Coming of Age
The life of a human being has various distinct stages through which everyone goes. It starts on the day of conception in the mother’s womb. After nine months a baby is born and the infancy stage begins and goes on for about one year. After that, they enter into the childhood stage which continues up to the onset of puberty and adolescence. This phase prevails until teenage which is the transition stage into adulthood. First, comes the young adult stage when someone has just reached the age of majority. From this point henceforth, life goes on and aging continues up to the time of death.
Coming of age is a phrase used to describe the transition period between childhood and adulthood although the context in which it is applied may vary from one culture to another and depending on religious beliefs. In the United States of America, for example, coming of age usually refers to the years just before the onset of teenage. This is the age around adolescence. Coming of age is accompanied by both psychological and physical changes and the young one is recognized as a mature person who can take responsibility for their actions and have the full rights of an adult.
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In some religions and societies, ceremonies are held to celebrate the transition of young people from childhood to adulthood. Such events are marked by certain rituals or rites of passage to signify the recognition of the celebrants as adults who can get married, have a family, hold prominent positions in the society and own property. It comes with a lot of changes regarding how the society views the young one as well as the expectations they have of him or her. In some communities, once one is an adult they are expected to move out of their parent’s house and start their independent life while in others, one is expected to take up various leadership roles. Such roles may include becoming the family spokesperson, running family businesses, mentoring young children or even vying for a certain leadership role in the society.
Though the transition to adulthood is a usual thing in the human life cycle, many young people and their parents face a myriad of challenges during and after the transition. Many people are caught off-guard by the fact that they have come of age and they need to start a new life as adults. Lack of preparedness for this stage of life throws one into a spin as they find themselves in a crisis trying to find their identity and status in the society. Pressure and demands from friends, relatives and the larger society may mount on them to stop being dependent on their parents, chart their own path in life and start supporting them instead. This may, however, be impossible because there are many factors come into play regarding how soon a young adult can fend for themselves. They may be educated but jobless or not psychologically ready despite having come of age. This means that they may need more time and support from the people around them to prepare adequately to take full responsibility of their lives. Otherwise nagging them to be independent may lead to depression and unwise decisions that could, later on, result in a life laden with endless struggles.
Coming of age is a critical stage in life which ought to be approached with a lot of caution and well-choreographed strategy as it is the determinant of the future of a young person as an adult. Rushed decisions at this stage may spell doom for a person’s future and lead to a life of regrets.