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Growing Up Essay Papers

Take your notes and use those to write your final draft. Here are some tips:

Introduction: Either start with a vivid description of the place, your experience, or a summary of what you are reflecting about. End with your thesis idea. Sometimes you may want to put a question first and then the answer

Example Thesis: Why was I feeling so peaceful while walking down this beach? I realized it was because the beach had always been a place of rest to me.

Body: Each of the questions you've answered can be a paragraph in the body of your essay. Take your notes and expand them. Add more details and examples from your experience and your life story.

Conclusion: Explain and expand on your thesis idea. Tell how this experience taught you something new or how it helped you to understand something. Another way to conclude is to suggest where you might like to go from this point in thinking about your thesis idea.

Example Conclusion: I sent my photo of "For Rhonda" to my friend along with a text letting her know how much I appreciate her help in letting me know that we can always find places to relax and renew in the midst of our busy lives. Now, I want to find a way to help Rhonda have a day off of her own, and I'm hoping someday we can take a trip to the beach together.

50 Great Articles and Essays about Growing Up

The best essays about growing up and articles about growing up -- Great essays on growing up and articles on growing up

Teenagers


The Terrible Teens by Elizabeth Kolbert

What the hell is up with teenagers?

The Siege of Fulton Avenue by David Amsden

Just after midnight, Rye police arrived to bust a house full of partying teenagers. The kids refused to unlock the door, and parents and cops flooded the street. A minute-by-minute account of the standoff

One Town's War on Gay Teens by Sabrina Rubin Erdely

In Michele Bachmann's home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back

Prep-School Gangsters by Nancy Jo Sales

They cruise the city in chauffeured cars, blasting rap, selling pot to classmates. How some of New York's richest kids joined forces with some of its poorest

The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens by Elspeth Reeve

That feeling when you hit a million followers, make more money than your mom, push a diet pill scheme, lose your blog, and turn 16

Girls at War by Elizabeth Rubin

The life of the teenage settler

How Ramen Got Me Through Adolescence by Veronique Greenwood

For more than three years I ate a packet nearly every day, a thousand steaming bowls

School


Surviving High School by Tom Junod

A story about two friends -- why one made it through and one did not, and how you can help your children survive "the best years of their lives

Coach Fitz's Management Theory by Michael Lewis

Do kids these days have it too easy? A reflection on one of those rare teachers who changed the course of his students lives

The Terrible Boy by Tom Junod

A story about what children do to other children and what happens when we decide that children should be treated precisely like adults

Dumb Kids' Class by Mark Bowden

The benefits of being underestimated by the nuns at St. Petronille's

Sex


Friends Without Benefits by Nancy Jo Sales

How dating apps, social media and porn are reshaping tennager's lives

They Know What Boys Want by Alex Morris

It's 1:32 a.m., and I'm on my computer, clicking through pictures of a young girl named Cristal. She is lounging on a bed in short shorts, her knees drawn up to show the undersides of her thighs...

Sexting, Shame and Suicide by Nina Burleigh

A shocking tale of sexual assault in the digital age

Why Kids Sext by Hanna Rosin

A recent scandal reveals how kids think about sexting--and what parents and police should do about it

A Girl's Guide to Sexual Purity by Carmen Maria Machado

I was saved around a bonfire the summer I turned 13...

Body Image


A Thin Line between Mother and Daughter by Jennifer Egan

How attitudes to the body are passed down through generations

A Few Words about Breasts by Nora Ephron

I was boyish. I wanted desperately not to be that way, not to be a mixture of both things, but instead just one, a girl. As soft and as pink as a nursery. And nothing would do that for me, I felt, but breasts

The Year I Grew Wildly, While Men Looked On by Ashley C. Ford

At 13, who I was inside, who I wanted to be, didn't match the intentions of my body. Outside, there was no little girl to be loved innocently

Misadventure


The Accidental Rebel by Paul Auster

It was the year of years, the year of craziness, the year of fire, blood and death. I had just turned 21, and I was as crazy as everyone else

My Dad Tried to Kill Me with an Alligator by Harrison Scott Key

The Pearl River is full of trash, Volkswagen-sized catfish, and a heckuva lot of gators. Swimming in it? That was Pop's idea

Faking It by Michael Lewis

If you wanted a fast-growing economy, you needed to promote rapid change, and if you promote rapid change, children enjoy one big advantage over adults: they haven't decided who they are

