Julie Beck: When Are You Really An Adult

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In the article written by Julie Beck entitled “When Are You Really an Adult?” she uses a series of true life accounts to attempt to define when a person becomes an adult and what defines adulthood. She begins with the real life example of Henry David Thoreau and catches the attention of the reader by leading them down the path that she is talking about a current day young man. However, when she reveals she is talking of a young man of years past it is obvious that many different generations struggle with the definition and thought of being an adult. Beck makes it clear that what defines being an adult is not clear, there is no black and white answer. There are many factors leading to whether a person feels they have become an adult. Some …show more content…
When a person sees their friends and others in their same age group, getting married, starting companies or get an advanced degree, etc. they start to measure themselves against these markers. Outside influences can often overwhelm and confuse young people. Laurence Steinberg a professor psychology at Temple University says: “Chronological age is not a particularly good indicator [of maturity], but it’s something we need to do for practical purposes.” In legal terms, people are given certain capabilities based on age, such as voting at age 18 and drinking alcohol at age 21. But age doesn’t define adulthood. Beck makes it clear that a person may biologically an adult, and participate in adult behaviors but may still be treated as a child if they are under age that legally defines their actions. On the other hand, a person may be of legal age to do certain actions of an adult but not have the maturity that defines adult qualities. Therefore, pinning down the true meaning of an adult is almost …show more content…
Physiologically girls can have children after starting menarche. I would not consider an eleven or twelve year old an adult. However, for many couples having a child does mark the beginning of adulthood. Having the responsibility of another human being and making decisions for that person’s well-being is an adult commitment. I don’t think having a child makes you an adult by definition but I do think that being an adult means you have the ability to commit to another person on a deeper level. I believe the same for marriage. I don’t think marriage makes you an adult but I do think you have to be an adult to be able to connect to another person on a personal, spiritual and intimate level to maintain a good marriage. Marriage and child bearing are more external markers of adulthood defined by social influences and do not make a person an

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