What can be so confusing about being a teenager is the really weird stage of not being a child, but also not being an adult. Some things just don’t add up. It doesn’t make sense that soon, I’ll be able to: drive, vote, join the army, be an adult, etc. Yet, I can’t drink or smoke until I’m 21. I can really join the army before I can legally drink a glass of wine!!! (why?).
There’s also the weird dynamic of having to be responsible and “act like an adult,” but also still being seen as a child. It doesn’t make sense really! Whenever I do something reckless and maybe kinda stupid, I’ll get a lecture on how I’m a “young adult” and I need to be responsible and set an example. Yet, if I ask my mom to stay out until 1 am, I’m still just a kid and need to be back home earlier. I don’t know if any of this really makes sense- but it’s kind of difficult to know where you stand as a teenager when you’re being told to grow up, but also being told that you’re still a kid who knows nothing about the world.
I also just don’t think it’s fair that 18 signifies adulthood for all. What?? When you’re 17- you still have a curfew, you still get detention for being late to school, you still depend on your parents. Yet, when you’re 18, you suddenly go to college, have to be responsible and take care of yourself. You’re then an adult and you can’t use any more of those “I’m just a teenager who makes bad decisions!!” excuses for the stuff you do, because suddenly turning 18 made you totally more responsible and experienced?? It just doesn’t make sense. At 18, you’re still in that teen stage of being reckless and trying new things and experimenting. You’re not an adult yet, at least how I see it. My brother is 22 and he still does many stupid things and is really not that mature. Adulthood shouldn’t be determined by arbitrary numbers. There’s been so much science that shows that your brain isn’t fully grown until around the age of 25.
“In studying scans of the adolescent brain, neurologists have learned that when kids are around the age of 18, their prefrontal cortex is only halfway developed. This is the area of the brain that helps control impulses, solve problems, regulate emotions and organize behavior. That’s not to say that kids in their late teens and early 20s can’t take on these tasks, but it does mean that it’s harder for them to do — at least until around age 25 or so when this area of the brain fully develops.”