what others think of us, the harder it is to know ourselves. But self-compassion can help.

Photo by Alex Ivashenko on Unsplash

Depending on who you listen to, I’m a “try-hard,” an imposter, no fun at parties, and could be improving at, well, just about everything, from the way I dress, to the job I do, to wrangling my eyebrows.

All of these are things that have been said about me or…


How do we untether ourselves from the people we imagined we’d become?

An overgrown array of flowers and roses and ivy growing up the side of a brick building, and out a small window.

Growing out of things is spun as a given: Old clothes that no longer fit or feel like you, jobs or schools, phases of life, living situations, habits. …


What happens when “just take care of yourself” starts to sound a lot like “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”?

Photo: Images by Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

I think it was the suggestion that I join an after-work mental health workshop that involved a quiz at the end. Or maybe it was the earnest pitch offering a desktop extension to make my laptop “cozier,” whatever that means.

I’m not sure exactly which moment was the tipping point…


Here’s what to do with that late-pandemic impulse to make a big change

Photo: Hispanolistic/Getty Images

Blowing up your life has always seemed like a romantic idea — shrugging off all the things that were weighing you down, wiping your slate clean, actually doing the thing you always kept tucked in the back of your mind. Trying your hand at a job in a totally different…


Maybe we can’t fix perfectionism ourselves.

Image source.

It was the drumbeat of my life, growing up: When I overdid my homework and rewrote notes until my penmanship was perfect, when I practiced pirouettes in the ballet studio until my calves started giving out, when I people-pleased to the point where it…


“I was a person before I was a mother, before I was a teen mother, before I was the pregnant girl.”

The last time I spoke to Nicole Lynn Lewis, founder of Generation Hope, she told me that student parents, especially those who are teenagers, are a “largely invisible population.” Despite being at the epicenter of intersecting issues, including systemic racism, poverty, classism, and basic needs insecurity, young adults who are…


What does it mean to plan out our lives in unplannable circumstances?

The last time someone asked me about my five-year plan, I was in an office with too few windows, interviewing for a job that listed one set of responsibilities in the description and a different set in the interviews. …


Image source: Variety

At fifteen, I was staring down losing a career that I’d committed my short life to chasing, choosing ballet barres and bloody blisters across my toes over boys and benchmarks of a high school life well-lived. …

Rainesford Stauffer

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