Cool at 13, Adrift at 23

Cool at 13, Adrift at 23

At 13, they were viewed by classmates with envy, admiration and not a little awe. The girls wore makeup, had boyfriends and went to parties held by older students. The boys boasted about sneaking beers on a Saturday night and swiping condoms from the local convenience store. They were cool. They were good-looking. They were so not you. Whatever happened to them?

“The fast-track kids didn’t turn out O.K.,” said Joseph P. Allen, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia. He is the lead author of a new study, published this month in the journal Child Development, that followed these risk-taking, socially precocious cool kids for a decade. In high school, their social status often plummeted, the study showed, and they began struggling in many ways.

Clearly my complete lack of social status in middle school is why I am so well-adjusted now! At least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself in order to comfort my inner middle-schooler. As previously discussed, I was a giant weirdo who really, really wanted to fit in but never quite managed to. I got over it, mostly, but I still have a sense that I missed out on something. Maybe I did, but it looks like I might have dodged a bullet.

[via The Hairpin]

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