Jonathan Lebed's Extracurricular Activities by Michael Lewis

How a 15-year-old became the first ever minor to face prosecution for stock market fraud

Raiders of the Lost Backyard by Jim Windolf

When 10-year-old Chris Strompolos and 11-year-old Eric Zala decided to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark, shot for shot, in the summer of 1982, they never imagined it would take 7 years--and emerge, two decades later, as a minor cult phenomenon

Sport


Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes by David Foster Wallace

I grew up inside vectors, lines and lines athwart lines, grids - and, on the scale of horizons, broad curving lines of geographic force

Life's Swell by Susan Orlean

To be a surfer girl in Maui is to be the luckiest of creatures. It means you're beautiful and tan and ready to rip. It means you've caught the perfect dappled wave and are on a ride that can't possibly end...

Off Diamond Head by William Finnegan

To be thirteen, with a surfboard, in Hawaii

See also...

30 Great Short Memoirs

Great memoir writing from the world's best essayists

20 Great Articles about Education

Great memoir writing from the world's best essayists The best articles about education from around the web

Memoir


Difficult Girl by Lena Dunham

Growing up, with help

Us and Them by David Sedaris

Because they had no TV, the Tomkeys were forced to talk during dinner. They had no idea how puny their lives were, and so they were not ashamed that a camera would have found them uninteresting...

On Being an Only Child by Geoff Dyer

As a kid I was so bored I assumed it was the basic condition of existence

My Father, the Smoker by John Jeremiah Sullivan

To grow up with a self-destructive parent is a special kind of torture

The Comfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen

Growing up with Snoopy

Countdown by Jonathan Franzen

I was alone in the back seat again. I went to sleep, and my mother took out her magazines, and the weight of the long July drive fell squarely on my father

You Will Never Sleep With a Woman Who Looks Like That by Justin Halpern

A memoir of Little League and pornography

Be Cool or Be Cast Out by Michael Chabon

When I was twelve or thirteen I went to the T-shirt counter at McCrory's dime store, in the Columbia Mall, and had them print me up a custom shirt, using heat-transfer letters and a steam press…

The Kingdom of Snow and Ghosts by Michael Chabon

There may never again be a tedium so wretched and marvellous as that produced by television in the heyday of the aerial

An Essay in Unitard Theory by Michael Chabon

The superpowers that can be unleashed by a scrap of terrycloth

My Mom Couldn't Cook by Tom Junod

My mother was not just a mother, not just a mom. She was a dame. She was a broad. She was a beauty from Brooklyn

My Father's Fashion Tips by Tom Junod

First it was Lubriderm, what my father rubbed briskly between his palms and extended in glistening offering. “How about a bit of the Lube?” he'd say when I walked into his bathroom....

Millenials


Are Millennials the Screwed Generation? by Joel Kotkin

Today's youth, both here and abroad, have been screwed by their parents...

The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright by Noreen Malone

My screwed, coddled, self-absorbed, mocked, surprisingly resilient generation

What Is It About 20-Somethings? by Robin Marantz Henig

Why are so many people in their 20s taking so long to grow up?

The War Against Youth by Stephen Marche

The recession didn't gut the prospects of American young people. The Baby Boomers took care of that

The Cheapest Generation by Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann

Why Millennials aren't buying cars or houses, and what that means for the economy

The Organization Kid by David Brooks

The young men and women of America's future elite work their laptops to the bone, rarely question authority, and happily accept their positions at the top of the heap as part of the natural order of life

Say Everything by Say Everything

Kids today. They have no sense of shame. They have no sense of privacy. They're show-offs, fame whores, pornographic little loons

Misc.


The American Male at Age Ten by Susan Orlean

If Colin Duffy and I were to get married, we would sleep in our clothes and eat pizza and candy for all of our meals. We wouldn't have sex, but we would have crushes on each other...

A Boy's Life by Hanna Rosin

Since he could speak, Brandon, now 8, has insisted that he was meant to be a girl. This summer, his parents decided to let him grow up as one

The Overprotected Kid by Hanna Rosin

A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery--without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution

Books

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon

Reflections on youth, adulthood, parenthood and growing up

Twentysomething by Robin Marantz Henig

Why do young adults seem stuck?