“An Ordinary Age” is about the most extraordinary age of all time. It’s a tradition to cry over the era gone by, but the millennials are crying about the ages gone by like no other generation before. Why is it so? Well, nobody can really blame us. We have a lot on our plate right now. Childhood is fun, but as you enter adolescence, the merry times slowly but steadily start to run out. The perils become tougher when we reach adulthood. Running after jobs, trying to maintain a proper work-life balance, trying to maintain a side-income, and of course, trying to secure a presentable CGPA for your future endeavors- all these struggles are further intensified once you log into your Instagram and see how much better someone else’s life is going. All the progress you had made till that point suddenly loses all its value and you are sucked into a pit of depression, deprived of the light of motivation.
Rainesford talks about these very perils of young adult lives. The book advocates not to run behind achieving the perfect life. There is no perfect life. In the zest to lead our best life, we often get derailed from the ordinary yet some very magnificent pleasures of everyday life. This book assures you that it is okay to be not okay, to take your time, and most importantly reminds you not to run after unrealistic ambitions or standards. A good read for anyone trying to figure out life.
Young adults today face enormous pressure to achieve the “best life,” both in their professional and personal lives, and Rainesford Stauffer reveals how regular relevant experiences could serve as the basis of a contented and fulfilling existence in his chat with young adults.
Young adulthood is the age of our lives when, potentially, anything can happen, and the temptation is on to ensure everything does. Social networking has often been the scapegoat for the millennials, a bunch of depressed young people, but maybe the forces operating beneath us—wage stagnation, perfectionism, student debt, and rising expenses of living—have a greater, more harmful influence on the reality we upload to our feeds.
The young adults and their perils are the focus of An Ordinary Age as Rainesford Stauffer explores our obsession with living and posting our #bestlife and the customs that have outlined that life is limited, and often surreal terms. It’s no secret that today’s youth are under more pressure than ever before, from (often unpaid) internships to the loneliness epidemic to the pressure to “find yourself” amidst school, jobs, and passions. And, even worse, it leaves young people with little scope to ask and ponder over the bigger questions about their ambitions in life and the meaning of life.
Maybe we’re losing track of the stuff that completes us: solid connections, genuine roots, and the capacity to examine how we desire our lives to feel and look like, even if that is something different from that we come across on the Gram. Stauffer makes the argument that several of our most crucial early adult experiences are the everyday ones: discovering our people and staying with them, growing to take care of ourselves, live on our terms, and discovering who we are and what we want to be when the other stuff—the job titles, the GPAs, the filters—fall off.
As a Millennial, I found many of the articles in An Ordinary Age to be applicable to me. It’s a collection of writings that focuses on adolescence and young adulthood.
When it comes to young adults, Rainesford Stauffer covers a wide range of issues, including ethnicity, religion/spirituality, and race, as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+. As a result of the present epidemic, a large portion of the novel is written from the perspective of a young adult, and I really enjoyed how she addressed this.
This book looks at what the everyday times in between may give us instead. There is a great deal of depth to the difficulties that every young adult encounters and each one is viewed from a different perspective. Each chapter spoke to me, and I like that it was written from the perspective of the epidemic, while also addressing the additional challenges that a pandemic brings to young people.
She emphasizes the significance of accepting yourself for who you are, rather than the best version of yourself that we broadcast on social networking platforms.
Young people’s expectations are untangled by Stauffer, who advocates for happiness and well-being rather than endless striving. According to the author, the pandemic has made early adulthood considerably more difficult than it needs to be because of a variety of environmental variables that make early adulthood much more difficult than it needs to be.
Utilizing a variety of interviews with people from various walks of life, she develops in-depth criticisms of unattainable social norms. Because of our individuality — expressed in views that govern our choices and rob us of connection – we may minimize our problems by embracing community, connections, even the banal. Trying to be extraordinary is a waste of time, as it’s difficult to achieve and damaging to keep trying.
While doing so, she shifts the narrative on “your 20s” as a period for great experimentation, exploration, and adventure, among other things. However, most of the people she spoke with said that they were attracted to consistency, significance, and a sense that they had and were enough.
When you are stuck in a bad patch of life and the patch starts to look somewhat more like a pit, this is the book that could rescue you. It tells you that you are not the only one stuck in such a storm of catching up with life. All you need to do is breathe, focus on the finer aspects of life, and stride forth.