Growing up

I think one of the biggest parts of growing up is realising that ‘adults are always right’ should most likely be replaced with ‘adults pretend they are always right’– and that’s a scary thought sometimes. Many of my friends have already ascended into adulthood (in the eyes of the law at least; adulthood has different meanings depending on which culture you are examining. A select Amazonian tribe has an initiation ritual consisting of two hundred bullet ants sewed into a sleeve of leaves, into which a boy must place his arms and endure three times before being considered an adult.) though considering them on the same level with the other adults in our lives- teachers or parents perhaps, would be very weird. This leads to a confusing mixture of being treated like an adult, which can be intimidating, as well as being treated like a child, which is often bewildering.

I remember looking at my friend while tackling my UCAS form (a mystical process in itself) as she asked hysterically: “Why are we being asked to choose the shape of the rest of our lives at seventeen? We shouldn’t be allowed to make this decision!”. Perhaps that isn’t the mentality representative of an average teen in the United Kingdom but rather indicative of the quite sheltered mind of the delicate private school brat that we all are, though it does raise an interesting point. The average lifespan of our generation is, if there are no disasters, in the region of 80 years old. We have had proper indication that our lives will be shaped by the decisions we make now (every word in our personal statement, each of our five choices of university) that it is nerve wracking to actually imagine making this natural next step in our education and the next step to adulthood in our culture. Basically, quite a few of us might not feel ready for this responsibility when the highest responsibility we may have previously had is working to not call an annoying customer a ‘major dickhead’. I’m assured though that should we have this choice removed from us, to not be able to decide our own course for the future, we would certainly start a bitter struggle over it.

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