Who could forget their 18th birthday marking a memorable time in transitioning from childhood to adulthood? Growing up is a life experience that children around the world face at a certain time in their lives, beginning the shift from a young learner to an adult with increased expectations.
The critical factors of growing up include attributes such as responsibility, understanding, and capability. These attributes constitute maturity, the capacity to think for one’s self and incorporating beliefs into life thanks to experience.
The universal aspect of growing up means that no two children are every raised the same, even in the same country or region. People around the world experience life differently; this includes differences in culture, religion, race and practices that shape the minds of individuals.
Coming of Age Traditions
Today, there are children around the world preparing for the next stage in life through various rites of passage. Cultural training and conditioning across different countries observe the entry to adulthood through practices that have been around for years, showcasing the differences in age and traditions across cultures.
The Quinceanera, for example, is a coming-of-age tradition celebrated by young girls in South and Central America. Before turning 15, the girl attends a fiesta with family (complete with food and dance) following a renewing of her vows in a Catholic Mass.
In Jewish tradition, boys and girls around the world celebrate their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs to show their commitment to faith and recognize their responsibility in obeying the Jewish law. After going through the religious ceremony, a reception celebration ensues in celebrating the weeks of preparation and learning for the event.
In North America, The sweet 16th is an important event American teenagers celebrate in marking the legal age for driving a car. The event can be observed in a variety of ways through event planning and venue rentals here in Utah, splurging on a new car, or celebrating an over-the-top party in the Utah mountains.
Adulthood is Universal
Cultural practices welcome adulthood in many different ways evidenced above, but the trials and challenges of adulthood remain the same, regardless of culture and traditions. The social aspects of adulthood are focused on people taking responsibility for their lives in multiple ways.
Finishing school, getting a job, or parenthood are all common indicators of a person being viewed as an adult. However, due to economic changes, cultural differences, and rising costs of living, many of the youth are still dependent on parents.
The social changes and expectations of adulthood have also changed because of these factors. The many indicators of adulthood can make defining it confusing. Developmental psychologists have come up with the idea of “emerging adulthood” that focuses on ideas of the levels of independence, personal development, well-being and finding one’s identity.
Adulthood and Experience
Being capable of understanding and becoming more responsible are indicators of gaining a critical understanding of adulthood: experience. Experience allows people to go beyond the confines of childhood and experience responsibility themselves, establishing their identities and personalities along the way.
Experience is life’s greatest teacher and allows people to venture into adulthood and brave the challenges it can offer. The cultural diversity of entering adulthood remains to be an essential part of crossing through bridges.
But regardless of diversity, adulthood can be faced through experience and establishing one’s self.