When do we become adults? Is eighteen or twenty one really the age when you become one?
Growing up is exhilarating and fun. It is scary and painful. It is the most fulfilling experience in life.
Who doesn’t dream of being independent and in control of his or her own life? Finally, you decide what you want to eat, where you want to go, and when you want to sleep. But we often forget that independence requires a maturity and a responsibility for managing personal affairs. No longer can you depend on your parents; it’s up to you to figure things out.
The worst part of adulthood is paperwork. When a child I thought filling out forms was interesting and fun. (That was because I had few to fill out.) Now I fill out forms, whether online or on paper, on a regular basis and face myriads of confusing documentation. No longer a minor, I can sign my own papers without guardian or parent consent, but the privilege means that I and not my mother am responsible for understanding and complying with the printed regulations. (Perhaps the rules you were forced to obey as a child weren’t so bad after all.)
Growing up gives you an identity, a standing, a face, in the adult world. You are yourself, not just someone’s child. But having an identity necessitates an identification card, which must always be carried with you. If you lose the card or fail to have it on you your rights are taken away. And as an adult you must also always carry money with you, just in case something happens.
Now when I, standing alone in line, look at high schoolers only a few years younger than myself, I see that they are always under the wing of some protective parent. Whatever question or needs they may have – their parents are always right there to help.
I’m not saying that I can’t turn to my parents at all for help, but adults should live like adults, and learn to be independent individuals. You can’t always live off your parents.
Sometime you must grow up, and when the government finally gives you the opportunity to do so, then take the chance. You’ll have to, sooner or later.
When did you, or will you, become an adult?
But don’t forget your childhood. Don’t forget to enjoy life, to use your imagination, and to look beyond facts. Look at the heart.
“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”
– The Little Prince