From the Editors:


This month, you may notice a few deviations on Cropped.

As a Cropped reader, you know how strongly we feel about being honest in every story we publish — the very point is that Cropped writers are vulnerable and resist the temptation to hold back information that might be unflattering.

For this issue, we had a few questions from writers who wanted to hold one piece of information back: their last names.

Lisa, the writer of an essay on a struggle to remain sober, worried about how future employers might feel about her journey. And Sean, who wrote about the emotional strain of grad school, had similar concerns.

We wanted to include their beautiful words, so we agreed going with the first initial of their last name was a good compromise. We hope that you, as readers, feel the same.

Second, we also expanded our age category a bit in this issue. Lisa is in her early 30’s, whereas all of our essays so far have been from adults in our early 20’s.

Although Cropped is billed as a site “for 20-somethings, by 20-somethings,” we don’t want to feel restricted — and discount valuable stories — by making this a hard and fast rule. Often our challenges aren’t all that different, whether we’re 19, 26 or 31. Just like high school or college graduation didn’t magically bring us the answers to life’s many mysteries, neither does a 30th birthday.

Lisa’s essay on the “one drink turns quickly into three turns quickly into one bottle” alcoholic describes the journey of a person many of us know — and one plenty of us are going through ourselves. It’s a story that belongs on Cropped. And as other compelling stories from 30-somethings or high school seniors or folks without social media accounts are sent to our inbox, we might just publish those too.

Cropped is not static. It will continue to evolve, with you, our community of readers and contributors, guiding the way.

Maria and Marina