Waking up early in the morning to go to a nine to five job, coming home exhausted to a messy house and children, cooking dinner, then going to sleep only to wake up early and start the cycle again. This lovely little scenario is something called adulthood, and everyone is terrified of it; even adults. Growing up is something that is forced upon every single human on this Earth. As much as everyone wants to, no one can stay a teenager and have their parents do everything for them forever.
The people most threatened by adulthood are teenagers themselves. The idea of adulthood has been dangling over adolescents for generations and because of this, adulthood is synonymous with dread. The formal definition of adulthood is the state or condition of being fully grown or mature. However, many teenagers are forced into adulthood at a much earlier time in their lives, and the definition goes much deeper than just surface level maturity. There are many adults in the world who are far less mature than a 14 year old, and there are many teenagers in the world who are far more mature than a 40 year old. What defines an adult is not a level of maturity, but rather a variance of wisdom and experience. This is the reason adults act as a sanctuary of love, wisdom, and trust for most children. Their experiences have made them more acquainted with handling various situations. Teenagers’ lack of social and emotional experience leaves them wary to endure the next chapter of life where they are the ones children look to as a sanctuary. A common misconception in the youth is that most adults have found their purpose in life and because of this, they appear to have everything figured out. No one ever talks about the day they knew they became an adult – it just kind of happens.
Many adolescents entering their twenties are scared of this new chapter in their life where they expect to wake up one day and become an adult, but it is not an overnight process. The idea of becoming an adult leaves many teenagers who do not wish to follow in the footsteps of a stereotypical society with little idea of what to do with the rest of their lives. The process of becoming an adult is arduous and starts for most people around the age of 16, where they begin to first have real responsibility. At this age, one begins to take on responsibilities such as paying for their own car/insurance, applying for jobs, and running errands on their own, all while their parents pay for mostly everything else. As one becomes older, they rely less on their parents for financial support, and have more adult responsibilities that they take on. This includes examples like scheduling appointments, paying rent, and buying groceries. By the age of 18 or 19, most teenagers move out and begin to support themselves with little help from their parents. The process of becoming an adult is different for everyone, however, because some parents pay for their children’s commodities for longer than others. This hurts the process of becoming an adult because some teenagers continue to rely on their parents financially well into adulthood. For example, if an adult still uses their mom’s credit card to pay for gas in their car at the age of twenty, they probably are going to struggle with financing themselves in the real world. The entitlements of a teenager are often overlooked and taken for granted once they are no longer available.
Most teenagers do not have to pay taxes, take care of children, pay bills, or pay insurance, yet they are the ones who complain the most. Compared to an adult, teenagers have it easy; they work and go to school for nine months out of the year, and do whatever they want for the other three. Adults are constantly working, paying bills, taking care of children, fixing something, driving somewhere, or running errands. This is explanatory of why adulthood has such a negative connotation with many teenagers. Why would anyone give up their life of free will and relaxation for a life of working and responsibility for the next 40 years? If adulthood was not forced upon people, then no one would voluntarily become an adult, it simply is not appealing.
In addition to taking on more responsibility, adulthood is burdened with physical changes as well. As people age, they become wrinkly, their metabolism slows down, their eyesight worsens, and their everything starts to ache. These are all pains that no one wants to take on. Not only is adulthood undesirable because of the workload, but now it is undesirable because of the physical changes that are mandatory to go through. It is preferable to be young, fit, and not wrinkly. The only way to avoid becoming wrinkly is to avoid stress, which is nearly impossible as an adult. This is not something that anyone looks forward to, for obvious reasons.
Adulthood is inescapable, therefore many people associate it with dread. The majority of youth today have familiarized themselves with a lack of true understanding of adulthood. Only a small percentage of the population are truly prepared for what adulthood is. This seems to be a common trend throughout generations, and it will always be something that adolescents fear and struggle with. Adulthood is undesirable to almost all teenagers because of the responsibilities, workload, physical changes, and stereotypes. Rather than scaring the youth into adulthood, more steps should be taken to further prepare them for adulthood.
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