A stupid number called age


Senior Caleb Webb is the sports editor for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in sports and opinion writing.

Caleb Webb, Sports Editor

The goal age to reach adulthood has always been 18, but is age really a good indicator for when we become adults and mature? Maybe physical maturity would be a better indicator; however, some mature far earlier than 18. The main point is that the grind high schoolers go through would prove that most of us mature much faster than expected for a multitude of reasons. 

Regardless of what a person’s plans are for after high school, maturity hits fast and forcefully, this could include college, a job, or even admission into the military.

But in all practicality, the amount of pressure society puts on high school students to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives in only four years is immense. 

This isn’t always realistic for all of us, but for those of us who do end up thinking we have it all figured out, we have to be responsible enough to have a competitive GPA and smart enough to score well on the SAT, and then finally, we must have the resourcefulness to apply to colleges and seek out our next steps.

If academia isn’t our chosen road to success, then we must have the skills to find a job that sets us up for an even better future job. Or we must be responsible enough to navigate our way through the usually tasking military recruitment process. And sure, we do get help from parents, siblings, and other adults, but not everyone has those resources and there are some things we still have to figure out on our own.

But let’s talk about before we get out of high school: some people become adults far before. For example, imagine that you have a challenging family situation where your mom and dad can’t work and you, as a 14-17 year old, have to go find a job and work to support your family of who knows how many people. There are people all around us dealing with obstacles this powerful every single day. But these are usually the people who throw on brave faces every day and are forced to mature much faster than their deserved time.

And in another instance let’s talk about pregnancy. Personally, I’m close with quite a few girls who have gotten pregnant during their high school years, and as if motherhood isn’t already hard enough when a person is planning for it, imagine the struggle when you’re hit with the surprise of it.

But these young women have become more amazing than I can imagine, being a single mother in high school while working a job to support themselves and their child and graduate high school at the same time is truly amazing. 

The point of the matter is, whether it being forced upon us or not, we all take up adulthood at different times in our life, regardless of society’s perspective on us. In actuality, our maturity level and our life experiences illustrate more of our adult-likeness than a stupid number called our age. 

Especially considering there is quite a large number of people who are considered “adults” and they act worse than the average high schooler. We need to get rid of the whole “turn 18 to become an adult factor” because age is an inaccurate representation of what the word “adult” should mean. 

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Email Caleb Webb at [email protected] .