Adulthood doesn’t start at 18, or 21

I don’t consider myself an adult quite yet. I call myself an “Emerging Adult”, or in my case, I’m a kid who thinks differently and likes to listen to 80’s music on my PC even though I was born in the 90’s. Maybe it’s my high sense of nostalgia for my childhood years, maybe it’s the mistakes made by the past generation, or maybe it’s something else. Either way, I don’t want to call myself and adult yet.

Why?

That’s very simple. I have a different definition of adulthood entirely. The conventional definition of adulthood is simply “the state of being an adult”. That definition, however, doesn’t stress the importance of responsibility, and is simply about independence from parents. My parents’ generation would rush into a marriage and a career regardless of the consequences, because they thought it was the “adult” thing to do. I don’t want to rush into it because of the consequences this mentality has brought on. So many marriages have ended in divorce, and many people are unhappy with their careers. It must have been pretty evident that my parents were very unhappy. Why else would they split up?

What I’m advocating is a whole new approach to adulthood in general. In my view, growing up doesn’t have to mean handing yourself over to the system. In fact, this laziness and weakness are things that I see as immature. You aren’t an adult immediately after you turn 18 or 21, because even after that, there’s still a lot we have to learn as people. Allow me to give you an example of why you aren’t an adult immediately after you leave your parents:

When someone goes to university, what’s the first thing they do? Think about their futures? Striving to be a more responsible person? Nope! They get totally drunk at the Fresher’s Fair without taking a shred of responsibility, riding on their new found freedom, never mind that their parents are paying for their education!

My point is that you don’t gain the responsibility immediately. The question is, when do you become an adult? That could be anytime in your life. An adult is someone who shows willingness to face the consequences of his/her actions, someone who can rear a family and take care of himself, someone who understands the world around him, someone who can make his own decisions. You know, all that stuff. No age of adulthood in this definition, because it isn’t about age, it’s about personal character and ability. But that’s just my opinion. What about you?

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