In a society where children are constantly asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and students are overwhelmed with an endless list of decisions and scores that will determine their futures, it is important to take a step back and think about the broader picture: at what point to people truly become adults?
It’s an age-old question, and one that has been written, sung, and filmed countless times.
According to freshman Lydia Wright, “People become adults when they can make decisions that benefit themselves on their own (without consulting anyone else). On average I think most people are ready at 18 to become an adult.”
Despite the legal age of adulthood, 18, adolescents are given more and more privileges at various ages as they grow up. When they turn 16, they are allowed to drive cars. When they turn 17, they are allowed to watch R-rated movies. When they turn 18, they become legal adults and are allowed to vote. When they turn 21, they are allowed to drink alcohol. With each of these privileges comes many responsibilities, and it is their job to take these responsibilities seriously instead of abusing them.
Senior Hannah Ferguson said, “ I think that someone becomes an adult when they are responsible for their own decisions and actions. Age can influence when someone ‘becomes an adult,’ but I don’t think there is a certain age that people become an adult. Some people grow up faster and take on responsibility earlier than others based on their own personal experiences, and as people grow older, they gain these experiences and responsibilities.”
People mature and grow at different rates, and it can take different people different amounts of time to be able to fend for themselves and take control of their lives.
Biology teacher Jessica Prouty said, “There are two different definitions of adults. There’s your legal definition, which means you’re able to drive, vote, drink alcohol, and you’re financially independent. In terms of a more social definition of adult, it may be a younger age where students begin to be advocates for themselves. They’re scheduling their own classes in college. They’re managing their time, and they’re getting jobs.”
People become adults at different points in time, depending on their life experiences and how they’ve chosen to handle them. Being an adult means being responsible with life decisions, being able to care for oneself and for others, and having one’s own opinions about certain subjects. Being an adult means apologizing when one makes a mistake, standing up for oneself, and being true oneself no matter what.