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When Do We Become Adults?

Jenna Lawrence | Opinion Editor

When do we become adults? The technical answer to this question is when we turn eighteen years old, which means the beginning of adulthood is between eighteen to twenty-one years old. When we reach those ages, we gain more abilities, such as reaching the legal drinking age in the US, and more responsibilities as we are no longer minors.

However, the transition from teenage years to adulthood is such a blurred line. It can be hard for anyone entering adulthood to feel like they are no longer a teenager. When we turn eighteen, it is almost as if we are thrown into being adults, when all we’ve known is how to be a teen or how to feel like one. I’ve spoken to many young adults who feel as though they were ill-prepared for adulthood - that they didn’t learn enough in high school or at home to have any clue of what to do once they’re no longer minors.

Our mentalities do not change much once we become legal adults which is why there is such a disconnect between our ages and how we feel. The aftermath of COVID and quarantine had a big impact on the current generation of late teens/ young adults and our mentalities. Many people have spoken up and said they feel as though the COVID quarantine stunted their natural growth. Since we weren’t able to be around others our age, as teenagers during the pandemic, we got used to the feeling of the age we entered it with and it has warped our perceptions of time.

Because of movies, TV shows, and how other forms of media portray growing up, we believe there will be a big change in ourselves and we will feel like real adults once we reach that legal age. But the reality is that we mature without realizing it. We do become adults by being thrown into adulthood. Societal norms and the organization of society are what make us adults. Many of us may feel as though we are lagging behind because we do not see ourselves as adults yet and that is okay. The feeling of being an adult does not come immediately though, which is the most important thing to remember!


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