What does it mean to be a grown-up?

James Luna, Staff Writer

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Maturity is a debatable subject. What exactly is maturity? And when does one reach it? To be mature, is to respond to a situation accordingly, in essence, knowing when and where to do something appropriately. This can range from participating in social situations to dealing with self sustainment. However, maturity is not something a person just obtains one day; it happens over time, when events in one’s life change them.

Maturity can be seen when achieved, not necessarily by the person themself, but by others around him or her. Compare a grade schooler and an adult office worker, and you’ll see that the office worker is more likely to respond in a calm, objective manner that respects the rules. The child, who has less experience in situations requiring proper
behavioral protocol, will not have those mannerisms.

Being mature does not have any prerequisites; some children are demonstrably more maturity than adults. It is possible to tell if a person is mature when he or she can demonstrate acceptable reactions to certain situations, such as accepting responsibility for his or her own actions rather than pinning it on something else or simply ignoring it.

A common question is, When does one reach maturity? It varies, but there is a range where most people will go through significant changes in their life that affect them. While there are obvious physical changes that hint at maturity, it can also be influenced by events that usually play out around that stage. Leaving home to live somewhere
else, a death of a family figure, getting a job, or pursuing education full time all point toward maturity. Each of these events can typically occur near the age one leaves high school. These events force a person to confront a situation that is foreign and taxing, meaning that the person is mature if he or she is successful in addressing the challenge. Dealing with emotional damage and being able to continue one’s daily activities afterwards shows the ability to cope with loss and move on, which can be signs of maturity. The more one moves through life, the more situations that are
encountered, can be a catalyst for maturity. Hence, it is a misconception that age is maturity, at least mentally.

Maturity is a necessary part of going through life. For those who lack the ability to competently handle a situation are less likely to be chosen to develop those skills. In this employment based world, qualities that showcase maturity embed a sense of confidence and trust within other people.

For most people, however, maturity will come naturally. Bad performances may lead to consequences that lead to better performances. Every day, people are learning from their failings and adjusting to those lessons. This act of self-improvement applies to maturity. One can adjust to better handle certain situations, improving the person’s maturity. It will come to everyone eventually, but maturity will usually become evident in times of great change, such as transitioning from the life of a student, learning how to take care of himself or herself, and planning for the future.

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