What makes someone an adult?

What makes someone an adult?

I liked this opinion from (3):
"For law, when you are physically eighteen years old.
For your Parent, when they find that you need no more support to walk across the road of your life.
For your Friends, when they accept your judgement and rely on the responsibilities undertaken by you..
For society, when you take leadership.
For yourself, When you are bold enough to think that I have miles to go
alone,although; I find no companion in my journey of life."

– – –

Being adult has nothing to do with age. There are some elderly folk who seem to undeveloped in terms of maturity, which is a possible condition of "acting like an adult". So there’s an important distinction between maturity and adultness. An adult is really just anyone over 18. But maturity; that doesnt always necessarily come with any age. Sometimes maturity is never developed, but I think it’s really part of what makes you a true "adult"and a quality that is vital in our development as humans: It’s part of our evolution towards becoming older, wiser, and ever-better people!

It strikes me that maturity and adulthood is rather subjective and will vary depending on who you ask.. Qualities that make someone a mature adult in my opinion include:

  • Taking on responsibilities in life and learning to accept the
    consequences of your actions. (1) I’ve found that once people take on responsibilities – even involuntarily – it soon matures them significantly and really change a person. 
  • A person is mature when they have decided "who they are", where they want to take themselves, and when they have the intelligence/experience to make intelligent decisions. (2)
  • Self-reliance: Being able to support yourself, look after yourself and be independent in this way  (1) It’s when you no longer rely on a parent/guardian for food, protection, money etc and can be pretty much independent. (2)  Someone posed the question whether that would make people with various disabilities not adults/ mature, then… and I guess it doesnt actually.. It just makes them dependent adults – but it doesnt detract from maturity. Perhaps this quality isnt an essential part of maturity! But in an able-bodied person, it still strikes me as if they would be "undeveloped" if they werent independent. Double standards it seems. I suppose if you cant help but be dependent and its not your fault – then you cant be accused of being immature -although technically you are undeveloped in that area… hm.
  • Being able to be in charge of your emotions (2)
  • A certain amount of self-esteem/ confidence is part of being an adult. Being comfortable with yourself is part of being mature.
  • Becoming more adept in life things in general – including understanding others, dealing with any situation. It’s when you’ve gained enough experience of how the world works to a certain extent! (2) Someone commented – would a priest or someone who’s celibate be only half an adult then? (:D) I kinda think.. in a way- they *would* be an incomplete adult… or at least incomplete in experiencing all life has to offer.. which is where ultimate maturity kind of lies..  Someone else commented that dealing with and overcoming tragedies in life also mature a person. I guess its part of experiencing all life has to offer. The more you deal with – the more you understand what life is about – and the more you can cope with anything life throws at you – and thus the more mature you are..
  • Open-mindedness and lack of judgement is part of maturity I think. Intolerance is small-minded and small-mindedness is a sign of mental immaturity.  When you are able to see things from other people’s point of view, without arrogantly assuming that you are right all the time, it is certainly a sign of maturity. (2)

1. http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/753228
2. http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=696285 (love thestudentroom – such clever people here! :))
3. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080515213951AApctgL


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