Defining Adulthood

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Michael Martinez
Professor Elizabeth Huston, Ph.D.
English 1302.4429
8 September 2011
Defining Adulthood
When the word adulthood comes to mind the word age tends to follow it. In the United States a person is legally an adult when they turn eighteen. But does that truly mean a person has entered adulthood? Open any dictionary and the definition of adulthood is always somewhere along the lines of the period of time in your life after your body has stopped growing and you are fully developed. Again does this mean a person has established the qualities needed to enter adulthood? To define adulthood one must not solely base it on age but of the emotional maturity of a person. To do so one must get to the root of the word adulthood, adult. To be an adult one must show responsibility, maturity, and some sort of independency.

Having responsibilities can start and usually do start before reaching adulthood. The way in which they progress is how having them helps a person enter adulthood. Cleaning the living room, washing dishes, and washing clothes are a few of the many chores associated with childhood but continuously doing them prepares a person for when they are on their own. Skills assessed in doing chores gear a child up for the “real” world. Some people get jobs at the early age of sixteen while others wait till after college. Doing different odd jobs at home gives a person a sense of consistency so that when they get a real job they will already have time commitment and the knowledge of knowing that when given a task to do it to the best of their abilities. Maturity is also brought on throughout development. Maturity is not an actual stage a person reaches in their life but an ongoing development of one’s self growth towards improvement. Using maturity and responsibility go hand in hand. The point at which a person stops complaining about chores and does them because it is just required everyday life shows maturity. The saying when one enters...
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