last november, at the youth cartel’s extended adolescence symposium, jeffrey arnett was describing “emerging adults”, and i kept thinking to myself, “man, those descriptions totally sound like middle schoolers!” (i’ve often thought, through the years, that junior highers and college students have more in common than either do with high schoolers. the world is all new for both young teens and college students — they feel like they have a whole new level of freedom, and they’re exploring, sampling.) anyhow, back to last november: during a Q&A time, i mentioned this similarity, and asked arnett for his response. he looked at me like i was an idiot, and dismissed the idea. shut down.
but, i forgot that i’d clipped this quote from Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults (by Rick Dunn and Jana Sundene), when i’d read it last fall.
In his seminal work Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett identifies five distinguishing features that universally characterize the post-adolescent journey:
1. It is the age of identity exploration.
2. It is the age of instability.
3. It is the most self-focused age of life.
4. It is the age of feeling in-between, in transition.
5. It is the age of possibilities, when hope flourishes, when people have an unparalleled opportunity to transform their lives.
ok, i know it’s not a perfect match for middle school. but, really, can’t you see the similarities? where my middle school peeps at?
talk to me…